Councillor Maney introduced the
report and stated that this report would enable future
infrastructure for electric vehicle charging across the borough, as
well as allow for an associated long-term policy. He explained that
the number of people buying electric vehicles was increasing as it
was a more sustainable method of travel, but there were currently
only three charging points in Thurrock which used older technology.
He stated that Thurrock needed more charging points using newer
technology to be able to keep up with future demand, and help
residents make greener choices. He commented that Thurrock had
agreed to reduce carbon emissions, and the government had enacted a
ban on combustion engine cars by 2030, and the new proposed
infrastructure would help Thurrock meet these targets by making
electric vehicle charging easier. He stated that the contract would
be to a single external provider for between 10 and 15 years,
although a break clause would be included in the contract and
relevant KPIs would be analysed regularly. He described how this
report also allowed for work to begin on a new electric vehicle
policy, which would include how and where electric vehicles could
be charged. He highlighted point 2.8 in the report which detailed
three funding streams for the project including, government grants,
developer contributions, and grant-matched funding from the Office
for Low Emission Vehicles. He thanked the officers for their hard
work on the project, and felt that because of their hard work the
Council would stand in good stead for a successful bid.
Councillor Maney then proposed a new recommendation, which was for a yearly update to go to Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee so they could receive updates on the progress of the contract. He stated that the report had been through the scrutiny committee, where it had been well-received and no additional comments had been made.
Councillor Coxshall felt it was good to see Thurrock Council keeping up with electric vehicle technology, as many businesses were now building electric vehicle charging points, such as intu Lakeside. The Leader stated that this report would be good news for residents as it would help improve their lives. He stated that electric vehicle charging technology continued to improve, and highlighted the work that had been undertaken to include 5G connectivity cables inside electric vehicle charging points. He stated that other add-ons could also be included, such as air quality testing points, electric vehicle street charging points, and park-over charging points. He felt this would encourage residents to purchase an electric vehicle, and asked that the contract also consider curb-side charging for people who lived in older houses or in blocks of flats.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
1. Approved the procurement of a single contract over a maximum period of 15 years. The initial contract period will be 10 years with an option to extend for one further period of 5 years (10+5).
2. Approved the creation of a policy to inform the roll out of the charging infrastructure, based upon a demand-led approach for on-street and off-street parking provision and the upgrade/expansion of existing Council assets and in town centre location and transport hubs.
3. Approved the budget and contract value for the full 15 year period to the value of up to £9m based on the following income areas:
a. Allocation of budget on the DfT Integrated Transport Block funding of minimum £75,000 per annum (total allocation over 15 year project life is estimated at being a minimum of £1.125m);
b. Contributions secured pursuant to Section 106 of the T&CPA1990 (based on Local Plan projections for infrastructure improvements), and;
c. Office for Low Emission Vehicle (OLEV) grant funding of up to 75% of the capital costs for installation of EV facilities.
4. Approved the approach to delegated authority for awarding contract(s) to the Director of Place in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport.
5. Agreed a yearly update report go to the Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee to monitor the contract.
Reason for decision: as outlined in the report.
This decision is subject to call-in.