Switching off street lights at midnight seems to me to be an entirely sensible idea, one that has been adopted by Suffolk County Council.
The switch off, with various safety and security exemptions, is now being introduced gradually.
It will save money (£500,000 a year), cut carbon and give us a better chance of seeing the stars again.
Naturally, some people are worried and there will be monitoring and consultation to ensure that the lights are kept on where they need to be.
This is one thing that you would not expect to become a political issue. But in Ipswich where party politics seem to often descend to the extremely petty, it has.
Labour Councillor Harvey Crane points out it is a Conservative County Council policy and then goes in for some populist rabble rousing:
I think that there will be more damage to cars, more accidents and perhaps more worryingly an increase in more serious crimes such as rapes, assaults and muggings. I think criminals will feel they can commit their acts of violence and they won’t be seen by either CCTV or by other people as the lights are out.
The policy was apparently supported by Labour. Crane thinks turning the lights off at midnight is ok in rural areas where we have all been asleep for hours by midnight.
There is a page on the county council website providing full details of the scheme including the dates when the lights will be dimmed or turned off in all the towns and villages. There are maps showing which lights will stay on fully, those to be dimmed and those to be switched off between midnight and 5.30am.