Surprise as Barton Seagrave lampposts moved one metre

Peter Godfrey says Northamptonshire County Council is wasting money by moving lampposts
Peter Godfrey says Northamptonshire County Council is wasting money by moving lampposts

A man says he is bemused by a council’s decision to reposition lampposts a matter of centimetres away from where they originally stood.

Peter Godfrey said a number of street lights near him were soon going to be dug up and replaced with new ones in only a marginally different spot.

And one lamppost close to his home in Stubbs Lane, Barton Seagrave, is to be scrapped – and replaced by one less than a metre away.

The former electrician has branded the move a “ludicrous” waste of taxpayers’ money.

But Northamptonshire County Council – which began switching off some streetlights four years ago – says many of its older lampposts are no longer fit for purpose and so might as well be replaced with new structures in different positions to ensure the whole street is better lit.

Mr Godfrey said: “We are supposed to be in hard-up times, and I really cannot see why they are spending this money when we have a perfectly good lighting system anyway – and half of them already turned off. I think it’s a total waste of time.”

Mr Godfrey, who was an electrician for 50 years, says the replacement lights – which the county council says are a higher quality and use less energy – will not necessarily be any better.

He added: “They have already done this down Deeble Road and, if it’s a bit foggy, you have a job to see the road.

“I don’t know why they are spending good council cash on this type of thing when they could be putting the money towards something sensible like holes in the road.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said the authority had entered a scheme with a contractor to replace the lamps and electronics of all streetlights, as well as the posts themselves where necessary.

He added: “The streetlighting scheme started in October 2011 and will see the county council’s lighting stock replaced within five years with contractor Balfour Beatty.

“Under the scheme the new street lights will use 40 per cent less energy on a like-for-like basis when compared with the existing stock and will also offer a uniform, white light rather than the patchy orange glow of ‘traditional’ lights.

“Some of the columns are decades old and if any are retainedm Balfour Beatty have to guarantee the old columns for 30 years and, if needs be, they will have to replace them at no additional cost to the council.”

He added that the new lights near Mr Godfrey’s home would mean roads and junctions were better lit.

Across Northamptonshire, about 12,000 of the old lights, out of a total of 67,000, will only see the lamp replaced.