Croydon Council recently completed the upgrade of 23,630 street lights across the borough, designed to save the taxpayer £14 million over 25 years. However despite these savings, the lights are connected to the national grid, which represents a significant cost to the tax paying Croydonian and harms our environment.
What if there was an eco-friendly way to light Croydon’s streets for £0? The Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP) proposes a policy to reduce the burden that this vital infrastructure has on the Council’s budget. The Party’s proposal saves £25 million over a five year period, and residents can reciprocally benefit from lower council tax and improved budgets for other areas.
For an initial unit cost, wind and solar panel-powered units will light Croydon’s streets with the same effectiveness as the current installations. The unit’s renewable energy source means that they are not reliant on the national grid for power.
This new renewable system of lighting will also reduce Croydon’s carbon footprint. Currently, regular street lighting contributes 1.9 billion tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions to the nation’s footprint. This proposal offers a reasonable solution to reducing Croydon’s own carbon footprint, as opposed to The Lower traffic Neighbourhood scheme, in operation in the South Norwood and Woodside areas, which has coalesced traffic into main roads, creating congestion. Croydon must lead the way in demonstrating that other (less controversial) ways of safely lighting streets are possible, notwithstanding mitigating the current climate crisis.
As a borough, we are facing a 1.99% increase in council tax to pay for the previous administration’s bankruptcy. Instead of passing the cost of fixing this crisis onto the taxpayer, the TTIP’s proposal seeks to use innovation to not only be more efficient with taxpayers money, but reduce Croydon’s carbon footprint. Funds can also be freed to be spent in other areas of the borough currently left in the ‘darkness’.