Almost 8,500 more street lights will be turned off in Caerphilly County between now and the end of 2020, Plaid Cymru has been told.
A Freedom of Information request also revealed the Labour-run authority had received, as of February 27 2020, 197 complaints from individuals over the lights switch-off between midnight and 5.30am in a cost cutting measure. More than 3,200 people also signed a paper and online petition opposing the turn off.
Caerphilly Council confirmed 14,200 lights have already been switched off with another 8,495 to follow the same disconnection by the end of the year. The areas still to be turned off are Tir-y-berth, Pengam, Bargoed (Gilfach), Aberbargoed, Fochriw, Deri, New Tredegar, Abertysswg, Twyncarno and Pontlottyn.
Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the opposition Plaid Cymru group, said: “We continue to receive complaints from people about the impact of the big turn-off. Older people have already told us that they feel less secure and more vulnerable in their own homes. Obviously as the nights draw in that anxiety will be heightened. There are also people walking to work in complete darkness early in the morning
“To have almost 200 individuals complain to the council about the turn-off is also significant. Few people normally go to the extent of officially complaining on issues of concern to them. Clearly there is a lot of anger which is not subsiding.
“Plaid Cymru believes there should be a thorough review of the impact of this policy. I accept money is tight in all local authorities and we supported investment to switch to LED lights which are much cheaper on energy. Street lighting is one of those essentials that people who pay for council services rely on. Some of the money saved on LED’s could be used to lessen the effect of this decision.”
Delyth Jewell MS, said: "This decision will have a hugely detrimental impact on older people and those with disabilities. It'll mean that people will feel less safe leaving their homes at night or walking back."
"People understandably feel strongly about this and I'd implore he council to listen to sense here and keep the lights on instead of trapping people in their homes."