A COUNCIL says it has saved over £1million in a project to replace every streetlight in Hartlepool with new LED units.
Hartlepool Borough Council had budgeted for the work to cost £5million but the final bill is now expected to be £3.8million.
The authority says it has freed up cash to replace almost 3,000 ageing lampposts across the town.
The scheme, carried out by the council in-house, to replace all of the town’s 13,644 streetlights with modern LEDs began in July.
They have attracted some criticism from residents over dark areas they create between columns compared to the old lights.
The council will use the money saved to replace 2,943 columns that are over 30 years old.
Councillor Marjorie James, chairman of the Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: “This saving has only come about as a result of a very effective procurement exercise carried out by council officers which enabled us to buy the new LED lighting units for £800,000 less than originally estimated.
“And other efficiencies made by our in-house installation team have taken the total saving to £1.2 million.
“It should be noted that when informal discussions took place with potential private sector providers their indicative price for a full streetlight replacement scheme was £6.8million.
“I’m delighted that we ultimately decided to keep the work in-house and these figures prove that decision was correct.
“I would like to congratulate all council officers involved in the LED replacement scheme for their hard work in achieving such a successful outcome and it highlights the importance of carrying out such work in-house.
“As a result, we are now in a position to make a substantial investment in tackling the deteriorating condition of streetlight columns in various parts of the town – work for which we had not been able to previously identify funding.”
The streetlight columns will be replaced at the same time as the LED scheme and is due to be completed by December next year.