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Residents and councillors in Sandwich speak out over Kent County Council's scheme to switch off street lights

Residents and councillors in Sandwich have spoken out over fears switching street lights off could be dangerous.

Marian Price, of St George’s Place, Sandwich, claims that this is going to give people a curfew and make the vulnerable feel even more at-risk.

As part of the Kent County Council Safe and Sensible Street Lighting Policy hundreds of street lights in the small town will be switched off from 1pm in the summer and midnight in the winter.

Kent County Council switched off street lights in some areas to save money
Kent County Council switched off street lights in some areas to save money

Mrs Price contacted Kent County Council to raise her concerns but was disappointed with the response.

She said: “They don’t consider street lighting as front line services but I do. How many people would be scared looking out of their windows into total darkness.”

The mother and grandmother explained that as she pays a lot of council tax each year and is retired, she believes the only things she benefits from this is street lighting and policing.

She added: “My main concern is this is a big reduction in our lifestyle. Older people could go out for a nice meal and come back after midnight, it will affect those in smaller dark houses, where you can not find the key hole.

“It will affect young people too, I’m a mother and I would be very concerned by my children going out in the dark.”

“I can’t see us ever having street lighting again.” - Marian Price.

Mrs Price has lived in Sandwich for 42 years, and lives with her husband Ted. She has two children Sophie, 34, and Dean, 38, and also has two grandchildren.

She said: “If they can do this what are they going to cut next. I think it’s dreadful. We’ve been told it is a trial but it’s not a trial, they’ve just made up their minds and make their figures fit the facts.

“I can’t see us ever having street lighting again.”

Sandwich town councillors have also expressed their concerns over the dangers of the switch-off, particularly near footpaths.

Speaking at the meeting on Monday night Cllr Carter said the new street lighting policy was adding to the existing problems of speeding and parking on the roads.

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