Report of the Chief Executive
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding presented the report which provided detail about the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Plan 2021/24 to enable the provision of electric charging across the county.
Cllr Dr McClelland explained that historically the provision of Electric Vehicle Charging Points (EVCPs) on Wiltshire Council land had been funded through grants, with the maintenance managed and funded by the commercial provider. Due to the EVCPs being old technology the parts are no longer available, and the commercial provider is unable to facilitate their repair. The current infrastructure is therefore in need of replacement, and requests have been received from the community for additional EVCPs. There is an opportunity to renew the current infrastructure in the short term and set the foundations for a long-term strategy which will be developed as part of the new Local Transport Plan in 2023.
Cllr Graham Wright, Chair of the Global Warming & Climate Change Task Group confirmed that the Task Group, along with members of the Environment Select Committee, had considered the detail of the report at the Task Groups meeting on 8 October 2021. Cllr Wright informed Cabinet that the Task Group welcomed the report and felt that the Plan would address immediate challenges and help prepare for a more detailed strategy going forward. Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Chair of the Environment Select Committee also welcomed the report and commented on the potential for new build homes to incorporate EV charging points as standard.
Cllr Ian Thorn raised question in relation to the following matters:
· The expectation that the proportion of electric vehicles on roads by 2030 would reach 30% and the development of the appropriate infrastructure to reflect the likely demand and enshrined in the forthcoming Business Plan. Cllr Dr McClelland confirmed that the Strategy would take into account future statistics in its development and support for the Strategy to be included in the Business Plan.
· The importance of the Local Plan in relation to EV charging points in new homes. The Cabinet noted that it was not current Government policy for developers to install EV charging points in new homes, although the Council could encourage this.
· Development of the Transport Plan and engagement with the private sector. Cllr Dr McClelland confirmed that the Council will undertake appropriate consultation within the confines of national legislation.
· Concern at the use of 2011 census information to inform the Strategy. Cllr Dr McClelland and the Leader confirmed that checks would be undertaken in relation to the use of more up to date census information.
Cllr Jon Hubbard suggested the use of solar panels to power charging points in Council car parks, social housing to include or the infrastructure to retrofit EV charging points and heat source pumps. Cllr Hubbard was concerned that the majority of residents did not have funds to purchase long range electric vehicles, therefore the infrastructure detailed in the Strategy needed to be in place to provide the necessary public charging points. He also referred to the Dutch railway network utilising renewable wind power to run the service. The Leader confirmed that solar panels were being considered for charging points in car parks, new social housing would be zero carbon and easily adaptable to include EV charging points and heat source pumps.
Cllr Gordon King asked about the Housing Decarbonisation Strategy and when it was expected to be available. The Director of Highways and Environment expected that the Government Strategy would be available shortly.
Cllr Clare Cape commented on a specific planning application in Chippenham and asked for the inclusion or installation of the infrastructure to enable the connection of EV charging points. The Leader explained that the Council could only encourage developers to include EV charging points in new homes.
Cllr Graham Wright commented on a social housing new build bungalow in Durrington and the inclusion of an EV charging point. Cllr Dr McClelland confirmed that he would need to check the specification for the build and respond after the meeting.
Cllr Gavin Grant commented on the future provision of fast and rapid charge points in community areas with a population over 10,000 residents, and that his area of Malmesbury was not on this list due to the size of the community area and therefore no provision for charging points. Cllr Grant also commented on the location of charging points and their accessibility by residents. Cllr Dr McClelland confirmed that the aspiration was to role out charging points across all communities, with locations being considered in the long term. However, the available budget constrained where the charging points were placed in the short term.
Resolved: To adopt the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Plan 2021/24 and the allocation of £0.275 million in the capital programme to deliver the outcomes.
Reasons for Decision:
The Council has the opportunity to upgrade, improve and expand the EVCPs available to residents and for use by its own fleet. This report offers a fully funded plan to deliver the new infrastructure over the next three years