I would like to put forward to the St Helens Council a cause for environmental concern, which has been a long-standing issue. Over the years it has been getting worse and others, including myself, feel that if nothing is done to rectify this problem, we may lose one of nature's most breathtaking spectacles and will have nothing to show our children.

To understand what is happening, the next time there is a clear night, look up at the night sky and ask yourselves what do you see? Chances are that you will notice a few bright stars dotted here and there, but where are the rest? Why can't I see more? Look a bit closer and you will see a pale glow, known as 'skyglow', which is even more significantly noticeable above the horizon, and appears as an orange glow, extending up into the night sky. This is a result of poorly designed street lighting that prevents a great deal of stars from being seen.

The majority of street lights are wasting light as it is escaping upwards, where it is not needed, and not only in St Helens but throughout Britain and the rest of the world.

By now, you may have gathered that I am an astronomer, one of a few that live here in St Helens who feel the same way about this light pollution.

But I am also a motorist amongst millions more who probably also feel that there should be far better designed street lighting on our streets and roads, which would more efficiently put safety in mind and move light into where it is intended to be needed. Some of the sodium lights on our highways, which are a main cause, need only a simple downlighter shade attaching above to reflect light downwards to where it is really needed, on our roads.

Several councils have already taken the initiative of installing these downlighter reflectors, which have proved to work far more efficiently once installed.

Therefore would St Helens Council be willing to take up this challenge and provide better safety for the needs of many motorists and also and the needs of us few astronomers. It sounds logical to me.

Carl Dingsdale, Canberra Avenue, Thatto Heath.