Facebook sale of seafront lantern blamed on ‘uncharacteristic human error’

Posted On 16 Dec 2020 at 1:35 pm

The old cast-iron lamp posts are part of the appeal of Brighton seafront


A contractor has apologised after two seafront lanterns it was charged with removing and safely storing ended up for sale on Facebook.

Brighton and Hove City Council said last month it was considering calling in the police over the incident.
Today, council leader published a letter of apology from the contractor Colas’s chief executive Carl Fergusson.

In the letter, dated 11 December, Mr Fergusson said: “I am very sorry that you have had to bring this matter to my attention and am pleased they have subsequently been recovered.

“As discussed during our telephone conversation today, our investigation identifies that an uncharacteristic human error as well as process factors have played a part in this incident.

“Moreover, our investigation has highlighted that Colas have on this occasion fallen below the standard of care we have consistently delivered to Brighton and Hove City Council to date, and which is rightfully expected by the council.

“We have well established procedures and processes governing how material removed from site should be treated.

“These procedures have not been followed in this instance, and we apologise for the distress and embarassment this has caused the council.

“Whilst I can fully appreciate your displeasure with what has happened on this occasion, I do hope you will be able to measure this against the 15 years of previously unblemished service and successful schemes Colas has been privileged to provide to the city.”

Colas currently has a four-year contract worth £15 million to care for the Brighton and Hove’s street lights, which includes lighting under Brighton railway station and in the Royal Pavilion Gardens.

This autumn, it started the removal of 20 historic lamps from Brighton seafront with a view to repairing and restoring them.

A report about how the seafront lamps ended up on sale is expected to go before a future meeting of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    Sureky if it was an uncharacteristic human error then all of them would have been taken,however I suspect that whoever removed them thought that by taking just 2 they wouln’t be missed in the “process”.

    • Valerie Reply

      A fully outlined & described explanation of this ‘human error’ without use of words like ‘filch’, ‘pinched’, ‘lifted’ would make interesting reading.

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