Controversial £9.3m LED Street Lighting Scheme Delayed by One Man
Trafford council wants to replace all 27,000 of its streetlights with LED technology but were forced to withdraw the plans after Simon Nicholas raised concerns over their cost and effect on people’s brains, despite numerous street lighting schemes being implemented across Britain.
Mr Nicholas, of Higher Downs, Bowdon, slammed two independent reports being put before the meeting and called for the proposal to be withdrawn for the second time.
He has written to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles calling for him to block the move after an independent health report was put online too late and against council rules.
He said: “The workings being put before the meeting next week are no different from those being put before the council earlier this year. They didn’t stack up then and they don’t stack up now. It is nothing short of whitewash.”
Mr Nicholas, a qualified engineer who runs his own firm, points to Trafford’s apparent failure to substantiate the cost of its energy bills or projected maintenance savings. He says they claim that installing a computer system to dim LED lights would cut energy bills, but have also published figures suggesting the opposite.
He says the health report, by Dr Salim Vohra, ignores major research from the University of Haifa which suggests that blue LED lights could affect brains and disrupt sleep patterns.
Elsewhere, Trafford Council staff could be forced to take three days unpaid leave annually, as part of budget proposals which aim to save the cash-strapped local authority £13.4 million.
Further changes to staff terms and conditions, which also include halving sick pay and scrapping overtime, will save the council £2 million if proposals are approved.
Other money-saving measures announced in the 2014/15 budget include 89 job cuts – 41 front line posts, 35 back office and 12 managerial positions – 14 of these posts are already vacant.
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