The Mayor of Loughton has hit out at the district and county council's street lighting policy.

Following Essex County Council's announcement that town and parish councils could pay to have their street lights kept on from 1am to 5am,

Cllr Stephen Murray has poked holes in the plan.

While he admits some residents want all night illumination on Loughton's streets, he has argued adding more than £33,000 to the council's budget a week before it is due to be considered "is not the way to manage public finances in a sound manner and is in my opinion just unacceptable".

Cllr Murray has also criticised the district and county council over a lack of communication.

He said: "This information has come from the district council with no contact between the county council and the parish council's over this issue

"It is far from clear how this figure has been worked out and exactly what it covers - we are basically just being ask to trust the county council and write them a very large cheque.

"Are we really in a position to merely accept what they say given the appalling record of our county council over so many years on issues such as highways, secondary schools and their sixth forms.

"And perhaps the most important point to consider is that it appears that the County Council will still be receiving the council tax for this service but are now expecting Loughton Town Council with its much smaller budget to pick up a very sizeable bill for a service that the Essex County Council has always provided."

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