Time to widen the public debate?

county councillors voted this week to switch off some of our street lights in the early hours of the morning.

The move will save taxpayer money and cut out on light pollution as well as helping to save the planet.

It begs the question, “what’s not to like?” and most people who have voiced an opinion have been in favour of the move.

The consultation over the plans has been going on for months and more than 800 people in the county had their say.

It surprised me, therefore, when a random question about the switch-off from a reader, who wanted to know more about the plans, on our Facebook page on Tuesday evening resulted in a relatively heated debate with more than 120 comments.

With so few people in the whole county making the effort to fill out the official questionnaire on the subject our mini debate was, in fact, comparatively large.

Maybe our councils should be looking to gauge the varied opinions of more people in the ever-expanding world of social media as well as those by the more traditional methods.

Amanda Hatfield, editor