Thursday, August 27, 2009

The future's bright...

A lamp post in conservation area of Bugle Street...
which will be refurbished rather than replaced.

Let there be light!

Once in a while a Cabinet member gets to make a really significant decision that can bind the Authority for many years, can change lives and yes, even carries an element of risk if it goes wrong.
I made such a decision last week when I awarded Southampton's streetlighting PFI contract.
Work to replace and maintain 250,000 streetlights across Hampshire, West Sussex and Southampton in a £225 million 25 year private finance initiative (PFI) is set to be carried out by Tay Valley Lighting (TVL).
Hampshire County Council, West Sussex County Council and Southampton City Council joined forces in one of the biggest streetlighting PFI projects in the country. The contract is expected to be concluded later this year.
Southampton’s 25 per cent stake in the project will see the replacement or updating of thousands of street lights, illuminated signs and bollards with the latest energy efficient equipment during the first five years of the project. The focus for the following 20 years will be on maintaining and operating the new lights to a high standard, with Southampton's monitoring team keeping a check on project delivery and operations.
The massive PFI project will potentially provide a boost for jobs once it has started and has many other benefits including:
•investment in the most up to date, energy efficient equipment which conforms to the latest standards
•more efficient use of energy – with a potential reduction in current levels
•improved visibility and reduced light pollution at night
•safer streets and reduced crime
•fewer burning hours
•dimming lights by 25% to reduce carbon emissions with the ability to dim further
•security, efficiency and savings based on the length and scale of the contracts
All lighting stock over 15 years old will be replaced on a like for like basis with white fluorescent light in residential areas, giving greater clarity and representation of colour and features. This will enable key pressures on streetlighting such as better energy use, reducing the environmental impact, improving public safety and cutting carbon emissions, to be met.
A publicly available briefing paper can be read HERE.


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