Concerns over new ‘dim’ street lights in Hartlepool

Councillor Geoff Lilley with one of the new street lights

Councillor Geoff Lilley with one of the new street lights

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A COUNCILLOR says residents are being left in the dark with a local authority’s array of LED street lights.

Hartlepool Borough Council recently replaced 2,750 lanterns as part of a £5m scheme to eventually replace all of the town’s 13,644 street lights with modern LED lamps.

But the new bulbs installed in the Fens area have not flicked the switch with homeowners.

Councillor Geoff Lilley, Putting Hartlepool First representative for the Fens and Rossmere ward, has been contacted by several residents saying the lights are too dim and may increase crime and anti-social behaviour.

But council chiefs say the new lights, which have a “concentrated beam” to illuminate roads and paths rather than resident’s homes and driveways like the old street lamps, do not compromise safety. They say there was no objections it was approved by the Neighbourhood Services Committee, the Finance and Policy Committee, and Full Council.

Coun Lilley said: “I’m all in favour of LED lights and the idea of changing the lighting system to reduce power use but when I agreed to that in the Finance and Policy meeting I did not expect what we have got. My experience of LED lights is that you get more light for less power. What we seem to have is a reduced amount of light in the streets. Good lighting goes hand in hand with keeping places crime, and anti-social behaviour free. If we are going to have LED lighting then it needs to be way brighter than this.” He added: “A number of residents have contacted me about it. One family have been left in total darkness and that worries them.”

Councillor Peter Jackson, chairman of the Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: “It is disappointing that Councillor Lilley is raising these concerns now as no one objected when the issue was discussed by the Neighbourhood Services Committee, the Finance and Policy Committee, and Full Council.

“LED lighting provides a different kind of light to the lanterns being phasing out and it may take time for residents to get used to this.

“LED lights have a concentrated beam intended to illuminate roads and paths, sodium lights scattered more onto resident’s homes, drives and gardens. The council has a strong commitment to community safety and we do not feel the new LED units compromise our aim to create a safer Hartlepool for everyone. We have replaced 2,750 lanterns out of 13,644 across town. We have only been contacted by 12 residents, four of whom were complimenting them.”