September 20 2014 Latest news:
by Rory Brigstock-Barron
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Environmentally-friendly businesses are not getting enough support from Islington Council, an estate agent has claimed.
Alwyne Estates, which has offices in Highbury and Upper Street, invested in an electric car earlier this year, but Islington Council has refused to let it charge the vehicle’s battery at designated points in the borough.
Instead it has had to pay hundreds of pounds to install its own charging station, which it says flies in the face of claims that the town hall is committed to reducing Islington’s pollution problems.
There are currently six charging points in four locations across the borough, but the council say these are for residents only and not to be used by businesses.
Malcolm Levy, manager at Alwyne Estates, said: “I think it’s ridiculous that we can’t use a facility that probably isn’t even being fully used.
“They should be encouraging people to go electric and they should have more points available.
“We’ve had to pay for our own charging point and it has cost us several hundred pounds, which is a considerable amount of money.
“We have four vehicles at the moment, one of which is electric, and we would like to be completely petrol-free eventually.”
The council said it did what it could to support and encourage businesses with electric cars, providing them with a reduction in the cost of a parking permit, which is £516 compared to £1,110 for a high-emission vehicle.
However, it said charging points, which take four to six hours to fully charge a car, would remain for residents only for the time being.
Claudia Webbe, the council’s executive member for the environment, said: “We support those who wish to swap their vehicle to one that is less polluting.
“However, due to the expense and our reduced resources we only have a limited number of electric charging points and to ensure our residents have access, our electric vehicle charging points are for residents’ use only at this time.”
Charlie Kiss of Islington Green Party said: “Although we appreciate the financial pressures the council is under, it is unfair that facilities should be kept for the sole use of residents but should be available to everyone who lives, works or visits our borough.
“Companies that pay their business rates should have access to car recharging points as much as any resident who pays their council tax.
“I would urge the council to reconsider.”