Councillor hits out at failure to fix street lights which leaves 'parts of town in darkness'
PUBLISHED: 12:36 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:58 10 January 2020
Parts of a town have been "left in darkness" because broken street lights are not being repaired, a councillor has claimed.
Terry Jermy, Breckland councillor for the Burrell ward, said it is a "major issue" which Breckland Council needs to address.
With some of the lights dating back to the 1960s, Mr Jermy wants the district council to invest more money in replacing the old ones with new LED lighting.
He said: "There is a major issue particularly in towns, and Thetford, where there are a lot of Breckland owned street lights which are very old and keep breaking, leaving parts of the town in darkness.
"They are very bad for the environment and not very energy efficient which means they also cost a fortune to run."
A spokesman for Breckland Council said: "We're now entering the second year of a four-year programme which will see more than 2,500 street lights across Breckland upgraded by the council.
"We are changing them from traditional bulbs to environmentally-friendly LED lighting which can last up to 25 years each, saving the taxpayer money and cutting our carbon footprint.
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"In 2019/20 Breckland Council invested over £240,000 into this upgrade programme and we will invest a further £90,000 each year for the next three years to complete the upgrade across the district.
"But street lights on most main and trunk roads are owned and maintained by Norfolk County Council - they would be the relevant authority to contact if any issues occur."
When Mr Jermy went out on a night time patrol in October, in the Thetford Burrell ward alone he said he discovered 38 broken lights.
More than three months later, he said less than half of the lights that were reported to Breckland have been repaired.
Mr Jermy said: "In an area like Thetford where so many people do not have access to transport and also have walk to and from work, public street lights are crucial.
"It's also the fear of crime if you live in a dark area or fear of going out which adds to isolation and vulnerability."
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council advised people to report broken lights, illuminated signs and bollards at www.norfolkstreetlighting.amey.co.uk
If it does not belong to the county council, Amey will report it to the relevant authority.