Powys street light switch-off plan shelved
Street lights in Powys will not be turned off this year, after council bosses put off a review of the service.
The county council was looking to save £150,000 from a switch-off, while hoping town and community councils could step up to pay in some areas.
Cabinet member for highways Phyl Davies said lights should be safe this year, but cuts could come next year.
Newtown East councillor Joy Jones praised the U-turn, claiming towns would have become more dangerous.
Mr Davies said a new savings target of £75,000 for lighting in 2019/20 “will be achieved without significant loss of lighting provision”.
But he added: “Proposals which could see lighting provision reduced significantly will be considered as part of a fundamental review of the service designed to deliver savings in the 2020/2021 financial year.”
Ms Jones, who also serves as the council’s anti-poverty champion, welcomed the change of heart, fearing that criminals would have taken advantage of the situation, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
“I am so pleased they have listened,” she said.
“This would have been a step too far for residents – putting council tax up and then removing street lights.”
She added: “Switching the lights off would mean a rise in crime.”
Powys residents have been warned to expect a council tax rise of up to 12% alongside cuts of more than £9m to plug a funding gap of £14m for 2019/20.
Another £20m in savings will be needed over the next three years. The budget is expected to be discussed by full council at the end of February.