Trafford Council defends decision to stall LED streetlighting

The local authority at the centre of the LED streetlighting controversy has defended its decision to stall a rollout of LED luminaires amid accusations of a lack of transparency.

In a statement, Trafford Council's corporate director of environment Peter Molyneux told the press: ‘The council has commissioned an independent health impact assessment, which will form part of the report on the proposed streetlighting investment. This decision was taken to address issues raised by a local resident on the potential health implications of the possible use of LED lanterns on its lighting columns.

‘All relevant information will be made available within the final report which will be considered at a future council meeting. The council remains committed to operating in an open and transparentway as well as achieving the best possible value for money for local residents. It is for this reason that it cannot make commercially sensitive information public. To do so could result in the council paying more on future contracts, which would impact on local council taxpayers.’

Local campaigner Simon Nicholas has accused the council of lacking transparency and damaging local democracy over the affair. ‘It’s an expensive solution to a non-existent problem. We have a perfectly fine streetlighting system already. This is untried, untested new technology,’ he said.
The halting of the £8 million rollout – which involves installation and upgrading of some 26,000 luminaires to LED – has sparked a heated debate in the industry, for which LEDs represent a major opportunity for growth.  In the sector’s Lighting Talk discussion board on LinkedIn, opinion has been sharply divided about the issue.

Main pic: Sheffield Tiger

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