Renewed calls for Chichester to join EV charging point network

Chichester District Council has been urged to sign up to a partnership rolling out electric vehicle charging points across West Sussex.

The project is being delivered by Connected Kerb, in partnership with the county council and other district and borough authorities.

However CDC previously decided not to sign up to the countywide electric vehicle charging strategy, but started installing points in 2019 and these are available in eight car parks it owns.

Last week the county-wide project was officially launched and the Lib Dems have used the opportunity to renew calls for CDC to sign up to the partnership.

Chichester electric vehicle charging points

Kate O’Kelly, a district and county councillor, said: “We must move faster on this - all the other council owned car parks in the county are having chargers installed. Chichester District Council took the complacent view that we had enough, and turned down the opportunity to participate.”

She believes the area risks being left behind and suggested it was not too late for the Conservative administration to do a U-turn and sign up.

Jonathan Brown, deputy leader of the Lib Dem group at CDC, added: “High fuel prices only add to the urgent necessity of rapidly switching to forms of transport that generate much lower carbon emissions. CDC set itself area-wide carbon targets and the aim of leading on climate change action. CDC must match deeds with words, act like the climate emergency they declared is real, and move faster on this issue.”

A spokesman for CDC described how it is actively encouraging green and active travel including support for current and future EV owners by ensuring the right number of charging points are in place in the right locations. It successfully bid for £60,000 government grant and has installed charging points at eight of its car parks.

The spokesman added: “We are closely monitoring the use of these points with a view to installing more when the demand increases or when a different offer is needed, and this is something that we are carefully reviewing at the moment. As with all business decisions, the council must demonstrate best value for its residents and businesses and so a number of different options are being considered — the opportunity to join the West Sussex County Council contract is one of these.”