Every street lamp in Swindon will be replaced with a cheaper and more energy-efficient model.

An item in the council’s capital budget to be discussed by the Conservative cabinet tomorrow (WEDS) says the authority will spend £7.2m on replacing 26,000 street lights with LED alternatives.

The money will be found from £1.2m paid to the council by house builders as part of agreements when permission is given for new developments, and the rest will be an interest-free loan, form a government backed lender to public sector organisations.

It is anticipated that the new lights could save as much as £750,000 from a current £1.3m annual street lighting bill.

And it could all be finished by the summer of 2022.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and the Environment, said: “We have seen through our recent junction improvement schemes what a difference LED street lighting can make and so I am delighted to bring this major investment programme before Cabinet.

“These lights consume less energy, reduce light pollution and last on average about five times longer than normal low pressure sodium lamps.

" We expect to reduce our annual electricity costs by around 60 per cent by replacing our 26,000 street lighting lanterns, saving more than three quarters of a million pounds a year.

“The upgrade of the lighting system will include a new management system which will allow us to switch lights on, or off and dim individual or groups of lamps. This will give us better control over our power consumption, while the system will also automatically notify us of any failures, which reduces the need for night-time inspections.

“I’m hopeful Cabinet will approve the investment programme so that Swindon will be lit up in LED lights in just two and half years’ time.”

While Labour councillors have applauded the move, there is of course a catch.

They have pointed out that the idea was first put forward by one of their councillors, Fay Howard, when she was shadow member for Streetsmart, in 2013.

The leader of the Labour Group. Coun Jim Grant said: “I am delighted that the Conservatives have decided to take up Labour’s idea of rolling out LED bulbs across all of Swindon’s streetlights. It saves council taxpayers money and is good for the environment.

“It is a shame that it has taken them 5 years since Labour originally proposed this idea to finally deliver it. This has meant taxpayers have had to pay more than a million pounds extra on electricity costs for the old fashioned bulbs rather than the energy-saving LED bulbs. This represents another failure of this Conservative administration.”