PLANS for converting Thurrock’s stock of street lights to LED were approved by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday evening.

The proposal was introduced by Leader of the Council, Cllr John Kent, following the sudden and untimely death of portfolio holder Cllr Andy Smith earlier in the month.

He said: “One of the last things my friend Andy Smith did with Thurrock Council was to work with the transportation team on replacing our aging inefficient and expensive street lights.

“The switch over to LED, which will take at least two years from the time we appoint contractors, will provide Thurrock drivers and pedestrians with improved, white light; it will provide Thurrock’s tax payers with a saving of £¼ million a year; and it will significantly reduce this authority’s electricity consumption.

“While this proposal is a real win-win at a time when we are seeking savings and we all want to be more environmentally friendly; what particularly pleased Andy about this was the opportunity it was going to give him to have a go at Essex County Council.

“Andy made no secret of the fact he was not a fan of Essex County. He led this borough to break away and win unitary status, but the fact that Essex was turning off street lights in some places to much public consternation and we were investing made him smile – something I’ll remember.”