I’ve been away for a few days, and last night, when I went to bed, I locked up, switched all the lights off and noticed outside looked darker than before.

This was how it looked down my road…

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No.. I haven’t just drawn a square of black – that’s exactly what my camera captured. The picture right at the top shows how it normally looks.

It was pitch black.

There wasn’t a fault with any of the streetlights, this is a genuine move by Essex County Council to cut costs, streetlights across the CITY of Chelmsford will be switched off between 12am-5am every day.

It’s bloody madness, of course they have it under the guise of ‘reducing costs and reducing the carbon footprint’. It’s all bollocks, they are just trying to save money. This is the council that has an estimated £200 million in reserve. Around 70% of streetlights across the city will be off, the only areas unaffected are the High Street and busy junctions, the rest is plunged into darkness.

Apparently this move has been taken because it’s worked well in other districts of Essex, it may have – but Chelmsford is different than all of the other towns in the county, it’s larger, it has a higher population, it’s a city, and of course, it has a higher crime rate. Apparently though, the crime rate ‘won’t’ increase – but let’s be honest, if you’re a criminal, what is more attractive  – complete darkness, or lit streets? I quite like my wander back from the city centre at night, I’m less thrilled by walking around in darkness if I’m honest..

If the council are wanting to save money on street lighting, why not look at dimming them? Or using something that uses less power, like LEDs? Darkness in the city is not a sensible solution.

Have your local council switched off the lights in the night? How do you feel about it?

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