MEMBERS of Whitby Town Council have questioned the “extortionate” prices quoted to replace heritage lighting in Whitby.
North Yorkshire County Council say that it would cost between £900 and £1,000 to replace each of the decorative wall brackets and lanterns that are found in yards such as White Horse Yard.
These lanterns date back hundreds of years, but due to significant budget cuts the county council said they can only afford to replace them with standard street lights, which cost around £250.
Speaking at the town council meeting on Tuesday, Coun Ian Havelock said: “It illuminates the extraordinary absurdity of the way the county procure their lighting.
“These are extortionate pricing and I’m sure with a little investigation they could get them at a better price.”
In a letter to the town council, NYCC’s electrical engineering manager Paul Gilmore explained that the county council can afford to replace approximately 800 standard lighting columns, but this number would be significantly reduced if heritage lighting was installed.
However, Couns Joyce Stangoe and Wynn Jones asked whether the lighting actually needs to be replaced, suggesting instead that better maintenance, which could be substantially cheaper, would be the more favourable option as it retained the existing lanterns and helped the county council save costs.
Mr Gilmore added that the county council has not yet made a final decision on the heritage-style equipment and it is considering asking Whitby Town Council or Scarborough Borough Council to contribute towards the replacement costs.