The county council’s plan to upgrade thousands of street lights across Derbyshire has soared over budget and completion has been delayed by more than a year.
In 2014, the then Labour administration at Derbyshire County Council signed off on plans to spend £23.3 million to convert 69,796 street lights in residential areas to more economic and environmentally friendly LED bulbs.
This was due to be completed by “the end of spring/early summer 2018”.
However, the project is still rolling on and is now set for completion by the end of 2019.
Borrowing to pay for the initial scheme was due to be paid back over an estimated eight years.
A report at the time said that LED street lights have a projected life of 100,000 hours, or 25 years. This is much longer than the 15,000 – 20,000 hours (three-four years) of conventional lamps.
Average annual saving estimates ranged between £1.2 million and £3.1 million, depending on the level of energy inflation.
A further £8.8 million was approved by the Labour cabinet in April 2017, just before the last election.
This funding was also to be borrowed and is to be spent on the county’s “strategic network”.
These upgrades relate to A road street lighting and include installing lighting columns more able to withstand collisions – along with replacing electrical cables.
This year, the now Conservative administration approved spending a further £5.77 million on the LED upgrade – for both the residential sites and A roads.
This would see the overall spend total £37.8 million.
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