Councillor warns of ‘burglar’s paradise’ if plans approved

Controversial plans to turn off street lighting in Filey have been branded a “burglar’s paradise” by a leading town councillor.

Cllr Jeffery Meek issued his damning opinion of the plans at the recent full council meeting, where North Yorkshire County Council’s proposals were on the agenda.

Under the proposals, several chunks of the town could potentially be plunged into darkness as the authority seeks to slash £400,000 from its lighting budget.

Currently, no maps have been made available for Filey to show where any ‘blackspots’ could be created if the council goes ahead with the plans.

A map on the county council website shows that all the street lighting in Filey is still listed as yellow – meaning it is set for review in the future.

However, maps obtained exclusively by The Scarborough News show that large sections of the town centre will have all of its lighting switched off during the period between midnight and 5am.

And with the council hoping to commence the four-year project from April next year, up to 60 per cent of the street lighting could be switched off in the town under the council’s proposals.

North Yorkshire Police were unwilling to comment on concerns that the blackout could create a “burglar’s paradise”, as suggested by Cllr Meek.

However, while the county council says that its primary concern was road safety, officers acknowledge that crime is a factor that has to be taken into consideration.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the authority said: “The Council has worked closely with the police and others to ensure that the proposals will not adversely impact on community safety.”

The authority hopes that by slashing the number of street lights on during the small hours, not only will it make significant financial savings, it will also dramatically cut the amount of ‘sky glow’ and light pollution.