New energy saving street lights could destroy the two biggest events in Chatteris, warning

Peter Murphy, Steve Barclay and Chris Savill (Christmas lights committee chairman)

Peter Murphy, Steve Barclay and Chris Savill (Christmas lights committee chairman) - Credit: Archant

The two biggest events in Chatteris could be ruined in one fell swoop if the town’s heritage black street lamps are replaced with modern grey LED ones this summer, community groups have warned.

Peter Murphy, Steve Barclay and Chris Savill (Christmas lights committee chairman)

Peter Murphy, Steve Barclay and Chris Savill (Christmas lights committee chairman) - Credit: Archant

Volunteers say the new lamp posts cannot take the weight of Christmas lights or hanging baskets for Chatteris In Bloom and are instead calling for the tops only to be changed to LED bulbs.

“The Chatteris Christmas lights display faces an uncertain future if we are forced to have these new lamp posts,” said committee chairman Chris Savill.

“It is 31 years of hard work by volunteers down the pan.

“They say they are conducting stress bearing tests on the new posts but I have an engineering background and have no idea how you would stress test a post.


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“Special eyelets and brackets were added to the heritage posts for the lights and baskets, if new lights are put in we have to start again and that’s if the posts can take the weight.”

Joanna Melton town council clerk, said: “They have not taken the community’s wishes into account, they have just steamed in. It is the two biggest events in the town that could potentially be ruined,” she said.

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Community groups have called on NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay who is backing their plea for Balfour Beatty to rethink the scheme which looks set to be carried out this summer.

They also want to ensure they are not charged extra as happened recently when Sutton Parish Council were billed for LED tops on heritage posts.

Chatteris installed the heritage posts in 2001 which match the e signs and bins installed at the same time wit the help of a European grant.

Balfour Beatty, working on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council, want to take all 57 posts down and replace them with 10 per cent fewer LED posts without the same load bearing capacity.

It is part of a scheme to save £50,000 across the county.

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