I last reported on this a couple of years ago and have written to the Chief Executive of H&F Council on many occasions to ask why they were incapable of switching the lights off. Here’s a telling response I had from a senior official on 22nd May 2008, “The method of switching the lights on and off is via a computer system and unfortunately a problem has occurred to the system… which now prevents the lights being switched off. Whilst in the past we have resisted the option to by pass the computer system by providing a simple switching system to each floor on the grounds of cost and the limited life of the building this recent failure to yet again turn off the lights is clearly unacceptable. An order has now been placed to provide simple manual switches per floor. These works are due to be completed in the next two weeks. Security will then be instructed on how to turn off each floor via these manual switches. I hope this answers your questions and can only apologise on behalf of the Council for this recent failure to adequately control the lights at the Extension.”
Close to £100,000.00 of tax payers money has been wasted since that email was sent. But, yesterday on H&F Council’s intranet, there is a self-congratulatory message applauding their achievement as now they believe they've cracked it: “Due to the recent office moves in the Town Hall extension we have been able to identify the areas where lights need to be on for 24 hours… and have taken steps to switch off the rest of the lights in the building after office hours. From Friday 26th November, the only lights that should be left on in the Town Hall Extension may be the 6th floor (top floor) and the staircase lighting.”
H&F Council proudly tells us "We have estimated that this will save the council approximately £40- 50k a year and will reduce our carbon footprint by 250 tonnes of CO2." Consider for a moment all the horrible cuts in services or the vast amount of stealth taxes local residents have had to suffer in recent years. Meanwhile, they were literally burning our money night after night. This tells you a lot about what is wrong with H&F Council and provides an insight to the ineffective culture around their cuts programme.