CAMPAIGNERS want Essex County Council bosses to take a leaf out of their Southend counterparts book and invest in LED streetlights for Chelmsford.

As reported in the Weekly News’ sister title the Echo on Friday, the unitary authority said they will spend £2.65million on replacing streetlights with LED bulbs in the seaside town.

This is being done in a bid to save money in the long term on their energy bills.

A similar move was rejected by County Hall chiefs last year after consulting over their scheme to turn off streetlights in parts of Chelmsford from 12midnight to 5am each day.

On September 1 the switch-off happened which is being brought in countywide as the authority looks to save millions of pounds.

Mark Springett had suggested the council look at installing LEDs as an alternative to turning out lights.

Mr Springett, a Lib Dem Chelmsford Council member for Moulsham Lodge, feels County Hall leaders need a change of attitude.

He said: “It will be interesting to see what the county council do know that another local authority has taken the decision to invest in LED lighting.

“At present the attitude of council leaders towards residents is to take a flashlight out with them, what is not a good attitude to have.

“My daughter goes out on a Friday or Saturday night now but whereas she would walk home before at 2am, she or her friends won’t now because they fear crime and tripping over damaged pavements.”

Bosses at the county council said they had looked at the LED option, but felt the switch-off was a better choice.

A spokesman said: “LEDs would not have been economically viable for a county of our size at present.

“Some local authorities have done this but, generally only via a project funded by the Private Finance Initiative because of the large initial cost of purchasing the new equipment.

“Government rules mean that it is no longer possible to have a PFI for streetlights.”