To receive an update on the Electric Vehicle Charging Points recommendations made to Cabinet from the Portfolio Holder and Officers
The Chair provided an overview of this item and the previous recommendations of this Committee to Cabinet from 2019 onwards. The Chair reported that he had requested an update on progress be brought to this Committee and he welcomed to the meeting the Leader of the Council, the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Leisure and the Head of Economic Development and Regeneration.
The Leader of the Council reported that, since May 2021, each Cabinet member’s portfolio included responsibility for Climate Change agenda and that the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Leisure had specific responsibility for proposals for electric vehicle charging points on Borough owned assets such as car parks and garage sites.
The Head of Economic Development and Regeneration reported that operating model 2, which was the method selected by Cabinet to be pursued, involved the lease of land to an EV charging point operating company. This involved low upfront costs and low maintenance for the Council and which provided the Council with less control, less income going forward, and meant that the location would be limited by the EV company’s preferences. A further marketing exercise had been pursued, and whilst the criteria had meant that this had been challenging, it had resulted in two spaces in two car parks with high traffic flow being identified and had resulted in an operating company entering into detailed negotiations with the Council which would lead to 2 fast charging points in each of Riverside and Bolebridge car parks.
The Head of Economic Development and Regeneration reported that he was also aware that there were discussions between private landowners and charging companies for further charging points (slower charging levels) in the Borough.
The Committee sought clarification on the following areas:
· Further details on the expected timescales to deliver these fast chargers, where the Head of Economic Development responded that, subject to the legal negotiations progressing well, he would be disappointed if this was not possible by the end of the financial year 2021/22.
· Whether the Council was pursuing Government funding of up to £14,000 which was available, where the Leader responded that the Leader had a meeting with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles to look at additional funding to support the delivery of EV chargers within areas such as Tamworth where the market had struggled to deliver sufficient capabilities.
· The variety of charging capacities available for different purposes, where the Leader reported that it was understood that there was a need for various types of charging, fast and trickle charging.
· Whether further consideration including commercial details and financial costs associated with the proposals which would be likely to be confidential could be considered during a private meeting. The Leader proposed that a confidential briefing from the Head of Economic Development and Regeneration would be circulated to members, which the Committee agreed would be helpful.
The Portfolio Holder reported that the garage clearance project which was underway and was designed to provide additional parking for residents, would additionally where possible, look to include electric charging points for residents as well.
Additionally the Portfolio Holder reported that he was seeking further information from Staffordshire County Council on their proposals to utilise the Government’s funding available for on-street EV charging points and the Portfolio Holder was looking to encourage Staffordshire County Council to use the Leys as a trial for this.
The Committee thanked the Officer, the Leader and Portfolio Holder for the update and the progress made.
RESOLVED that the Committee noted the update received.
(Moved by Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor S Goodall)
The Leader, Portfolio Holder and Head of Economic Development and Regeneration then left the meeting.