Bradford Council has come under fire after a £60,000 money saving scheme to overhaul 50 lamp-posts actually led to them being switched on continuously for five months.

One pensioner living on Flawith Drive, Fagley, said that the lights were so bright that he could read his newspaper in the dark because of the light from outside. He said that they were on all over the Fagley estate including Flinton Grove and Ferriby Close after being installed in June.

Bob Smith, 81, said that the light shined in even when his curtains and blinds were drawn and criticised the Council for wasting money on electricity bills.

Mr Smith, who has lived in Flawith Drive for 20 years, added: “They have been on day and night since the summer.

“They changed all the lamp-posts to save electricity and they have been on ever since.

“When it is dark and I pull the curtains I can still read the paper without the light on because there is a light right outside my house.

“It has affected me because I can’t sleep because the light still shines through. The Council is wasting money and I can’t understand it.”

Mr Smith’s friend, Tony Hughes, who alerted the Telegraph & Argus to the problem, said: “I think it is driving them all mad up there.”

Allun Preece, principal engineer for Bradford Council, said that the £60,000 scheme involved the replacement of 50 lighting columns. “When we replace the columns we also install energy efficient bulbs,” he said.

"The electricity connection to the control unit for the lights was finally connected on Tuesday by Yorkshire Electricity so now they are programmed to operate only whilst it is dark.

“The reason they were on all the time was because they were in ‘fail safe’ mode before the control unit was connected.

“The control unit enables us to programme the lighting to whatever hours we need them to be on and also monitors faults. These new street lights mean we will save money in the long term.”

Eccleshill Councillor Geoff Reid (Lib Dem) said that it was “not a very good example of a way to handle money.”