Plans to use eco-friendly light bulbs in Battersea Park’s historic lamp posts has been dubbed “pointless” as the council argues the move will save locals money.
Residents say the money spent to refurbish the lamp posts would be better spent on community projects – or to help those most in need.
The heritage-style lamp posts will take 12 weeks to be refurbished and repainted as part of a £340,000 investment for Battersea Park.
Wandsworth Council says the change to LED eco-bulbs will save taxpayers’ money and help the authority hit climate change targets.
Battersea dog walker Marie Daranda, said: “I think it’s pointless because [the council] should really look for something that gives young people some space to spend time.
(Image: James Mayer)
“Create something which is indoors where children can really have fun and not go around breaking glass and throwing stones at windows – it’s not their fault if they get bored. Why bother to spend money on light”
Battersea resident Sandrine Fuentes said: “It’s a little bit controversial, the LEDs, because it is saving money but I’m not sure it’s saving the planet.”
The 44-year-old added: “I think the money should be spent elsewhere – on people that need the contribution of money.”
Martin Wilkins, who was visiting the park from Croydon said he’s cynical about LEDs in general.
The 74-year-old added: “With LEDs, you can’t replace them, they’ve got a certain life, but that’s it. Saving the planet? As I said, I’m a bit jaundice about it.”
But 20-year-old student Cameron Galbraith said: “I’ve always thought LEDs are quite good, they don’t need a lot of power so it’s a good thing environmentally.”
The arts student added the current lamp posts are “old school” and “burning electricity every day.”
(Image: James Mayer)
LEDs generally use less energy and offer lower running costs as they last longer than other options, effectively saving money in the long run.
The lighting upgrade will also ensure the park is a safe place to walk at night or home from work.
LED bulbs have already been fitted to more than 18,000 street lights across the borough and to over 3,000 on Wandsworth’s housing estates.
Wandsworth’s climate change and sustainability spokesman Cllr Kim Caddy said: “These eco-friendly LEDs are not only much more energy efficient when compared to traditional light bulbs but they last a lot longer too.
“And because they use much less energy they will help us meet our climate change targets by reducing our carbon emissions.”
Parks and open spaces spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters added: “I’m delighted that Battersea Park’s heritage lamp-posts are being refurbished and restored to their former glory.
“It is important as custodians of the park that we protect and preserve these important historical features for future generations.
“And the reduction in their running and maintenance costs will free up money in our parks budgets that could be spent on other open space improvements.”