Broken street lights are being removed rather than fixed on certain roads, it has been claimed.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) came under fire amid claims it is taking faulty street lights from unadopted roads rather than repairing them. Unadopted roads are those not maintained by a roads authority, for example on new housing developments which have yet to be finished, or on some residential streets completed early last century.
Alliance councillor Tom Campbell hit out after a presentation to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council by DfI.
During the meeting he questioned department officials over repairs to faulty street lights. Mr Campbell said he was concerned that instead of fixing broken street lights, in some cases the department was removing them altogether.
"A number of constituents have approached me recently concerned about this apparent practice by the DfI - the residents have complained about street lights not working and instead of repairing and replacing them, DfI removes them entirely and tarmacs over the area if it's a road which has not been adopted by the department.
"I asked directly during this presentation and it was confirmed.
"That is a concerning position to have, given the amount of unadopted roads across Northern Ireland, particularly in more rural areas and in new developments."
Mr Campbell added: "As an elected representative, I am apprehensive now to report faulty street lights in case they end up disappearing.
"I have now written to the Secretary of State to ask him to review this policy, as it appears to have been taken without political direction.
"We are in a situation now where one street in an area may have its street lights repaired and another nearby street is at the risk of having them removed entirely."
Mr Campbell accused the department of penny-pinching, and added that removing a broken street light could be equally or even more expensive than repairing it.
The Department for Infrastructure was approached for a response.