Cllr Patrick Brown says councils across the North are missing a trick by not availing of a £20million fund to set up charging points in their areas.
Alliance councillor Patrick Brown, has shared his disappointment that no Northern Irish Council, including Newry Mourne and Down, has applied for a grant scheme, which would provide up to £20m for local authorities to install electric vehicle charging points across the district.
The grant for the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) is being administered by the Energy Saving Trust and is open to all local authorities across the UK.
If successfully secured, it would fund 75% of the capital costs associated with the implementation of public chargepoints that could be used by the local community.
Cllr Brown said: “Recently, as a result of the Green New Deal motion brought by Cadogan Enright and myself, Newry, Mourne and Down committed to designate at least 5% of their parking bays in council car parks as charging points for EVs.
“This grant could deliver that commitment ten times over, yet it is being overlooked as a significant resource. As such, I have written to council management to urge them to apply before it’s too late.”
Cllr Brown added “In order to address the climate emergency at a local level, attention must be awarded to how we can collectively reduce emissions and lower our carbon footprint.
“Local government should not hinder our transition to carbon-free vehicles. Instead, it should welcome this brilliant funding opportunity that would (literally) drive us forward in creating a more sustainable environment across the district.
“I hope that Council seize this opportunity and apply for the funding immediately.”