The UK city of Newport’s draft budget proposes to turn off street lighting to cut costs, but officials worry the move will put residents at risk.
The city, located in South Wales, has included the measure in its draft budget for 2023/2024. BBC News reported that if nearly half of the city’s lights were implemented they would be turned off between midnight and 6am.
Lauren James, a Greens member of Newport Council, said it was important to take into account safety considerations.
“I hope the council will look into it, and make sure there are things like high visibility strips on the steps so it’s safe for those who have to go out at those times,” she said.
Another councilor, Andrew Sterry, said his constituents had expressed concerns about a potential increase in crime.
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“I am against this proposal as I have received many comments from my residents who are very concerned about the high crime rates,” he said. “It was not long ago that all street lights were changed to LED lights to save costs.”
The draft budget was made publicly available on December 15, 2022, and is scheduled to close on February 2, 2023.
Other plans include an increase in council tax by 9.5% due to “increased costs and pressures faced by the council”.
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The cost of living in the UK has risen in recent months. Late last year, UK inflation hit a 41-year high of 11.1%, driven by sharply higher energy and food costs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.