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On 03/11/2019 at 17:13, Scooot said:

Do you know any links to any of the studies? I’d like to read one or two and maybe send one. I think perhaps it’s common knowledge amongst SGL members but not so common knowledge amongst the general public.

It's a shame Basildon Council don't seem to have made a Climate Emergency declaration - if they have then there is a tonne of evidence in science journals on the effect lighting has on animals & in particular insects, which have declined by about 75% over the last 30 or so years.... [Happy to post a list of links if you want]

Thanks for taking the time to write to the council. You might think it doesn't get noticed, but the truth is hardly anybody complains about light pollution.

Cheers

Ivor

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On 05/11/2019 at 22:33, Aramcheck said:

It's a shame Basildon Council don't seem to have made a Climate Emergency declaration - if they have then there is a tonne of evidence in science journals on the effect lighting has on animals & in particular insects, which have declined by about 75% over the last 30 or so years.... [Happy to post a list of links if you want]

Thanks for taking the time to write to the council. You might think it doesn't get noticed, but the truth is hardly anybody complains about light pollution.

Cheers

Ivor

Thanks Ivor, sorry I’ve only just seen your post, didn’t notice a notification.

Ive only had a holding reply from the council, I’m expecting them to reply with safety issues so you’re links will be very useful. I can’t open the first one though.

My MP replied saying he supported the Part-Night lighting initiatives subject to the usual caveats regarding security. Which means he’s not going to do anything I guess! I suppose they are quite busy at the moment :) 

edit, I’ll also ask about the climate emergency declaration, I’ll need to read up a bit on that though. :) 

Edited by Scooot

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update:

I’ve had a reply from the council.

Your comments regarding the street lights being turned back on have been passed to myself to respond to.

Whilst we understand the effects that light pollution can cause on wildlife and the potential environmental impact, our current  administration campaigned on the issue of getting the lights back on to address the real concerns of residents who live here. We have already had many positive responses to the lights being back on, with 97% of people reacting to the initial announcement on social media positively.

We are pleased that part of putting the lights back on involves an upgrade to new LED bulbs which not only use less power and are more economical to run, but also allows the lights to be dimmer in areas where there is less activity, reducing the potential impact. 

I hope this addresses some of the comments that you have expressed.“

I’m not sure who “real residents” are as I’m a real resident too but hey.


I didn’t really expect to get anywhere but nevertheless I’d like to reply and keep up the pressure. Not sure how yet so any input welcome :) 

Their response is a bit wish,washy. Basically, the administration campaigned to turn them on again and twitter users walking home late at the weekends like it, so stuff the environment. Given that many places around the world are doing the opposite this does seem like a backward step. The savings they make from turning them off could have been spent on marketing to residents the benefits of cutting light pollution. (I realise that’s a non-starter :)

So what to do? :) a toughie! 

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Sounds like the same short sighted attitude I had from the local councillor who put the phone down on me when I challenged his findings.

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A bit of anecdata for you. When I was a police officer (26 1/2 yrs served finishing mid 2014) I attended more dwelling burglaries that were commited during daylight hours than the hours of darkness/ overnight.

There has been a relativiely recent increase in overnight burglaries by thieving oiks looking foirkeys to high power vehicles. Security lighting or street ligthing had little effect in curtailing their activity.

Most overnight burglary was commercial.

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57 minutes ago, Swoop1 said:

A bit of anecdata for you. When I was a police officer (26 1/2 yrs served finishing mid 2014) I attended more dwelling burglaries that were commited during daylight hours than the hours of darkness/ overnight.

There has been a relativiely recent increase in overnight burglaries by thieving oiks looking foirkeys to high power vehicles. Security lighting or street ligthing had little effect in curtailing their activity.

Most overnight burglary was commercial.

Thanks Swoop1, that fits with this. 

https://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/news/report-finds-no-evidence-part-night-lighting-impact-crime-levels/

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7 hours ago, Scooot said:

So what to do

You definitely need evidence, so reference and link articles and statistics in your response.

I think you should talk about these 5 different arguments, many of which you had in your original letter but maybe could be expanded upon:

1. Evironmental- both the energy required and fossil fuels and also the effect on ecosystems, birds, ect.

2. Economic- the hundreds of thousands of $ being spent on these lights could be used by actually putting up security cameras or something which directly reduces crime.

3. Human health and mental health- cite articles that have researched the effects both on the mind and body.

4. Impact on science- us astronomers are actually a large impact, we conduct research such as exoplanet photometry, spectroscopy, and other things. This light pollution directly impacts astronomical research.

5. The real impact on safety- that 97% positive response is from a population largely ignorant about the real safety imact. As some of us have mentioned, it is actually the other way around, burglars will not rob a house if they can't see, thus the decrease of crime when it is dark. In fact, I would be willing to bet that the 3% negative response is from the people who actually did research.

 

I hope this helps.

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Also mention the increase in council tax this year if it's anything like mine, they don't have money to squander lighting deserted streets :cussing:

Dave

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Thanks both of you, I have a draft that I’ll be tweaking. :) 

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In our lit area I notice car drivers not turning their lights on as they don't recognise it is actually dark. 

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There's no planet B, we can't afford to waste resources running lights while the energy supply isn't 100% renewable as we have a duty of care to protect the next generations. What % of the council tax bill could be better used diverted off Street lighting and onto education or care in the community.

Edited by happy-kat
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23 hours ago, Scooot said:

update:

Whilst we understand the effects that light pollution can cause on wildlife and the potential environmental impact, our current  administration campaigned on the issue of getting the lights back on...

That sounds like there is a difference of opinion between the Council Officers and the elected Members. At least it is an admission that light pollution is detrimental to wildlife. If Basildon's bid to leave Essex County Council fails then you could try pestering Essex CC, as they have declared a climate emergency. (The Government's 25 Year Plan for The Environment does have one mention of LP, saying "We must ensure that noise and light pollution are managed effectively." Worth also noting the National Trust et al's "State Of Nature 2019" report which also mentions LP, Buglife's Review of the Artificial Light on Invertebrates and this recent literary review)

I think "Dimming" of the street lights is the way forward, unless areas are rural, but I don't think the BS-EN-13201 specification has anything to allow variable lighting in residential areas - only on main roads, where the required lighting level is linked to traffic flow. At least with the HAROLD study at Sheffield Uni there should be some scientifically based recommendations on the required lighting levels, rather than the current rather arbitrary minimum spec's.

Cheers
Ivor

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One aspect to street lighting and safety that would be effective is dimmed lights on most of the road and regular lighting at intersections. That way it’s more obvious that you are approching an intersection. 

Can’t remember where I read that though but seems like a good idea.

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50 minutes ago, johninderby said:

One aspect to street lighting and safety that would be effective is dimmed lights on most of the road and regular lighting at intersections.

 

The BS-EN-13201 specification has different lighting criteria for "Collision" zones (such as intersections) which are brighter than for regular roads. I read that the Highways Agency are also now turning off lights inbetween some motorway junctions, which is a good thing.

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4 hours ago, Aramcheck said:

That sounds like there is a difference of opinion between the Council Officers and the elected Members. At least it is an admission that light pollution is detrimental to wildlife. If Basildon's bid to leave Essex County Council fails then you could try pestering Essex CC, as they have declared a climate emergency. (The Government's 25 Year Plan for The Environment does have one mention of LP, saying "We must ensure that noise and light pollution are managed effectively." Worth also noting the National Trust et al's "State Of Nature 2019" report which also mentions LP, Buglife's Review of the Artificial Light on Invertebrates and this recent literary review)

I think "Dimming" of the street lights is the way forward, unless areas are rural, but I don't think the BS-EN-13201 specification has anything to allow variable lighting in residential areas - only on main roads, where the required lighting level is linked to traffic flow. At least with the HAROLD study at Sheffield Uni there should be some scientifically based recommendations on the required lighting levels, rather than the current rather arbitrary minimum spec's.

Cheers
Ivor

Thanks for this Ivor.

Ive just started looking at the 25 year plan. I think there might be a few useful pieces In it.

Chapter 3: for a start. “Connecting People to The Environment to achieve Health & Happiness” the 3rd point of their overview.

Make 2019 a year of action for the environment, working with Step Up to serve and other partners to help children and young people from all backgrounds to engage with nature and improve the environment.”

Chapter 4:  Increasing Resource Efficiency & Reducing Pollution & Waste.

Anyway I’ll carry on perusing it. Where is the reference to Light Pollution I haven’t found it yet?

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1 hour ago, Scooot said:

Where is the reference to Light Pollution I haven’t found it yet?

It's on Page 83 (don't blink or you  might miss it)

Also - related to the points you raised is the Government's review of National Parks that called for a night under the stars for every schoolchild:- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49781600

BTW - there was an Early Day Motion in parliament back in 1994 on light pollution. Interesting to see who one of the backers was.

Cheers
Ivor

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