A Bushey shopkeeper is questioning why lights at a local Hertfordshire County Council funded library remain on throughout the night when street lights across the county have been switched off.

Harry Pabari, who runs Jessica’s mini supermarket in Sparrows Herne, said he noticed the library, based in the same street, had all its lights on when he was shutting up shop.

He said: "About two weeks ago, while I was closing the store, which must have been 11pm, I saw that Bushey Library had its lights on. At the time I thought that’s strange, they closed hours ago. #

"When I returned to my shop at 5am the next morning, the lights were still on, but the library was not opening for a good few hours yet.

"At first I thought this might have been a one off, but it’s been the case every single night since.

"What on earth is going on? The council has switched off lights left, right and centre, plunging roads into darkness. Yet they can’t ensure that a service they fund - Bushey Library - switches its lights off?"

According to Hertfordshire County Council’s website, Bushey Library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2pm until 6pm, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 2pm until 6pm and closed on Thursdays and Sundays.

Further investigation by the Watford Observer newspaper yesterday found that Bushey Library did in fact have lights switched on in its lobby, five hours after closing.

Mr Parabi said: "I really think Hertfordshire County Council needs to get its house in order.

"If it’s looking at cutting costs, saving money, why on earth does it have the lights on until late?

"If the library closes at 6pm, I notice the lights are still on at 11pm and 5am, does that mean the lights are on for at least 16 hours? Do they even switch them off? What a waste of electricity.

"I run a business, I wouldn’t dream of leaving the lights on all night - it would be too expensive.

"I have customers come into my shop and say how dark Bushey is since the switch off, yet they can afford to keep the lights on all night and all morning at one of their libraries.

"It’s complete and utter madness. It’s barmy."

Hertfordshire County Council phased in a money-saving policy of turning off street lights between midnight and 6am across the county at the end of 2011, with the switch-off coming into effect in Bushey in November last year.

The council said it was unable to find out electricity costs for Bushey Library at the time of going to print. But council representative, David Henning, said: "The light in the lobby of Bushey Library is switched on overnight for security reasons.

"It appears that the lights in the main library were left on overnight on Sunday by accident and staff have put measures in place to ensure this does not happen again."

When asked if the library has a security system, the council said it does, but then claimed the lobby light is left on so people can return items, using the self drop box, out of hours.