Devon council says changing light bulbs costs £30 each

image captionA councillor blamed the cost of replacing bulbs on the "widespread area" of north Devon

A Devon council spends an average of £30 each time its replaces a light bulb, it has emerged.

A North Devon Council report on cost-cutting in public toilets revealed that 69 bulbs needed replacing last year, costing £2,070.

This year the figure was £420 as longer-lasting LED bulbs resulted in only 14 "response maintenance jobs".

A councillor blamed the large area to be covered by staff attending to the authority's 23 public toilets.

'Significant' savings

Councillor Rodney Cann, executive member for the environment, said: "You could be travelling 49 miles to replace some of them.

"North Devon is a very widespread area.

"Putting them in is not the question, it is the purchasing and driving to and fro."

A council report said switching to LED bulbs would result in significant savings because the new bulbs were five watts instead of 16 or 28 watts.

"An additional benefit is that last year there were 69 response maintenance jobs to replace bulbs at an average cost of £30 per replacement.

"This year there have been 29 and of those only 14 were to attend to the new LED bulbs with most being sensor adjustments."

The council is also monitoring the number of flushes at its toilets to work out where to close cubicles in the winter without inconveniencing people.

It has already slashed the number of public toilets from 72 and is building modern toilet blocks to replace old ones.

The cost of maintaining the toilets dropped from £510,000 in 2009 to £374,000 last year said the report.

Mr Cann said: "We have a duty to provide value for money and an efficient service, but there is still some way to go."

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