AN intense debate about LED lighting in Bracknell broke out at a council meeting last week (Wednesday, July 17).

Labour councillor Mary Temperton called for Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) to review the height, location and direction of every LED light in the borough following the completion of the authority’s £7.3 million installation.

Before the meeting, she told the News that for many areas, the lights have “not been very effective”, claiming this makes it “difficult for residents to go out in the winter.”

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Urging councillors to support her plan at the meeting, she said: “This is a serious problem.

“I support the installation of LED lighting – it is essential for the (climate change) motion we just passed.

“They need to be effective – we need to make Bracknell Forest lights as good as they are in other towns.”

Liberal Democrats councillor Thomas Parker back Cllr Temperton’s plan and raised concerns many residents did not know how to report issues they had, urging BFC to undertake a review to “make our areas safer”.

The council’s LED installation project started in 2015 and it is claimed the 13,000 new lights will help the council to reduce its carbon emissions by up to 30 per cent before 2030.

Planning boss Cllr Chris Turrell suggested the project has served 50,000 homes in Bracknell Forest and a complete review of all lights would not be “proportional” given “few complaints” had been made.

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He added: “It would not be a good use of public money.

“We are committed to getting things right for residents wherever we can.

“In the autumn officers will be undertaking remedial works where there are clear issues to address.”

Before councillors voted on the motion, a number commented on Cllr Temperton’s plan with Labour councillor Tricia Brown and Conservative councillor Gareth Barnard exchanging analogies.

Cllr Brown said: “I think all this talk about how good these lights are is a bit like preaching to the converted. There are some real issues.”

Cllr Barnard hit back, adding: “(Reviewing all the lights) is like counting all the stars in the sky – we will never get to the end of it.”

Social media reaction to the project had been varied, claimed Cllr Malcolm Tullett, who said the council could not “please all of the people all of the time.”

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Members closed the meeting with Conservative councillors voting against the plan and Labour and Lib Dem councillors voting for it.