PFI lighting scheme plan for Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet will consider a proposal for a revised PFI scheme which, if given government approval, would see the county’s lighting stock replaced within five years.

Last year the authority named Balfour Beatty as the preferred bidder for the scheme, but since the government’s comprehensive spending review, it has been necessary to draft an alternative scheme.

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

The scheme would also allow the county council to replace about two-thirds of its lighting stock throughout the county with the remaining third of columns having their lamps and electronics changed.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “This is a great opportunity to replace the lighting stock in the county with street-lighting which is fit for purpose.

“People will see a real difference in the quality of the lighting and it is also much cheaper to run.

“There are also advantages with the new technology being able to provide greater flexibility and in an age where consideration of the environment is increasingly important, there will be real benefits with carbon reduction targets.”

The PFI scheme will provide the maintenance of the street lights for a 25 year period and current technology also means that any faults can be picked up remotely, removing the need for patrols.

If cabinet approves the scheme the council would then need to submit a final business case to the government for approval. It is envisaged that the first lights could be replaced towards the end of this year.

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