Calls have been made for street lighting to remain on for longer in urban areas in Hertfordshire in a bid to ensure women and girls feel safe.

Labour county councillor Sharon Taylor suggested the change at a council meeting on Wednesday (December 1).

Data presented to the meeting of the council's resources and performance cabinet panel showed since the transition to LED street lighting, energy consumption – and therefore lighting costs – have plummeted.

And it was after welcoming the year-on-year decrease in cost that Cllr Taylor asked for the lights to remain on longer in urban areas.

She told the meeting: "We have been doing a great deal of work on violence against women and girls.

"And it is very clear that one of the real issues that make women feel unsafe  on our streets at night is the fact that they may not be lit after a certain time at night.

"I know there has been some moves on this – but as the LED lighting has proved itself to be so much more economical, I wonder if we might have a look at that."

After accepting in rural areas there is a "different take" on this, she said: "Please, please can we have another look at it because I get calls all the time from women in my community who don’t feel safe on the streets at night, after the street lights have gone off. So can we have another think about that."

Data presented to the meeting showed between 2015 and 2020 the energy usage of the county’s street lights has decreased from just over 32m kWh to 21.1m kWh.

The report presented to the panel said: "Street lighting energy usage has continued to decrease year on year due to a successful LED project rollout."

At the meeting it was suggested that this may be an issue that Cllr Taylor would wish to refer to the relevant cabinet panel for further consideration.