County Council yet to spend £133,000 car charger funding grant

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

Drivers of electric cars in Norfolk may find themselves low on battery after it emerged a county council plan to install 40 charging points was yet to begin.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, which is run by Norfolk County Council, announced last August that it would be installing the car charging points at its stations across the county after being awarded a grant of £ 131,595 by the Department for Transport.

The charging points were supposed to be installed by March, but the funding is still sitting in the bank after the county council found out that a series of conditions were attached to it.

Roy Harold, deputy chief fire officer, said the grant was awarded before the conditions were revealed.

'The initial grant award was made prior to the full details of attached conditions being released, including the requirement for up front local funding to kick start the investment, and a risk that, if works weren't completed in time, that local funding could not be recovered.

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'Given our straitened financial position, we were not prepared to take that risk, and therefore gained agreement from the grant awarding body that we could put the installation programme on hold for now.'

He added that the service was keen to support initiatives to limit human impact on the environment, and that its Chief and Deputy Chief Fire Officer are already driving plug-in hybrid cars.

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The service has already cut its own carbon emissions by more than 25 per cent, according to Mr Harold, saving more than £250,000 per year.

More than half a million pounds was granted for investment in electric car charging points across Norfolk and Suffolk in February this year.

West Norfolk and King's Lynn received a cash boost of £222,183, while Suffolk will be handed £337,500 to install 29 rapid vehicle chargepoints across the east.

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