Bourne Hall Ewell Surrey inside

How many £s does it take to change a Council light bulb?


The cost of changing Council light bulbs was the subject of some concern at Tuesday 26th March’s meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. The committee was considering the annual maintenance programme for Council run properties.

Cllr. Robert Leach (RA Nonsuch) enquired: “I thank the officers for a very thorough report, but when I look at the planned maintenance, it does seem to me that this is an area where a stricter financial control is perhaps needed. I look at some of these figures with amazement. £56,000 to change the light bulbs in Bourne Hall. £70,000 to paint the woodwork in Ewell Court House. What controls do we have that we are getting value for money from these contractors?” 

The Council Officer replied: “With Bourne Hall, to change a light bulb in this building is not a simple case of getting a step ladder out. It needs scaffolding to get up to these lights here. The costs of replacing the lighting also includes all the equipment to enable those lights to be replaced where they’re in very hard to reach positions. So it’s not just simply changing light bulbs.”

Cllr Leach’s question on financial controls was left unanswered.

Cllr. Alison Kelly (LibDem College) wanted to know about the environmental cost of the main entrance doors to the Epsom Playhouse that open directly onto the lobby. It was observed that the construction of an second inner set of doors was resisted by the theatre as it would take away vital foyer space.

Cllr. Graham Jones MBE (RA Cuddington) had earlier that day taken a stroll over to the Epsom Playhouse and had a “light bulb” moment. He suggested: “I’ve seen quite a lot of places where instead of taking away from the lobby you go outwards. There’s lots of space there, and it would  make a really nice feature and I would recommend that you consider that option.” His idea was warmly received with the officer responding: “That would be exactly the solution. Hence why it would need to be a future capital bid. Because that’s clearly a larger project than creating it within the building itself. But you’re absolutely spot on. Thank you.”

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