PUBLISHED: 14:15 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:44 20 April 2010
IS Devon Primary Care Trust wasting energy and taxpayers' money at Honiton Community Hospital? A Herald reader thinks it is. We've been to see for ourselves how outdoor strip lights are being left on in the day, even though they have been described by a c
IS Devon Primary Care Trust wasting energy and taxpayers' money at Honiton Community Hospital? A Herald reader thinks it is. We've been to see for ourselves how outdoor strip lights are being left on in the day, even though they have been described by a complainant as "ineffective" and "outshined by lights in the hospital's reception". The offending lights are in the roof of a see-through porch, outside the hospital's main entrance. When the Herald checked out the reader's claims at 8.30am last Wednesday, it was only apparent lights were even there, let alone switched on, when we got within metres of the building. The Herald asked the PCT why the lights are switched on during the day and pointed out we are embarking on a crusade against energy wastage - especially wastage paid for out of the public purse. Herald editor Belinda Bennett told the PCT it would be a good thing if Honiton Community Hos-pital could be seen as the first success of our campaign. Sarah Dent, administrator at the hospital, has replied by saying: "Along with the rest of the Trust, we are all trying to be greener and to use energy wisely. "Of course, I wouldn't want these lights to be on if it were a bright summer's day but, on these dingy winter days, we wouldn't want anyone to think the hospital was closed, and we do want to be welcoming. "I will certainly talk to staff about how they feel about lighting levels in the hospital and whether we can reduce our use of energy." Ms Dent added: "I would say, though, that our staff tend to be very energy conscious and do turn off lights and equipment where they are not needed." The Herald urges taxpayers to look at Honiton Community Hospital during the day - so they can assess for themselves if lights in the hospital reception, inside the building, are more than enough to assure people the hospital is open and that it also looks "welcoming". Is there really a need for outdoor strip lights 24/7? To comment, contact your Herald by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our newsroom on (01392) 888488.