split on whether to remove Burnham's decorative lights
plans to remove Burnham's decorative seafront lighting to save
money have been considered by town councillors this week.
During a meeting of the Town Improvements Committee on Monday
night (November 21st) a vote took place where councillors were
split on whether to take down the lighting, which costs over £3,500
per year to maintain.
Cllr Paul Young said: "Given the high cost of maintenance
and electricity, I propose we take the lights down and get them
into storage or consider selling them."
Cllr Alan Miller agreed: "I do wonder whether anyone would
notice if they were turned off."
Three councillors voted in favour of removal, while four were
against - so a recommendation was narrowly approved for £3,500
of funding to be placed into this year's budget to keep the lights.
Dennis Davey said: "If we were to take them down, we'd incur
additional removal costs and storage costs on top."
During the meeting, councillors considered the costs of maintaining
Committee Chairman Ken Smout explained: "The problems we
have encountered are more complicated than first thought given
the configuration of the wiring inside the columns."
And Town Clerk Eileen Shaw added: "There is also rust on
several of the columns, making it difficult to access the electricity
boxes, so we are hoping Somerset County Council will be replacing
The County Council is to be approached regarding its future plans
for the lighting columns, which are also expected to require strengthened
concrete bases, and a long-term decision about the decorative
lighting is now expected to be made next year.
The lights were previously seen as being a positive tourist attraction
that brighten up The Esplanade. They were originally introduced
in April 2006, as Burnham-On-Sea.com covered here.