Reconsideration of Norfolk County Council’s scheme to switch off street lights during certain times of the night has been rejected by the Council. The scheme has been operating for six years, yet has been brought to light again by residents who say they have safety concerns about unlit streets. The decision was initially a pledge to halve Norwich’s carbon emissions by 2020. Since then, £1.4m and an estimated 7,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide has been saved.
Bert Bremner, the Labour councillor for University Ward proposed that the council reconsider this sceheme.
He said: “I would like to see the Chairman stroll through an area in my division at 1am in the morning and see what it feels like and relate that to a young lady or man going back to the university.” Colleen Walker, a party colleague of Bremner, agreed. She said: “people do not feel safe walking on the streets late at night,” and argued that there was a case for reversing the 2011 decision and turning the lights on all night.
However, their proposal was rejected by twelve to two. Conservative councillor Graham Planet for Gorleston St Andrews, defended the Council’s decision by pointing to police evidence showing crime reduction. He said, “Nobody has been attacked in the dark, as far as I am aware, because of part night lighting.”
Chipo Banza, a UEA second year Actuarial Sciences student, said she was “totally against” the scheme: “I hate walking in the dark.”