Call for street lights to stay on longer in urban areas in Hertfordshire to to help women and girls feel safe

The change was suggested at a meeting of the resources and performance cabinet panel

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 12:43 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 12:44 pm

Calls have been made for street lighting to remain on for longer in urban areas in Hertfordshire, in a bid to ensure women and girls feel safe.

Labour county councillor Sharon Taylor – who is also leader of Stevenage Borough Council – suggested the change at a meeting of the resources and performance cabinet panel, on Wednesday, December 1.

Data presented to that meeting showed that since the transition to LED street lighting, energy consumption – and therefore lighting costs – have plummeted.

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“We have been doing a great deal of work on violence against women and girls,” she told the meeting.

“And it is very clear that one of the real issues that make women feel unsafe on our streets at night is the fact that they may not be lit after a certain time at night.

“I know there has been some moves on this – but as the LED lighting has proved itself to be so much more economical, I wonder if we might have a look at that.”

And after accepting ‘in rural areas there is a different take on this’, she said: “Please, please can we have another look at it because I get calls all the time from women in my community who don’t feel safe on the streets at night, after the street lights have gone off. So can we have another think about that.”

Data presented to the meeting showed between 2015 and 2020 the energy usage of the county’s street lights has decreased from just over 32m kWh to 21.1m kWh.

And says the report: “Street lighting energy usage has continued to decrease year on year due to a successful LED project rollout. “

At the meeting it was suggested that this may be an issue that Cllr Taylor would wish to refer to the relevant cabinet panel for further consideration.