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In times of austerity let's replace all the street lamps

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flanajb

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This must be going on across the country, but it amazes me that when the country is broke the government / local councils can find millions of pounds to replace street lamps, that look perfectly fine.

Does make the mind boggle.
 

Digit

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I've no problem with street lights where people walk but placing on roads for vehiclar traffic has always been a waste IMO.

Roy.
 

flanajb

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Digit":ssv1vzd5 said:
I've no problem with street lights where people walk but placing on roads for vehiclar traffic has always been a waste IMO.

Roy.
But what about digging a working street lamp up to replace it with a taller one ?
 

Digit

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Councils have got spend our money on something! The idea that they might end up with a surplus is foreign to their way of thinking.

Roy.
 

flanajb

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Digit":2h58r1l7 said:
Councils have got spend our money on something! The idea that they might end up with a surplus is foreign to their way of thinking.

Roy.
Bit like my Wife with my hard earned cash
 

No skills

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Digit":d6wo6cu4 said:
Councils have got spend our money on something! The idea that they might end up with a surplus is foreign to their way of thinking.

Roy.
:roll:

My dad spent most of his working life with the local council - worked his way up over many years. Whilst in control of the highways department he got spending down below the budget set (with the intention of building a pot of money for large or emergency works), two years running he did it - two years running the council heads cut his budget :evil:
So from then on any money left over near the end of the financial year was spunked on less important things like new signs/refreshing white lines etc so to keep the precious budget levels secure for next year.

Not so cut and dry is it?
 

Digit

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Not so cut and dry is it?
I'm well aware of the practise actually. Every year here, just before the end of the financial year, the council is busy spending any left over funds to prevent their budget being cut. They admit that.
IE, they are spending to maintain their income.

Roy.
 

No skills

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Fair enough, read the other reply as quite flipant and was ready for a fight :oops: #-o

Crazy that they have to work that way, it certainly took its toll on my dad.
 

Digit

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It is crazy and in your dad's case I would be doing the same as him, what else could he do, it's the set up that's crazy.

Roy.
 

treeturner123

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The problem is that all Government departments and other similar organisations such as Local Authorities have a rule that if they do not spend their budget in that financial year they loose it. This means that larger capital spends are often put to one side as money can not be 'saved up for' over a couple of years. It also means that money is not spent evenly through the year but hoarded and then has to be spent in the period from 1st Jan to 31st March. In the world of property this usually means that money is spent on things like carpet which can be ordered and fitted in a short period of time whether needed or not. It also means that often work is commissioned and paid for before 312st March and carried out AFTER 31st March!

Phil
 

flanajb

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They should change the system so that those councils who run a budget surplus are actually praised for their efforts and rewarded accordingly. No wonder the government has to borrow so much money each year when there budget allocation process forces local councils to spend all of the money they are given.
 

devonwoody

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Write to your MP and tell him, its the only way anything can happen. Or is it?

Emails are more effective than posting here :wink:
 

Digit

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Agreed fj, it's a damn silly way to run a railway as they say.

Roy.
 

henton49er

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I think there are a number of issues here.

Firstly, street lamps are not replaced individually when they fail. They are replaced to a schedule based upon the life expectancy of the lighting unit and a whole group will be replaced at the same time. Street lighting units are manufactured to a much closer tolerances than domestic light bulbs so their life expectancy is much more accurately defined than the average 100W light bulb. Group repacement is also the case with lighting columns for some local authorities. Councils find this practice is much more cost effective than replacement on failure which has very high costs of labour, travel, etc.

Also, for most local authorities, the street lighting work is contracted out to a private company so there is a contract (perhaps as long as 10 years) to undertake maintenance/replacement work on behalf of the council. This again will have replacement regimes defined and the contractor will be required to keep to this.

Clearly, there is a safety issue with street lights in pedestrian areas to minimise "anti-social behaviour"; there is also a definite reduction in nighttime traffic accidents on roads that have good lighting (even on motorways where there have been plans in the past to put lighting on all of them).

On the budget spend issue, many councils have projects prepared that are then implemented in February/March for completion before the end of their financial years at 31/3. It is quite possible, for example, to spend £1 million in resurfacing a length of road in a six week period rather than not spend the money. It is a fact that budgets can be reduced if local authority departments do not spend up to their allocations. It sounds crazy, but that is the way the system works!

Mike
 

gregmcateer

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How about this then?
Our local park, (Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge) was donated by a rich industrialist to the people of the town. Big gates, lovely trees (Hmmm!), etc, etc.
Just recently the Council has put in a totally out-of-place stone thing to brag that it is doing its bit for the health of the borough! - I'll try to get a picture of it for you to marvel at the wastefulness of those who 'serve' us.

In addition, I recently spoke at a Council meeting to plead for them to maintain our kids school crossing patrol, which they have subsequently removed, in order to save, wait for it...... £1,500 per annum.

At the same meeting they agreed to repair and renovate the (admittedly impressive) listed Victorian gates of the park for the princely sum of....... go on, I'll let you guys have a guess at how much it's going to cost, (bearing in mind they are listed and it probably will need a specialist ironworker)

Let me know what you think and I'll reveal it soon.

Greg
 

Chems

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flanajb":14rscchy said:
This must be going on across the country, but it amazes me that when the country is broke the government / local councils can find millions of pounds to replace street lamps, that look perfectly fine.

Does make the mind boggle.
Is it one of those mad cost saving things, if we replace these inefficient lamps with all new ones at a cost of 3 million we will save 62p per day so in 8 thousands years we will be saving money?
 

wobblycogs

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I noticed the other night on the way back from the curry house we've got some new street lights in town. Very strange beasts they are too, the light they give out has a distinctly green hue to it. It looks like each lamp head has four bulbs in it as well. Anyone know what technology it's using, I was wondering if it might be LED.

Oh, and I agree the way we fund councils is ridiculous. I don't think praising people for under spending would solve the problem though. The way I see it the problem is that the people spending the money don't feel they have ownership of the money. To them it's just "the councils" money so it doesn't matter how much they spend the council will pick up the tab. I think if you gave people a small percentage of anything they save you would see them treat the money like it was their own. Trouble with a scheme like that is you would need strong leadership to set a good budget and to manage the years work and I don't see that happening any time soon.

I reckon the gates will cost 30k.
 

Jonzjob

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Funny that you should say about the lighting on motorways Henton? There was a spate of copper wire thefts on the autoroutes around Paris that lead to long stretches of unlit autoroute for a while. During that time the accident dropped quite dramatically. They are now trialing whole stretches without lighting and, you guessed it, the accident rates have dropped there as well. These trials have been going on for long enough for the authorities to have saved well over a million €.

The conclusion? Even Parisian drivers can drive a little more carefully when all they have is their own headlights!

When we lived near Stroud it always use to amaize us was the way that Waitrose always left ALL of their carpark lights on ALL night! One in 5 would have given security lighting!
 

RogerS

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Well if they end up replacing all those god-awful street lights that shine up as much as they shine down then I'm all for it. Light pollution of the night sky....bah!
 
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