05:31PM, Monday 01 February 2016
A councillor is 'appalled' at the borough's decision to lease 13 petrol-powered minis for its staff when it is promoting the use of electric cars.
On Monday, January 25, the council's transport and access team leader, Lynne Penn updated the borough's sustainability panel on the council's transport plan, and its intention to implement a 'travel hierarchy' to cut down the amount of car journeys taken by staff.
She revealed the borough has leased 13 Minis for staff use, with the cars delivered last week. The seven pool cars it already had creates 358 tonnes of carbon every year, but Ms Penn said the council needs a bigger fleet of vehicles.
But the choice to lease petrol cars angered Cllr Derek Sharp (Con, Furze Platt), who chairs the sustainability panel.
He said: "I'm appalled at what we're doing. We have actively promoted the use of electric vehicles in the borough."
Cllr Sharp added the borough has pumped money into installing charging points for electric cars which, he said are 'supposed to be the thing of the future'.
He added: "And now you're telling me this borough is going against electric cars, and we are getting petrol or diesel or whatever
"I do not understand it because what we are promoting here is against the borough's policy. I can't believe that someone has rubber-stamped this."
Ms Penn replied that the lease scheme which the borough has agreed to join does not have a provision for electric cars which would be suitable for the council's needs.
She said she understands Cllr Sharp's objections, but added that electric vehicles are 'just not in the market place at this point'.
Cllr Sharp called for 'whoever' chose the Minis to make their case before the panel, and was further angered when he found out the scheme was given the green-light before it would be debated by the sustainability panel.
He added: "It's alright, get the general public to do it, plug into the points, but are we going to use it? No, we're going to get 13 petrol cars. It's not the right message."
Speaking today, Cllr Sharp said: "It's still being looked into, I can't really comment any more.
"I haven't had a chance as yet to go any further with it. I will be, but at the moment I can't make a comment."
Electric charge points were installed by the borough at York House, Sheet Street, Windsor; near the now demolished St Ives House in St Ives Road, Maidenhead and in Tinkers Lane, Maidenhead.
They cost £1,542, £1,217 and £1,088 to install, respectively.
At the same meeting, Ms Penn said there is a plan being discussed to offer the pool cars for public use, as seen in some London boroughs.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.