Scholes residents in night-light victory

Gary Frear and fellow residents in Scholes Lane.
Gary Frear and fellow residents in Scholes Lane.

Residents in Scholes have won their battle against night-time darkness – for now.

Kirklees Council this month announced that it would be switching off more than 2,000 lights between the hours of midnight-5am to save money.

But many people have reacted angrily, and claim they have been unfairly stripped of their right to light.

Scholes Lane was among a list of streets which ward councillor Kath Pinnock sent to Kirklees Highways, after she received complaints from people living there about the proposals. She said she was assured the issue on Scholes Lane would be investigated.

Despite this, the council went ahead with work to time the light to switch off at midnight.

Coun Pinnock said: “I was not pleased – I was told that concerns by residents would be investigated.

“This particular street light in Scholes Lane was one of 50 in my ward where residents raised concerns about them being switched off, and which was on the list we sent to the council.”

Scholes Lane resident Gary Frear said: “I couldn’t believe they had sent somebody out to switch the light off when we were promised that they wouldn’t be.

“The streetlight in question is on a back street, which is very dark, and there are a lot of elderly people living on this road who are concerned about the possibility of being burgled.”

However after being contacted by the Spenborough Guardian, Kirklees says all 50 lights will stay on for now.

A spokesman said: “These particular lights will be returned to their previous status and left on all night while we look into the matter.”

He also confirmed that the cost of the region-wide project would take years to offset.

“The cost of the part-night equipment and its installation will take about three years to pay back,” he said. “From that point, we will be making substantial savings in reduced maintenance and energy costs.”