North Somerset Council to spend £460,000 improving lights at Castlewood in Clevedon
- Credit: Archant
In the past two months North Somerset Council has made library assistants redundant, raised council tax and agreed its ‘hardest budget’ ever, however it has just agreed to spend almost half a million pounds on new lights for its headquarters.
The Castlewood building in Clevedon will receive huge investment on more efficient lighting, just seven years after the council spent an estimated £12million on renovating and moving staff to the site.
The cost of the project is £526,000 including VAT, which the council can claim back, taking the total to a little over £461,000.
However, North Somerset says the cost of the new lights will be repaid within six years through reduced electricity costs.
In a decision notice, which the executive member for finance David Pasley is due to sign off imminently, the council is agreeing to replace its lights bulbs with more efficient LED equivalents, and upgrade the lighting system.
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It says the move will ‘reduce its energy use, its carbon emissions and related costs’.
Cllr Pasley said: “The important thing is the payback – the whole thing will pay for itself in six years.
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“We are borrowing the money quite cheaply, and even with the interest, it will still pay for itself in a six-year period.”
He said the job was a large one and the council had to balance the needs of employees against the public purse.
His comments come despite council leader Nigel Ashton’s assertions earlier this year that it was becoming increasingly difficult to balance the authority’s books.
Cllr Pasley said: “There are thousands of bulbs and we have to make a decision to pay it now or do it in 5-10 years – these are good for the environment and give better light.
“We are looking at reduced energy costs and we consider this a sensible approach.”
He said the council is able to bulk-buy electricity and hopes it will be in a position to offer rates to homeowners and businesses in the future which will allow them to gain their own supplies at a reduced rate.
Cllr Pasley believes homeowners could save about 25 per cent off their electricity bills under the scheme.