Members of the Environmental Services Committee approved the spend which will ensure the continued provision of the lighting schemes to a satisfactory standard, replace failed lighting and improve the electrical infrastructure.
A report brought before the Committee said: ‘Over the last eight years, Council has upgraded and enhanced the festive lighting systems throughout the borough. Given the fragility and the extremes of weather to which they are subjected, annual repair and maintenance is required.
‘Over recent years major upgrades have been made throughout the borough to improve both the displays themselves and the infrastructure required to support them. Most of the significant upgrades were completed in 2017 with some minor improvements in 2019.
‘Note that some of the original installations in Ballymoney and Coleraine are getting to the end of their useful life and in need of renewal. A report will be brought to Council next year with proposals for 2022 festive lighting requirements.’
Proposing the recommendation, DUP Councillor Alan McLean said: “Near and far across this borough, the lights are one of the things we seem to do well. It brings a lot of people into the area.”
The Ballymoney councillor put a question to the Director of Environmental Services Aidan McPeake: “Is the £60,000 a budget that’s set every year? If this is an ongoing thing and we know about it every year why was a budget not included for it at the start of the year?
Mr McPeake replied: “Every year we set aside money for repairs and renewals on a general basis. That fund tends to be the one we use for replacement lights and it’s capital based so in this particular instance, because the lights have come to the end of their particular life we are able to capitalise it so there is a pot in there for repairs and renewals.”
The recommendation to spend £60,000 to replace lights and repair the infrastructure to ensure lighting provision mirrors that of previous years passed unanimously.