THESE photographs show all the lights in County Hall, Taunton, lit up at around 7pm on an evening last week.

The photographer, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they were shocked to see "the waste" at a time when the council is battling to stave off bankruptcy.

But a council spokesperson said there was a perfectly legitimate reason for the light show.

The person who snapped the pictures said: "I was shocked by this waste. Every single light in the two blocks appeared to be on

"I couldn't see any evidence of people working or walking around.

"Even if there were staff in, surely they wouldn't be in every single office on every single floor at that time.

"The council says it's struggling to keep within budget.

"I say, 'Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves'."

A Somerset Council spokesperson said: “County Hall is open to staff until 7pm, and later if needed, and equipped with motion sensitive lighting.

"There are often staff working until 7pm and beyond, while cleaners and caretakers are often moving around the building doing their job at this time and later.

"It is therefore not uncommon to see lights on at 7pm and beyond.”