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Councillors discuss more town EV charging points

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THE town council has considered installing more electric vehicle charging points in Melksham as part of the town council’s bid to do more to tackle climate change and reduce its carbon emissions.

EV charging points are limited in the town; there are currently charging points at McDonald’s and the railway station. Charging points in King Street car park are out of commission and not due to be recommissioned until 2023.

Charging points are also planned for use in 2023 at the new campus. Cllr Saffi Rabey recently attended a webinar presentation by Wiltshire Council which discussed funding opportunities for town and parish councils.

Discussing this at the town council’s economic, development and planning meeting, held on Monday 14th November, cllr Rabey said, “There is 60% government funding and 40% Wiltshire Council funding available. The government funding is transparent about what you have to buy and what is available. The government and Wiltshire grant is not really joined up because the government grant requires that the charging units will be contactless, which is great, whereas the Wiltshire Council funding does not.”

Supporting the need to install electric charging points in the town and for these to be contactless to ensure they are easy for people to use, cllr Jon Hubbard said, “I want to support this scheme. We’ve talked a lot about this, about demand and about how much people will want this.

“There is a reality we cannot avoid, we are at the very least going to go through a phase of providing electric charging points. Whether we go on to hydrogen or other technology after that, we don’t know yet. What we do know is that in five years’ time, you won’t be able to buy a new petrol of diesel car anymore. What we do know is the increase in demand for electric charge and what we do know is that some of our residents will struggle to charge their cars if there is not some infrastructure put in place. We need to be getting as many of these into our car parks as we possibly can, but please make these contactless! If it isn’t contactless payment, it is a nightmare!”

The town council will now progress with these plans and look further into sourcing the 60% government and 40% Wiltshire Council funding to install contactless charging points, as well as undergo site assessments of where the charging points could be installed and the benefits of these being installed for residents.

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