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Weekly launches bid to keep the lights on

A weekly newspaper has launched a campaign against council plans to turn off street lights as part of spending cuts to balance its books.

The Buckinghamshire Advertiser has started its ‘Keep the Lights On’ campaign after Bucks County Council revealed proposals to turn off 10,000 street lights between midnight and 5.30am to save £77,000.

It says the authority has a duty of care to keep people safe and the move could make roads more dangerous.

And the campaign has won the backing of charities, independent road safety experts, other local councils and readers.

They include Ray Stacey, whose 23-year-old daughter Elaine was killed in a car accident on an unlit road last March.

He said: “It’s a great idea, and I think as many people as possible should get behind it.

“I hope Buckinghamshire County Council gets the message, and keep the lights on.”

A piece in the paper to launch the campaign said: “Enough is enough. Today, we fight back against ludicrous plans to switch off 10,000 more street lights to save cash.

“We believe this is a cut too far, and the decision by Bucks County Council will make our roads more dangerous for motorists, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.

“The council announced the idea as part of a raft of spending cuts to save £58million and balance its books. The cuts are essential and will hit us all hard.

“Indeed, members of the public know this, and we are all prepared to shoulder our fair share of the burden.

“But the council has a duty of care to keep us safe and to make cuts with a due sense of responsibility. This move will make our roads more dangerous and, as your local newspaper, we cannot stand by and let that happen.”

The paper adds the move comes on top of other street lights already being switched off by the authority and is urging readers to contact the council by 4 February before a decision is made.