Are you willing to pay £17,000 to keep Wisbech lit?

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Councillors could be forking out an additional £17,403 a year to keep street lights burning throughout the night.

Cambridgeshire County Council is looking to switch off street lights between midnight and 6am as part of a cost-cutting move.

But Wisbech Town Council is now considering whether to pick up the tab to ensure the town’s lights remain on during the night.

The town has 1,449 street lights and to keep them lit the council would be forced to increase its budget by 8.4 per cent. This works out at the annual cost of an additional £2.91 for a Band D property.

Members have now agreed to run a consultation with residents to find out if they are willing to pay to keep the town lit at night.

During a meeting on Monday, Cllr Sam Hoy said: “This has been in the county council budget for more than year and I’m disappointed that we are only hearing about it now in Wisbech.

“I think we ought to have a proper consultation to ask people what they want with the precept implications.”

Waterlees member Virginia Bucknor told the meeting that the county spent £29 million on replacing street lights two years ago.

She said: “This is not a rural area where people close their doors at 5pm. We are a 24/7 town with shift work which finishes at 2am .

“Of course we can’t have the lights switched off but we should ask residents.”

Members agreed to form a small working party to put together a consultation.