‘Minister of darkness’ berated as 500,000 UK streetlamps switched off amid cripling spending cuts

Monday, December 22, 2014
By Paul Martin

December 22, 2014

Almost 25 percent of England’s streetlights have been dimmed or switched off since 2010 as local councils under government minister Eric Pickles, dubbed the “Minister for Darkness,” have been pressured into carrying out crippling spending cuts.

The penny-pinching strategy is particularly common in Tory-controlled councils. A recently published Labour-backed survey suggests twice as many Conservative councils have adopted the measure as their Labour-controlled counterparts. England’s Midland counties are the darkest, the research shows.

Commenting on the trend, shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn told The Telegraph that the proportion of councils that have turned off or turned down street lamps to save money since the coalition came to power four years ago has skyrocketed from 2.6 percent in May 2010 to 24 percent today.

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