Dark days in Hull

18 January 2011
Time for something a little lighter in the magazine – or should that be a little darker? According to a memo seen by the Hull Daily Mail, lights at Hull City Council will not be replaced if more than half in the room are still functioning in an effort to save some cash. Council leader Carl Minns told the newspaper: “There is no point spending money on sending someone out to fix a light every time one stops working. It’s much more cost effective to bundle up the work and repair a number of them all at once.” This isn’t the first time this particular local authority has raised the question of how many local government officials it takes to change a light bulb. Six years ago the same newspaper found a paper trail and the services of an external electrician cost the council £50 each time they wanted to change a bulb (although new procurement policies have since remedied this). But the new scheme hasn’t gone down well with Unison’s Hull branch secretary Mike Adamson, who claimed councillors were “trying to run this council in the dark”. “I do not see how not replacing a few bulbs will result in major savings,” he said. No doubt the council’s employees are equally in the dark.
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