Unfortunately, we have been in the unusual situation this year of having suffered many street light failures. We currently have seven lights out. We have had 10 light failures this year and some have failed more than once. We usually only suffer from one or two failures per annum.
Our street lighting is now very old. You will have seen that we have had 8 new street lights. These lights had to be replaced as they were the old mercury lamps which are no longer supported and/or were on unsafe concrete columns. These were at a cost of £16,944 including VAT. We have a further 38 lights to replace. If we buy the lights individually we can expect to pay around £1,700 (£66,500 for 38 lights) each but if we buy in bulk, it amounts to around £700-£1,000 each, so a considerable saving. All the new lights are eco and are dimmed during midnight and 5am. This enables us all to save a considerable amount of money on maintenance (100% for several years) and electricity (80% due to the new lights being eco and dimmed).
Over the past year we have spent hundreds of hours sourcing street light suppliers, looking at light options in brochures, visiting surrounding villages/towns to see them in situ, having site visits with suppliers, talking to companies regarding finance, liaising endlessly with Eon to get as many lights repaired as possible in the meantime (some are no longer repairable), working out electricity and maintenance savings, etc.
Four quotes have been received for the new lighting:
- Premier Street Lighting £38,855
- Eon £46,000
- Kier £42,893.
- Britton £38,870
We estimate savings on the electricity to be £1,400 p.a., 80%, so this saving will be used to help pay back a loan.
A company called Salix offer interest free loans but we cannot meet their pay back term on the lighting. The Green Bank, Northampton County Council and the Public Works Loan Board Loan (PWLB) are also being investigated as these are the other funding options open to us. We have to initially apply via NCALC for a loan to gain permission from the Department for Communities and Local Government. We are considering applying for part of the loan from Salix and part from PWLB.
Due to there being seven lights out in the village, the time it takes to apply for a loan, a lead time of 10 weeks on the new lamps, the new supplier has offered to come and fix, or temporary replace, the street lights that are out for a very low of £450. This work is due to be carried out any time now (we hope by the time you read this as they promised around Christmas).
Yelvertoft is on the lowest council tax rates in the whole county. For a band D property:
Yelvertoft residents currently pay £46 per household per annum, Lilbourne £50, Kilsby £74 and Crick £81. We are proposing to increase the Parish Council contribution next year by £8,000, to help pay for the new lighting, which will equate to an additional £1.94 per household per month.
We have been saving for the new lighting over many years and have £12,000. We have £2,000 p.a. from the Lilbourne windfarm. We propose to use £1,000 p.a. of this fund each year to give to village organisations by way of grants and use the remaining £1,000 to use to pay back the street lighting loan per annum also. We estimate the loan repayments to be £4,000 p.a. but are still negotiating. We are aiming for the new lights to be ordered in January and work to commence 10 weeks later as the lights have a 10-week lead time.
We hope that you find this an acceptable solution to our street light problem. If you have any queries or feedback then please do contact the Clerk, Samantha Haywood, by 25th January 2017. You are also welcome to contact any Councillor. Their details are on the website, in the notice board opposite Squisito, or in the Parish News.
All resident are welcome to attend the Parish Council meetings which are held the second Monday of each month in the Reading Room, 7.30pm, except January and August.
Yelvertoft Parish Council, December 2016