Opposition politicians have condemned a council decision to replace car park lights at a council building which is due to close.
Northamptonshire County Council is due to move out of John Dryden House in Bedford Road when it moves into a £43 million new headquarters in Northampton town centre in 2016.
It is not yet known what will happen to John Dryden House after the council leaves the building, but this month, the authority has asked companies to provide quotes to replace the 36 floodlights in the John Dryden House car park.
The move has been attacked by the leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group on the county council, Councillor Brendan Glynane (Lib Dem, Delapre & Rushmere).
He said: “I’m staggered. If they’re pulling out of John Dryden House why are they spending money on upgrading the lights? I think they should think again.”
The expected cost of the work is not mentioned in the council’s tendering document, but the authority does say it expects the new lights to improve both lighting quality and energy efficiency.
A spokesman for the authority said: “At the same time as the implementation of our programme to replace the county’s streetlights with more energy-efficient lighting, we’ve also reviewed the lighting at council buildings.
“We’re therefore inviting businesses to tender to update the lighting in John Dryden House car park.
“We’re planning to keep the existing columns, but replace the light fittings with a more energy efficient option with timer controls.
“This is because the current lights do not have timers so lights are left on during the night when the site is unoccupied. This will both minimise light pollution and reduce energy costs.”
Lighting firms have been given until August 15 to apply for the contract to replace the car park lights at John Dryden House.
The work is expected to be completed in October. The project will see timers fixed onto the car park lights, meaning the council building will no longer be illuminated while it is empty.
The work to replace the lights comes two years after the county council switched off thousands of street lights to save money. It later launched a project to install new energy saving lights.