Lib Dems call for Hertfordshire County Council to review electric vehicle policies

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst put forward the pleas in motions presented to a meeting of the full council

Thursday, 16th December 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 10:04 am

A leading Liberal Democrat has called on the county council to review a policy that would ‘restrict’ the provision of on-street electric vehicle charging points.

And he has called for all new council vehicles – purchased or leased – to be ‘ultra low emission vehicles’, including electric vehicles or plug in hybrids.

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst put forward the pleas in motions presented to a meeting of the full council, on Tuesday (December 14).

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Cllr Stephen GIles-Medhurst put forward the pleas in motions presented to a meeting of the full council

The motions were not debated at the meeting, where the agenda was shortened and number of councillors in the chamber limited.

And instead they will be passed to meetings of the council’s cabinet panels for consideration.

It was earlier this year when the county council produced a draft ‘electric vehicle charging’ strategy paper.

It recognised there was a place for on-street charging, but it advocated a move towards ‘destination’ charging facilities.

And it noted that charging facilities were already being set up commercially by supermarkets, retail parks, workplaces and investment companies.

But at the meeting Cllr Giles-Medhurst’s motion highlighted grants that were now available to support on-road charging points.

And it called for the council to “re-consider its policy position of only a preference for charging points at local destinations such as supermarkets and car-parks, and not restricting the provision of on street charging for just limited users/ limited circumstances.”

In calling for the purchase or lease of vehicles by the county council to be ‘ultra low emission vehicles, Cllr Giles-Medhurst highlighted the new HertsLynx service.

HertsLynx is the new on-demand bus service – operating in the more rural areas of east and north Herts – which was launched in September.

And the motion suggests that, “the Council undertakes to only lease or purchase Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (including Electric Vehicles and Plug in Hybrids PHEVs) when the replacement of any council owned or leased vehicle is due or new purchases are made such as for HertsLynx and undertakes to encourage all of its contractors to adopt similar measures.”

The motion on the installation of charging points will be passed on to a meeting of the county council’s highways and transport cabinet panel.

Meanwhile the motion on the purchase or lease of ‘ultra low emission vehicles’ will be passed on to the county council’s environment cabinet panel.

No motions were debated at the meeting of the full council on Tuesday, December 14, where the agenda was shortened in order to reduce the time councillors were in the chamber.

In addition the number of councillors in the chamber was limited to 21 – the lowest number needed for the meeting to be legally quorate.

The precautionary measures were designed to reduce the risk of any spread of Covid-19.

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