Councillors on Bradley Stoke Town Council say they will consider supporting a scheme to reduce CO2 emissions and cut electricity bills by turning off some of the town’s streetlights overnight, but only if the financial savings are passed on to local residents.
South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has been trialing overnight switch-offs in the village of Charfield since June 2009 and is now looking to extend the scheme to other towns and parishes.
A similar scheme has recently been introduced on stretches of the Avon Ring Road, where switching off 35% of the streetlights is expected to yield savings of £12,000 per year.
SGC says the scheme will only be extended to areas where full consultation has been carried out in advance with the local town or parish council, police, the fire brigade and other partners:
“Only when there is agreement between organisations would that area be considered to take part in the trial.”
Town Clerk Sharon Petela’s suggestion that Councillors might like to consider introducing the switch-offs in Bradley Stoke received a frosty reception from Cllr Robert Jones (Conservative), who expressed concern about the costs of a consultation exercise and how the money saved might be apportioned:
“I don’t think we should be expending [Town Council] officer time if we get no benefit. If SGC saves money, it should be Bradley Stoke that benefits – not the whole of South Gloucestershire.”
The discussion gave Cllr Julian Barge (Conservative) another opportunity to engage in one of his regular rants against the “one way” flow of money from Bradley Stoke into the coffers of SGC, citing police staffing, youth provision and litter collection as areas where the Town Council had felt it necessary to supplement inadequate funding from SGC.
A greener note was sounded by Cllr Jon Williams (Liberal Democrat), who suggested that Councillors needed to be thinking of the “bigger picture”, namely the environment.
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