NOTEBOOK: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE’S ELECTRIC CARS?

What’s happening – or happened – to the electric vehicles bought by West Dunbartonshire Council when the SNP were in power?

Three months ago West Dunbartonshire residents were being asked to help the Council play their part in sparking an upsurge in electric vehicle use while the six brand now “pugs” lay unused and “rotting away” in the car park at one of their offices.

The council’s appeal for help came at a remarkable time when the Council itself has purchased half a dozen of these electric vehicles but has failed to put them into service.

They had been lying for nearly two years, taxed and MOTd, out in all weathers in the car park at the Aurora House council offices in Clydebank, soaking up snow and ice – and inevitably rust.

It is believed that the previous SNP administration bought the electric Peugeots as a vanity project to make to make them look good during COP 26, the international climate change conference, which was held  in Glasgow.

May be an image of outdoors and brick wall

From 1 June, Glasgow’s #LowEmissionZone will come into force. All vehicles entering the city centre zone will need to meet the less-polluting emission standards or face a penalty charge.
The new council’s new Labour administration appeared to have been landed with the electric cars and had much work – and significant costs to meet – before they could, if ever, be put into service.

The cars have been described by concerned members of the public to be in poor condition and one person said they were “rotting away”.

The “pugs” as they are called are all 16 number plates and do not appear ever to have been used.

Whistle-blowers who checked with the DVLA told The Democrat that they all seem to have had an up to date MOT but have never moved.

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Democrat investigation by BILL HEANEY

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They wanted to know how this came about, what the unused electric charging points at Aurora House in Clydebank cost and if they still function?

They also asked us what the cars are for and if the council have spent money on new petrol or diesel cars  since purchasing these electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, as The Democrat report, encouraging car owners to ditch the diesel and petrol engines in favour of cleaner transport was said to be “a key element of the drive towards our Net Zero target – and a big part of meeting that challenge is expanding the vehicle charging infrastructure”.

Councillors say that to help them develop a strategy that makes it easier for more people to make the switch, they were seeking the views of residents at the following survey https://forms.office.com/e/6QC3DkKMuA

Dumbarton councillor David McBride, convener of the Council’s Infrastructure, Regeneration & Economic Development Committee (IRED) said at the time: “The quest to reach Net Zero is a cornerstone of the Council’s ambitions for the future and helping car users make the switch to cleaner fuel will take a huge step towards that target.

Labour Group councillors David McBride and Lawrence O’Neill and an electric charging point.

“Whether you already have an electric vehicle or are considering getting one in the future, your input can help us develop our strategy including the location of new charging points.”

Old Kilpatrick councillor Lawrence O’Neill, vice convener of the IRED Committee, added: “Improving the environment is a global responsibility and in West Dunbartonshire we are determined to do our bit to make a difference.

“Putting in place a robust and effective charging infrastructure is a key priority and I’d urge residents to help us meet their needs by engaging in this survey.”

The public consultation, which was open until 31 December, was part of the wider Glasgow City Region project to fund major infrastructure improvements, including public transport and connectivity, driving business growth and investment.

The £1.13 billion City Deal is an agreement between the UK Government, the Scottish Government and eight local authorities – West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire.

It is also the one which cash-strapped West Dunbartonshire Council agreed last year to pay £6 million to Exxon, one of the richest companies in the world, to clean up the environmental damage done by them while operating a terminal and tank farm on the banks of the River Clyde at Bowling.

Since Glasgow City Council has now published details of what its charges will be, we thought it only right to ask if similar charges and arrangements had been made for owners of electric vehicles in West Dunbartonshire.

However, the Labour administration at Dumbarton appears still to be operating the SNP’s unapproved by the council policy of not answering questions direct from The Democrat, which was also adopted enthusiastically by the former Chief Executive Joyce White and the uncommunicative communications department,

We would have spoken to the new chief executive Peter Hessett and Beth Culshaw. the chief official at the Health and Social Care Partnership, about these cars and asked for an explanation as to how this came about, but as things stand the council gag is still in place.

So, since when did West Dunbartonshire Council’s Labour Group buy in to the SNP’s Secret Scotland policy which has attracted so much derision over the past few weeks of chaos and confusion for the national party?

What has happened to press freedom and Freedom of Speech in West Dunbartonshire? And what has happened to West Dunbartonshire Council’s electric vehicles?

Hopefully they are being put to good use here. If not, it’s time the council put its foot on the gas and increased the speed, especially now that the electricity charges have gone through the roof.

Glasgow City Council  📣EV Charging Tariffs

May be an image of car and text that says "Glasgow CITYCOUNCIL EV Charging Tariffs Rapid Charging Unit Max Stay 1 Hour 70p per kWh £1 connection fee 716 ነ Standard Charging Unit On-Street City Centre Max Stay 2 Hours On-Street rest of City Max Stay 3 Hours Off-Street Car Park Max Stay 4 Hours 40p per kWh, £1 connection fee £40 overstay charge applied at all chargers after maximum stay"

From Tuesday 11 April an EV Charging Tariff, including a Connection Fee and a rate for the electricity consumed, will be introduced to our 306 charging points across the City 🚗⚡ More information 👉 glasgow.gov.uk/EVCharging

2 comments

  1. Keep asking the questions Bill. As you have said yourself on many occasions, “the truth will always out.”

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