New council office has no electric car chargers despite green agenda

Glasgow City Council home care staff are due to move into a rented unit in Baillieston as part of a ten-year lease.

New council office has no electric car chargers despite green agenda iStock

A new £56,000 per year council office has no electric chargers, despite the local authority planning to roll out the green-powered vehicles to workers.

Glasgow City Council home care staff are due to move into a rented unit at the Glasgow Business Park in Baillieston as part of a ten-year lease.

Home care services who look after the elderly and vulnerable are among staff who are in line to get the first electric vehicles, a council meeting heard. 

The social work home care service had to leave its base in the Baillieston area due to lack of car parking for carers and managers. 

The council’s contracts and property committee meeting last week heard an “extensive search” was carried out to find new premises. But there was no suitable building within the council’s ownership.

Referring to the council’s ‘green agenda’ as COP26 takes place in the city, Labour councillor Jim Kavanagh said: “You say one of your principal reasons for moving is parking. So you get 22 spaces while we wish to utilise public transport and take people out of cars.”

He added: “There is absolutely nothing in this document that deals with electrical charging units in the pavilion. Having been at that pavilion a number of times – there is no electrical charging facility whatsoever.”

Councillor Kavanagh continued: “The green agenda needs to be highly up this, but it has disappeared off this paper.”

A council officer replied: “This office development was developed back in the late 80s, early 90s. At that point there weren’t electric vehicles – it was still a science project at that time.”

He said the council has asked the landlord to look at putting in electric charging points within the 22 spaces, which is being investigated. But it is still unclear if that is possible – depending on the grid system capacity.

The landlord has scoped out vehicle charging points for neighbouring units and the council has asked whether they could be used by the local authority staff. 

Pointing out the council has invested in hundreds of electric cars, councillor Kavanagh added: “We need to support Glasgow as a city on the green agenda. The council cannot be seen to enter premises quite simply that do not support the council’s green agenda.”

Council director of corporate asset management, Ian Robertson, said: “It is a point well noted and we will ensure it is a standing feature in any proposal going forward to talk about that.” 

Mr Robertson pointed out charging stations will be needed in neighbourhoods where people live – not just where they work. 

He added: “Home care services as we have already highlighted is one of the key services that will get the benefit of the first tranche of electric vehicles. We have to make sure the infrastructure is there.”

A council report presented to the committee said: “The home care service covering the Baillieston area has three teams that support over 600 people within the local community with a team of about 330 carers.” 

A new north-east pharmacy hub will also be based at the new rented first-floor office at Pavilion 4 in the business park.

By local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley

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