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Barnet Basks In The Glow Of Its Success

Bright sparks behind the council's street lighting service are glowing with pride after a report by top City accountants.

An investigation by Price Waterhouse revealed Barnet has the lowest maintenance and energy costs compared to other councils in Britain.

And now the council wants the public to play a part in its illuminating glory by calling up whenever a streetlight is out of order.

Stickers will give a direct number for passers-by to call, although how this will be legible at night on a faulty lamppost remains to be seen.

The report lists ways of improving the service. One of these is a £5,000 computer system to enable the rapid identification of faulty lights.

Bulk replacement of street lights may also be carried out every four years, rather then every three, making projected savings of £12,000 a year.

The lavish praise was music to the ears of Stan Cross, who chaired the public works committee on Thursday. He said: "This is a glowing report. Street lighting has an impact on everyone.

"A well-lit, safe environment is vital to improving the evening economy of our town centres, reducing crime and encouraging more people to walk or cycle."

The Local Agenda 21 environmental strategy and the council's Unitary Development Plan emphasise the need to create safe environments that do not drain resources.

Good street lighting was recently identified in the Community Safety Inter-Agency Group as one of the ways of deterring crime.

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