Every Harlow household to pay £11 for street lights as costs double
News / Fri 16th Jun 2023 at 06:39am
EVERY household in Harlow is set to pay more than £10 a year to keep street lights on in the town as costs have doubled in four years reports the Local Democracy Reporter.
Harlow Council leader Dan Swords says the authority’s position has not changed since it introduced the policy in 2015, after an “uproar” of Essex County Council’s plan to switch off lights between between 1am and 5am.
The estimated cost of keeping the street lights on all night in Harlow when the agreement was last extended in 2019 stood at £149,095 per year.
But now the current estimated cost of £321,000 per annum.
There are estimated to be about 28,500 equivalent Band D households in Harlow, leaving each with a bill for the policy of £11.
The proposed agreement ensures that Essex County Council will recoup the actual cost of the electricity once the actual consumption and electricity rate are known.
Harlow is the only district council in Essex that is funding night-time street lighting, though street lights in only parts of Epping operate part-night lighting between 1am and 5am all week.
Councillor Swords said: “Our position remains unchanged that we believe that street lights should remain on and that is why we are funding it.
“When Essex County Council proposed part time lighting there was absolute uproar which is why the council decided to fund it at the time.”
A statement as part of a decision paper from Essex County Council says: “Supporting district and borough councils by giving them the option to pay for lights to be left on all night in their parts of the county contributes towards building a sustainable economy by providing a well maintained, accessible network for residents in line with local decisions.”
The agreement will be for a fixed duration of three years from April 1, 2023, to 31 March, 2026.
This agreement will apply on a district-wide basis, to all Essex County Council owned street lighting in the district concerned – Harlow District Council will not be able to request that only specific lights and areas remain on all night.
To reflect the volatility in electricity prices Essex County Council reserves the right to amend the amount paid every quarter. The payment will be adjusted on a quarterly basis to reflect any changes in energy costs.
Essex County Council had been proposing to keep street lights off for longer by switching them off between midnight and 6am. But this plan was dropped in February
Wow. .around 3p per day, hardly a life changing cost. And, presumably this cost will reduce as LED lights are rolled out, and the electricity used will mostly be from renewables in the middle of the night
The LED changeover should help reduce costs. Just about all the streetlights have smart monitoring, and can probably be turned off remotely. During the early hours could some be turned off to save money. For example, alternate lights where the roads are considered safe. (Not at junctions).
As nick above said the switch to led has been significant since the original 2019 cost basis so really surprised it has risen that much considering the power draw much at least be half if not more. I never understood why the only option is all on or all off. Surely most of these posts are smart now for self reporting and maintenance purposes so why can it not be looked to keep lights on around junctions or areas of raised risks, and then turn every other off or pockets off where not actively used
Quite a good suggestion NickL. Any other thoughts anybody?
Can we even trust ECC to get the costs right when they have regularly failed the public regarding Highways issues and several other aspects of their 'work'? They are certainly not so efficient as their PR people might like us to think.
Making the streets safer, great idea.
If any of you think that the cost will come down or that it will be taken away I have a nice little island to sell you. As if they don't take enough of our money only 3p a day give it a while it will only be a £1 a day yada yada, , it's always only until it becomes how much stop being so gullible 🤷
Harlow Council spent over £11500 on solicitors defending Nick Churchill from a £1 small claims court case. I know, not sure ask them. I took him to court because he told the police I sent a private threatening message. This was a lie. Ask him, the council or the police for any proof. They have zero.
Soon harlow council will even charge people for breathing air in public. I'm paying £240+ a month of council tax. Yet they can't even fix the pot holes nor collect the Bins on time. Some weeks they don't even collect Bins at all. Their just money grabbing bast**** When they want money their quick with ideas and suggestions. When you need their help it's like a Snail service. Shame on you Harlow council.
Movement sensors on the lampposts should reduce costs.
Ok so cost have risen….they estimate it’s doubled….money has to be found from somewhere. Are they proposing only B and D band household pay the extra…why those bands ? or have I read it wrong ? Don’t other bands use the lights?
Firstly Rob, house numbers are at all bands from A-J I believe. But most calculations are done at Band D cos it's in the middle and the highest number of properties. Hence the phrase Band D equivalents! Sounds like yet again Essex are failing the District's with streetlights and this "out of hours" offer for something that they should do anyway. This on top of their utter failure on potholes! I've said this before and I say it again. Harlow collects Council Tax on Essex's behalf. It's time it stayed in Harlow safes until Essex raise their game! Mark Gough - Reform UK
LED cats eyes and movement smart sensitive solar powered street lighting, reduces road traffic accidents, low cost and street safety. But Essex CC doesn't have a clue about investment in the future just content to pay out massively or ignore problems.
Total waste of money keeping lights on at night, absurd.
Ab, can't say I agree with you on that, especially in or around garage areas when my wife has to get her car out of the garage, especially when car crime is at an all time high, nice to see who's lurking about.
Absolutely ridiculous, the council didn't even ask locals in the first place if they wanted the lights left on, as usual they just listened to a few pressure groups around. Democracy at its best! The council are running out of ideas on how waste our money so they are happy to continue pouring good money after bad at a so-called problem!