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13 September 2011, 17:32
A protest has been held today to turn street lights back on for fear of children's safety.
Northamptonshire County Council have turned off about 33,000 lights in total to save 2 million pounds - but with the clocks going back next month, parents are worried about children travelling to and from school in the dark.
Martin Rozario, from Northampton, organised the protest and told us everyone's at risk ''You can't see nothing, it's absolutely nonsense and the health and safety has gone out the window. No one will be safe at night and they'll be prisoners in their own home.
''People coming home doing their daily shopping, they could be waiting for a bus in the winter mornings and the winter nights and they are the vulnerable who in the dark will not be able to see anyone who might attack them''.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said ''We are facing what is the biggest financial challenge in a generation with the county council needing to make £73 million in-year savings.
''As a result difficult decisions have had to be made and turning off about half of the street lights owned by the council will save us £2 million by reducing energy and maintenance costs.
"The lights haven't been turned off on an ad-hoc basis. We’ve worked hard to establish a rationale, available at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/streetlights and have liaised closely with the police to help make our decisions.
''We couldn’t consult on every individual streetlight as the scale of the process would be un-workable.
''However, we have carried out inspections, area by area, once the switch-off has been completed to assess what changes were required and reacted to genuine concerns which were evidence based.
''This has not involved whole scale changes but more where there are particular obstructions causing specific and extensive dark areas.''