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  1. Recently at my place of business I received a leaflet informing me that they were replacing the street lighting with LED lighting. Anyone who has friends, relatives or who frequents Ashington will be able to tell you the affect it has had in their areas. I first became aware of this when an elderly client informed me she was now frightened to go out of her house after dusk as the lighting was so poor. The LED lights will illuminate an area directly underneath the lamppost that is only a few square metres. further away that 10 metres and it is absolutely pitch black. I visited the clients street to see for myself and indeed there were so many dark areas that I could immediately understand how she was feeling. There is more light given off by the waxing moon on a cloudy evening! Since this I have spoken to many in the Ashington area who feel exactly the same. I even got in touch with the council on her behalf but they weren't interested in the fact that now everywhere up there is in darkness and wanted me to list individual addresses. Nothing is likely to be done to rectify the situation and anyone wary of what might be hiding in the shadows is now forced to stay inside after dark. Local residents have taken to leaving outside lights on so that the pavement can be lit up around their doors. Park road in Ashington is a great example if you drive that way - unless someone is directly under a light, wearing fluorescent clothing then they become invisible. But do check out the other streets, rows and avenues. LED's are great if they're pointing in the direction you're looking, or in a small space - they'll light up the area in front with their narrower beams. Streetlights point down so just light up the foot of the pole they're attached to. A small bright arc, dazzling if you're looking directly at it, but darkness all around. Crime rates seem to be on the increase in Ashington too - could be something else, but.... So... I'm quite worried for local residents with the current plan to remove our street lighting. NCC will say it's costs, savings... At what cost I might ask?? Add to this that the cheap lighting has already proved costly to repair due to the poor quality of the drivers for the LED which are frequently failing... If it's costs - Where are our council tax reductions? Instead we have the sixth highest council tax in the country - even significantly more expensive than the likes of Kensington in London!! Views? (or lack of if you already have these useless streetlights!)
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