MORE than 20 lights in Pontypool Park are having to be replaced at a cost of £30,000 due to vandalism and damage.
Torfaen Borough Council has however said the cost to repair the made-to-order ornate light fittings is beyond the available funds in its maintenance budget and will have to use reserves to replace the 26 lights in the Grade II star heritage listed park.
Cabinet member for finance Cllr Sue Morgan is set to approve using up to £30,000 from reserves to fund the replacements in a decision to be taken this Friday, December 22.
In total 24 of the ornate light fittings are having to be replaced – and they are made to order with an estimated delivery time of eight weeks. Two floodlights are also having to be replaced.
Due to the park’s listed status the light fittings, which have been “vandalised and damaged beyond repair”, need to be replaced on a like for like basis.
A report, by the council’s interim property management leader Keith Davies, said exact replicas however cannot be found.
His report states: “The light fittings need to be replaced, we can’t find an exact replacement, but we have found a fitting which is nearly the same. The conservation officer has confirmed the light fitting is close enough in design that we don’t require Listed Building Consent.”
Mr Davies report also said using reserves will allow the lights to be replaced “at the earliest possible date” and if it had to be funded from the maintenance budget the work would have to wait until the new financial year, in April, due to “existing pressure on the reactive maintenance budget.”
The council is able to use its contractor framework to complete the job so doesn’t have to run a competitive tender excerise. The framework will also manage the costs of the project.