Call for clear guidance on footway lighting

Date: Friday 15th September 2017

VILLAGES losing their footway lighting should get more help from Eden Council, a councillor has said.

Pat Godwin (Ind, Alston Moor) said more information needs to be made available to explain how people can fit a light to their home.

Eden Council voted this summer to withdraw from running hundreds of footway lights. A review decided 850 council footway lights would not be replaced. The remaining 737 could also be lost unless town and parish councils are prepared to take on their costs.

Most street lights in Cumbria tend to belong to the county council and are unaffected. But Eden Council is in charge of many “footway” lights, often on residential streets, attached to buildings, car parks or toilet blocks. The council is looking at ways to save money, and footway lighting is not a service it legally has to provide.

Mrs. Godwin asked at a meeting of the full council for a “clear and concise document” to be produced by the authority, setting out the details of such lights, plus the estimated costs of running them.

She said the document could be published in the local press and made available on the council website.

“It would enable individuals to install such a light on their house, which could light their exterior and have the additional benefit of increasing footway lighting in their town or village,” said Mrs. Godwin. “Such guidance could also help people avoid installing inappropriate bright spotlights.”

Some householders in Askham have worked with the council to install lights on their houses and agreed a remuneration for the electricity, said Mrs. Godwin. It was this model she wanted to be shared with other people. Adrian Todd (Con, Orton with Tebay), the councillor in charge of the project for the Conservative-run council, said he would look into Mrs. Godwin’s request.

Eden Council has set aside money to help parishes take on the new costs. It has also agreed to waive “special expenses” from the parishes, starting in April, 2018. These are a charge the council imposes on ratepayers in towns and parishes for services provided only to that area.