Councillors urged to use greener cars

IAN MacKELLAR ian.mackellar@archant.co.uk COUNCILLORS in Huntingdonshire want to turn the way they are reimbursed for using their cars on council business on its head. Members are being urged by a scru

IAN MacKELLAR

ian.mackellar@archant.co.uk

COUNCILLORS in Huntingdonshire want to turn the way they are reimbursed for using their cars on council business on its head.

Members are being urged by a scrutiny working group to abandon gas guzzling cars and replace them with low emission vehicles. And they are suggesting a higher mileage rate for greener engines.


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Mileage rates paid to councillors currently follow a national scheme which is based on engine size, with cars over 1200 cc attracting the highest mileage rate.

Councillor Jonathan Gray said: "The working group felt that this sent the wrong message about the dangers of climate change and the need for everyone to look carefully about their transport choices.

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"In this rural district, Huntingdonshire residents will be relying on use of the car for years to come, but we can all make better-informed choices about the cars we buy. I hope our recommendation to change the basis of the mileage allowance for councillors to one based on vehicle emissions will set an example for others to follow."

The working group is recommending that vehicles with a low exhaust emission attract the highest mileage rate with, at the other extreme, those with the highest emissions receiving the lowest rate.

The change would be voluntary for existing councillors but compulsory for newly elected councillors, although not all councillors currently claim the full allowance that they are entitled to.

The working group has also looked at how to encourage staff to use their cars less to travel to work under the council's Green Travel Plan. To promote car sharing, the working group has proposed that there should be a reduction in parking charges for those staff who drive to work with others, irrespective of whether they actually work for the council.

Councillor Gray added: "We felt that there should be positive encouragement to staff to make the right travel choices, and the working group will be returning to this theme later to see if other suggestions can be made to promote the use of public transport, cycling and walking for staff to get to work."

nDo you agree with giving incentives to green vehicles? Should this practice be rolled out into the private sector? Send your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk or write to 30 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TB.

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