Switch-off will reduce security

PUBLISHED: 11:43 10 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:47 31 May 2010

STARRY-eyed Cllr Jan Menell (Postbag, July 27) is apparently living in Noddyland, or not in this part of the planet. Has she not heard that most pubs, with drinking up time, are still active well past midnight on weekdays and nearer 1am at weekends? Debde

STARRY-eyed Cllr Jan Menell (Postbag, July 27) is apparently living in Noddyland, or not in this part of the planet.

Has she not heard that most pubs, with drinking up time, are still active well past midnight on weekdays and nearer 1am at weekends?

Debden Road is alive to the sound of their customers crawling home much later than midnight when this blackout is proposed to begin outside town centres.

I am dreading, and I'm not alone, the prospect of more vandalism, litter and trespassing for vomiting and worse - which will inevitably follow on the homeward paths.

If this costly 'trial' is inevitable, at least please don't switch off all the lights until 1.30am.

Now for a bit of history. In 1944, the wartime blackout was superseded by a dim out, because of ever-rising crime, accidents and less enemy air raids (except

by doodlebugs). Then every other streetlight remained off.

This was continued for a year or two after the war to conserve electricity, but the government of the day eventually admitted that there was no shortage in the small hours - electricity cannot, of course, be stored. So why not do likewise now and make it alternate nights?

This measure of Essex County Council is typical of the 'gesture' politics, which their opponents in power in Westminster are so fond of.

It will do little, if anything, to cut carbon dioxide - the power stations will continue making much the same emissions.

It is quite some 'pilot' scheme if it is costing, we are told, £1.8million to modify the lights to be switched off.

And what is this new technology for accomplishing it? Will it be able to keep all the lights on for the Christmas to New Year period when partying people roam about all night?

As for light pollution, the £1.8million would be far better spent on downwards directed white lighting rather than pushing back one of the comforts and security of us all at night.

Roger Taylor

Debden Road

Saffron Walden

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