South West Wales

Swansea Council begins street light cut backs

Around 1,500 street lights in Swansea are being switched off this month as part of the city council's cutbacks.

The local authority plans to save up to £100,000 a year by dimming some lights as early as 2000 BST before switching them off completely at midnight.

Older, high energy lights will also be replaced with more efficient bulbs.

Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion are just some of the other councils in Wales to look at cutting their street lighting bill.

However, in Blaenau Gwent and Powys some lights originally turned off between midnight and dawn have since gone back on following complaints.

There are around 27,000 street lights in Swansea.

Swansea's Head of Highways Carl Humphrey said they had looked "very carefully" at the city's 27,000 street lights to identify a small number of street lights could be turned off without causing any problems for residents.

"Public safety is important and we want to reassure residents that we are not looking at turning off lights in residential areas," he said.

"Some local councils have turned off much larger percentages of their street lighting. We are only turning off a small percentage in non-residential areas.

"This is not just about turning off some street lights. It's about improving some of the existing lighting so that we reduce the amount of energy needed to power them."

The move was agreed as part of this year's council budget aimed at tackling a £17m shortfall.

Other measures approved include withdrawing funding for the city's tennis centre and charging more for a range of services from school meals to car parking.

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