Plans to spend £750,000 on electric car charging points in Cumbria
Last updated at 16:49, Thursday, 20 February 2014
A SCHEME to install charging points for electric cars across Cumbria has been branded a waste of public cash.
Funding for the scheme will come from a share of a £750,000 government grant to create a green transport infrastructure throughout the county.
But Barrow Borough Council leader Dave Pidduck claims the money should be used to support the town’s most vulnerable residents,
He said: “Sitting in a position where the borough council is facing horrendous cuts from central government, this news causes a sharp intake of breath.
“I welcome the theory behind it – that the government obviously wants us to be greener – but if I had that amount of money I think I could find better things to spend it on in Barrow at the moment.”
Cllr Pidduck added that the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the Barrow and District Disability Association and the new women’s centre in Duke Street were all projects that should be championed above electric cars.
He said: “In the present circumstances and at this time these are organisations that I would like to support if we had that kind of money at our disposal.”
Last week the Evening Mail reported that emergency fire cover in the town is set to be halved as a result of savage cuts to Cumbria County Council’s budget. Dalton fire station will also be closed and sold off in a bid to save cash.
But the county authority – which received news of the Whitehall windfall last month – is now in charge of installing the technology in a number of Cumbrian towns, including Barrow, Millom, Kendal, Penrith, Carlisle, Maryport, Workington, Whitehaven, Cockermouth and Keswick this summer.
The 11 rapid charging points, which power up vehicles in just 20 minutes, and 20 fast-charging points, capable of recharging two cars simultaneously in two hours, are expected to be positioned on local authority-owned land – with exact locations to be decided in the next few months.
The county council is also planning to buy a fleet of 15 electric cars and vans this year which will be charged at the new power points.
Dalton Councillor Barry Doughty, cabinet member for the county’s fleet of vehicles, described it as a “substantial investment”.
He said: “We’re planning on buying 15 electric vehicles this year that will contribute to cutting the council’s carbon footprint and putting in place greener transport solutions.”
According to two websites that list public charging points for electric vehicles across the UK, there are none in Cumbria and few in the North West outside Manchester and Liverpool.
Officials at South Lakeland District Council are already working with the county council in a bid to find the best location for the points in Kendal.
But Windermere Councillor David Williams dubbed the scheme a “waste of money”.
He said: “These vehicles might be fine in a city but in a rural area it’s simply a waste of time and money, quite ridiculous and a gimmick.”
First published at 16:13, Thursday, 20 February 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
what a complete waste of money,
something should be done about these people wasting money. does anybody here know of any people with electric cars?
this is your money, my money ,our money being spent,how many fire engines will there be in barrow ,your house is on fire ,the alarms go off at the shipyard ,where will the fire engine go ?.
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