Council to spend taxpayer money on training staff how to turn off the lights
Published: 22/05/2023- 13:11
Updated: 22/05/2023- 13:12
Council workers will receive "training" on how to switch off lights after one of its buildings was lit up all night.
Cornwall Council has apologised after a member of the public complained the building was lit up “like a Christmas tree” during an energy crisis.
The witness found a fully illuminated Chy Trevail building in Bodmin at around 9.30pm on Saturday.
“I was out dog walking last night at Chy Trevail in Bodmin and I noticed the place lit up like a Christmas tree," they said.
The witness found a fully illuminated Chy Trevail building in Bodmin at around 9.30pm
“How can the council justify leaving all the lights and TVs on? We’re constantly told there is an energy crisis.
“They put our council tax up. For what reason? Because they have forgotten to employ staff that are qualified to use a light switch?”
It follows previous complaints about the same issue in both 2018 and last summer when Lys Kernow, formerly the New County Hall, was pictured with all the lights on past midnight both inside and outside.
Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told GB News: "Taxpayers will take a dim view of council staff needing training to switch lights off."
A spokesperson for the council admitted it was an error and confirmed that staff members would be trained to ensure the lights were switched off.
“Following an investigation, we can confirm the atrium lights at Chy Trevail were left switched on accidentally on this occasion,” they said.
“Training will be given to ensure this is an isolated incident. Cornwall Council is committed to reducing its energy use and has taken many steps to do so, including the installation of solar panels at both County Hall in Truro and at Chy Trevail.
“A new lighting control system has also been installed in Truro to ensure the amount of time lights are left switched on is minimised.
A spokesperson for the council admitted it was an error and confirmed that staff members would be trained to ensure the lights were switched off
Chy Trevail features a central atrium where the main reception and public facilities are located, as well as open-plan flexible workspaces over three floors.
It is not the first time that a council has been criticised for leaving the lights on, as Leicester City Council was accused of “completely wasting money” last year after 17 street lights in the city’s Green Dragon Square were left 24 hours a day.
In 2020, Milton Keynes City Council received backlash after its civic offices and library were spotted lit up in the middle of the night.
However, officials said that the lights were on only at reception for security staff and the rest of the building was operated by light sensors.