In the dark over lights

I WAS reading West Sussex Connections – the free magazine from West Sussex County Council – this week and I was struck by an article entitled Money Saving Moles.

It raised a few questions and not knowing who to contact I thought a letter to the Observer might give me some answers.

Apparently a miracle ‘mole’ is being used to replace lampposts in West Sussex, 52,000 in fact.

Now, maybe WSCC is privy to knowledge I do not have, but in these cash-strapped times, do we really need to replace all of them?

I grant that wear and tear means that some must need replacing, but all?

They’re also going to change the tops of those that are fewer than 15 years old to make them more energy efficient.

They state that this would reduce electricity costs by up to 25 per cent.

But how much will this cost?

How about switching off a quarter of the lamps instead?

Could they not just pull out the bulbs?

Surely this would produce the same result but at a much lower price?

They would probably argue that we needed all the street lighting on the basis of protecting the public, health and safety etc.

However, I’m sure that many lampposts could be removed without detriment to the county.

My family have lived without them for the past 15 years and suffered no ill effects with the added bonus of being able to see the stars.

But to get back to my point, my main concern is do we really need to be spending all that money on lampposts when important services are being cut and jobs lost or did I miss something?

Linda Smith,

Arundel Way, Elmer Sands