You may have read in the local press that Eden District Council (EDC) will no longer be providing footway lighting. Here is some information as to what that means for our parish:
In 2012 Electricity North West (ENWL) carried out a survey of lights and required that all lights that did not belong to them were taken off their poles; which was done. EDC carried out a survey of the lights that were left, with some resulting maintenance work. EDC’s lights are shown on these plans.
Footway lighting is not a statutory duty of local councils, and EDC is within its rights to stop providing them. The only way to keep the lights in our parish is if they are paid for from the parish precept – which would mean the precept would have to increase – see below for details:
The approximate annual running costs for Ainstable’s existing footway lights:
£ 250 p/a servicing
+ £ 100 p/a electricity
x 16 lights
= £5,600 added to the precept.
For a Band D property, this would mean an extra £24.40 per year on your council tax – about 50% more than you are paying now.
These figures assume there are no large repair bills. Repairing or replacing a pole will be around £2,500 each – on top of the annual running costs shown above.
Having discussed this at a couple of meetings, the unanimous feeling within the parish council is not to take on this additional financial burden. At present we don’t know what will happen to the existing lights if we don’t adopt them; we believe they will remain until they are no longer fit for use, at which point EDC will have to remove them.
The parish council is prepared to look at putting solar powered lights, either on poles or a bollard on the ground, into locations where residents think they would be useful. The installation costs are much lower (about £850 each) and the running costs of a solar powered light are minimal. We would try to find grants to fund the installation.
This is a big decision, and the parish council would like to know what you think. Please take a moment to complete our online survey to help us make the right decision for everyone.