Don't leave us in the dark: Colehill residents call for street lights to be switched back on (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Don't leave us in the dark: Colehill residents call for street lights to be switched back on
2:00pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
COLEHILL residents left in the dark by council cuts have signed a petition to see street lights turned back on.
Councillor Janet Dover gathered the 25 signatures from residents of Rotary Close after fears that emergency vehicles will not be able to find houses in the road in darkness.
The parish, district and county councillor said many of those living nearby are elderly, and calls are often made to doctors and ambulances.
Street lights have been switched off since June this year as a result of Dorset County Council cutbacks.
Cllr Dover said: “Residents are worried that, with the lights turned off, these emergency vehicles and personnel may be delayed in finding the correct address.
“Rotary Close is situated in a rural position in Colehill and is surrounded by trees which make visibility very poor at night.”
Lamps were switched off at around 1am or midnight during the autumn and winter months in roads where there are no significant concerns over road safety or crime.
Almost 3,300 lights are now turned off between 1am and 6.30am BST and midnight and 5.30am GMT, and only come back on in the morning if it is still dark.
Cllr Dover said: “I am very sympathetic to the residents’ concerns.
“I know Rotary Close very well and although the trees make a lovely environment in the daytime they do make this cul-de sac very dark at night with the street lights turned off.
“It is important that emergency vehicles can quickly find the homes of people that they have been called to help. I believe that residents would be happier even if there was just one street light that could be left switched on at the very minimum.”
The petition will be considered at the meeting of the Environment Overview Committee which takes place at County Hall, Dorchester at 10am on October 1.
Police monitoring crime
Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset Martyn Underhill pledged to monitor crime and anti-social behaviour levels following the switch-off.
But in July, initial reports revealed by police suggested that there has been no increase in incidents of this nature.
Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “I’m pleased to say we have found there has been no link to an increase in crime, which I hope will offer some reassurance to residents.”
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