Labour would increase Council debt by £8m at a flick of a light switch on LED streetlights scheme
Swindon Labour party’s senior Councillor for Streetsmart, Councillor Fay Howard, has called on the Conservative run Swindon Borough Council to replace all streetlights with LED bulbs, and use Labour run Plymouth City Council as an example after they borrowed £11.5m to implement their own scheme.
Local Councillor Richard Hurley is Cabinet Member for Streetsmart, and Swindon Council Officers have estimated that installing LED Streetlight across Swindon would cost £8m to implement.
Swindon Borough Council has 30,000 streetlights. Each one costs £32 a year in electricity costs resulting in a £1m bill. It costs approximately £250 to convert a single streetlight to use an LED unit, and Council officers have estimated the total bill would be £8m.
Cllr Dale Heenan “The aim of Swindon Labour to save £1.5m per year is admirably. However the joy of being in opposition is that you can call for anything you want to happen, without any concerns about the ability to pay for it.
Labour admit that their idea has an upfront cost, but the hidden cost they didn’t mention is it would add £8m to the Councils debt at a flick of a light switch. This money could save the Libraries they wanted to close in February.
I looked into this idea of using LED lights last year when I took over as the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Sustainability, and followed it up again in June to see if anything had changed in 12 months. The idea is still not affordable for local Council Tax payers.