Concerns for the safety of the elderly and vulnerable in Spilsby has resulted in a race against time to present a united front against proposals that could see footway lights being switched off.
In February, Spilsby Town Council was asked to consider taking on responsibility for lighting costs as part of East Lindsey District Council’s Draft Transformation Programme, which is looking at ways to save £6 million.
The decision to ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ on proposals that could see the town council facing hundreds of pounds in unexpected maintenance costs has to be made by May 27 – but councillors believe they stand a better chance of fighting it if all parish councils affected make their objections together.
There are seven lights in Spilsby that could be affected – in Ancaster Walk, Old Market Avenue, Simpson Street and Wellington Yard.
Town clerk Bonny Smith said: “These are areas where a large number of residents are elderly and vulnerable. Simpson Street is used by patients visiting the Spilsby Surgery. It’s very dark there in the winter – or would be without the lights.”
At a meeting last week, Mayor Coun Julia Pears aded: “My concern is for the safety of residents, especially the vulnerable and elderly. They rely on lighting. A lot of them wouldn’t go out at night if it was switched off.”
Coun David Mangion said: “The only way to fight this might be to ask neighbouring councils to join us.”
Letters are now being written to other parish and town councils asking them to form a united front against the proposals.
East Lindsey’s portfolio holder for finance Coun Nick Guyatt said: “The council has written to all town and parish councils with footway lights to seek their views on whether they would consider taking on the running costs associated with the lights going forward. The district council will decide upon the way forward once the consultation closes.”
Spilsby town council votes against taking on footway lighting