There's light at the end of tunnel for residents

PUBLISHED: 11:56 02 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 May 2010

RESIDENTS in Melbourn will NOT be plunged into darkness. This is despite South Cambridgeshire District Council's plans to switch off all the village's footway lights. It was announced last month that the district council is to switch off and remove all th

RESIDENTS in Melbourn will NOT be plunged into darkness. This is despite South Cambridgeshire District Council's plans to switch off all the village's footway lights. It was announced last month that the district council is to switch off and remove all the lighting it operates across 83 villages by April 1 due to its massive budget cuts of £2.6million. The district council said it was no longer able to meet the costs of paying for such lighting. But at a meeting of Melbourn Parish Council on Monday evening, councillors voted unanimously to fund the villages' 35 lights themselves. Parish council chairman Cllr Bob Trimble said: "I don't want anyone in Melbourn to suffer without lighting. "I think it's disgraceful of the district council." Cllr Colin Charter said: "I feel it's appalling that the district council is taking this stance. "We're going back to 66 years ago in Hitler's day when we had to turn off all the lights. Most of the lights are where elderly residents live or at places they use. It's putting the elderly people in jeopardy. "We owe this to our parishioners," he added. Cllr Arthur Alderton said: "The lights that would get turned out if we do nothing are in the most vulnerable places. "The public must be aware that our precepts in the coming years are going to be higher than they are now because we're having to take on the funding of things which have previously been funded by other sources." Cambridgeshire County Council is currently considering taking over the running of some of the lights which meet its streetlight adoption criteria, and a survey is under way to identify these lights. But the parish council voted unanimously to adopt any lights which are not taken on by the county council. Cllr Trimble said: "We wish to adopt these lights for the sake of our residents." - Other parish councils around the area are looking into whether lighting due to be turned off by the district council could be funded.

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