Kirklees Council is backing a Huddersfield dad’s campaign to highlight how light pollution is blotting out the night sky.

Dad-of-two Mark Harrison launched a one-man campaign to encourage the whole of Huddersfield to switch off their lights at the same time, and look up at the stars.

Called Huddersfield Lights Out, Mark set up a Facebook group in January which now has more than 2,700 members.

Such has been the enthusiasm for Mark’s idea he’s now enlisted the support of Kirklees Council which is looking at how many of Huddersfield’s streetlights could be switched off for the one-off event.

Mark, from Meltham, spoke at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet at Huddersfield Town Hall and councillors were keen to support it.

Council leader Shabir Pandor said: “Hopefully we will see the light and be enlightened! We will try to work with you as best we can.”

Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, Clr Will Simpson, added: “It’s been really exciting to hear how many people have been inspired by what you shared.

“There’s lots of logistical issues but we’re happy to sit down with you and try to work something out.”

Mark Harrison at the Cabinet meeting

Mark told Huddersfield Hub he’s been amazed at the support for his little idea and said: “Everyone has been buzzing and it’s great that people have been getting behind it.”

Mark has met with council officials and they are going to investigate how they can switch off as many streetlights as possible.

“The issue is manpower on the ground and council staff going round to flick the switches,” he said. “I appreciate there will be a cost implication but Kirklees could be one of the first local councils to do something like this and it would send out a really strong message.”

It was thought the lights out event might be in April but that’s too short notice and Mark is now hoping to speak to Huddersfield Astronomical Society and find a date in August or September that coincides with an astronomical event such as a new moon.

READ MORE: How Huddersfield Lights Out came about

He also wants to spread the word amongst the business community and encourage commercial premises, such as car showrooms and the like, to switch off their lights for the night.

Mark would also like to hold a gathering at Castle Hill where people could look out over the darkened town and look up into a big sky, hopefully filled with stars. That would also need permission from Kirklees Council.

Mark has also been contacted by the organisers of the Cumbria Dark Skies Festival which hold events to celebrate the wonders of the night sky.

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