Streetlights will not be dimmed in area where there are “safety concerns”, town hall leaders have pledged.

This comes after recent reports that Bolton Council was considering dimming lights in certain areas amid a raft of budget cuts totalling nearly £10million.

But this has prompted concerns about safety, especially for women walking alone, following a recent case in Westhoughton where a woman is believed to have been assaulted on a dark footpath.

Addressing a recent full council meeting, Cllr Deirdre McGowan said: “As a woman, walking out at night has risks.

“Streetlights are a must for us.

The Bolton News: Cllr Dierdre McGeown raised the issue at a Bolton Council meetingCllr Dierdre McGeown raised the issue at a Bolton Council meeting (Image: My Westhoughton)

“They are security when we walk along footpaths to get to our destination and any reported broke streetlights are a high priority to get fixed.”

She added: “Members I’m sure are aware of a recent assault on a woman in Westhoughton.

“I’m therefore especially surprised and shocked to hear it is now being suggested as part of the budget cuts that streetlights be dimmed at certain times as a way of saving costs for the council.”

The alleged assault, which police described as an “isolated incident”, is believed to have happened on Mill Street, Westhoughton on October 7.

The footpath is found just off just off Cricketers Way and leads on to Bolton Road in one of the main routes through the town.

In the aftermath of the suspected assault, people reported seeing police and CSI on the scene, while the way was taped off for some time.

Cllr McGeown, of Westhoughton North and Hunger Hill, said she was aware of several recent assault cases that had occurred after dark.

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She asked the council leadership if they would be prepared to examine the lighting levels in areas like these.

Council cabinet member for planning, housing and highways Cllr Hamid Khurram said he would be prepared to do this if the locations were shared with him.

He said: “I confirm that the council has not and will not dim lights where we have specific community safety concerns.

“And if there are any specific locations which you would like to highlight to assess please can you share the location, and I will ensure that lighting levels are investigated.”