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Lib Dems pressure Council and Police to review switching lights off at night

March 23, 2021 5:56 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Following pressure from Lib Dem Councillors, Surrey County Council and Surrey Police will now review having street lights turned off across the county.

In an attempt to save £210,000 a year, the County Council adopted a 'Part Night Lighting Policy' for street lights in 2016, which involved switching off the majority of lights between midnight and 5 am. This decision was always controversial, but has come under added scrutiny following the tragic death of Sarah Everard and increased focus on women's safety.

During last week's Full Council meeting, the Leader of the Council said if the Police asked for Surrey's street lights to be turned on, the Council would do so, which is why Lib Dem Councillors at this week's Police and Crime Panel asked the Commissioner to do just that.

Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner confirmed he was fully supportive of the Council and Police discussing street lighting and will get the Police to contact the Council.

Will Forster, Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South, said:

"Street lights provide an important element of safety and security for residents, especially pedestrians. The Lib Dems and I have never thought plunging areas into darkness for a significant part of the night was a good idea, and I am pleased the County and Police will now consider having street lights on at night."

Fiona White, Lib Dem County Councillor for Guildford West, added:

"I hear a lot of concerns from hospital staff and students as well as local residents. I welcome the willingness to look at the issue again. We try to encourage people to walk or cycle instead of using their cars but they will only make that change if they feel safe."