Residents in the dark over secret trial to dim street lights in Tower Hamlets
PUBLISHED: 11:27 08 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:38 08 January 2014
Street lights are being dimmed across the borough in a trial to see if it will save Tower Hamlets Council money.
Fifty street lights – out of the 10,000 in operation – are being turned down at certain times during the night in order to use less power.
However, in response to a Freedom of Information request, the council said the savings have been “miniscule” due to the small scale of the trial.
When contacted by the Advertiser, the council declined to reveal the location of the dimmed lights.
A spokesman said: “Tower Hamlets Council is considering street light dimming to reduce costs and energy use at a time when utility costs are rising.
“Because it is a trial, the lights have to remain anonymous until we have compiled the results.
“No conclusions have been reached.”
The council said that none of the lights have been switched off and that the trial has not cost any money.
The move was criticised by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, who said the council should have alerted the public about what it was doing.
He said: “If the council is turning the lights off to save money then residents need to be properly consulted.
“Any back door attempt to turn off street lighting is bad for public safety and plain wrong.”
He added: “If the mayor wants to save money, maybe he should start with the £300k he spends on special advisers.”
The Labour Party said it was concerned that the trial was taking place “under the radar to prevent public debate on the issue”, and that the reduced light could affect public safety.