Just as we hear that Tory minister Eric Pickles is slashing Tory Hammersmith Council’s budget by £26 million, we learn that the same prudent council has wasted £250,000 – or one pound for every hundred that’s being cut – by leaving the town hall lights on at night.
The councillor nominally in charge of the environment, Nick Botterill, “explained” to the local paper: “Council staff have been working in all areas of the building for 24 hours a day until recently, which is why the lights were on.”
According to the paper, he was talking about a “handful of noise nuisance and environmental protection staff”. In a seven-storey building.
With passers-by able to watch these workers through brightly lit windows at all hours, who would have guessed this is what H&F meant when it said it aimed to become Britain’s most transparent local council.