Question to the Chairman of the Strategic Planning,
Sustainability and Transportation Committee from Councillor
Councillor Harper asked the following question of the Chairman
of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation
I understand that the Government has allocated a sum
of pounds for electric car charging points at blocks of flats and
in Council owned car parks. Can the
Chairman of Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation
Committee inform the meeting what active ongoing measures the
authority is doing to install electric car charging points
throughout the Borough and to promote electric cars and transport
to reduce air pollution and move towards carbon neutral
Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and
Transportation Committee replied that:
We as a
Council through, probably, the Strategic Planning, Sustainability
and Transportation Committee will tap into any pot of money that
exists so that we can encourage the additional installation of
electric car charging infrastructure to promote electric vehicle
report that there are some measures that we have undertaken already
and intend to undertake. For example,
the Maidstone Integrated Transport Strategy promotes electric
vehicle use. It is a core part of the
Strategy. In particular, Action H6
seeks the installation of additional electric charging points and
the promotion of electric car use.
Strategy also includes a target to double the number of electric
charging points in Maidstone by 2021 and to double again by
first started talking about electric vehicles in this Chamber, I
was met with cynicism and scepticism, but I am really encouraged
tonight that this question demonstrates cross-party support to
accelerate the process. Action H6 is a
very positive measure, but we need to go further.
recently adopted Local Plan has embedded policies and proposals
that are intended to promote electric vehicle use. In particular, Policy DM6 on Air Quality supports
the Maidstone Integrated Transport Strategy by facilitating the
installation of charging points. Policy
DM23 also seeks to ensure that new developments incorporate
electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
recently as December 2017, the Strategic Planning, Sustainability
and Transportation Committee adopted the Council’s Low
Emission Strategy, and one of the actions in the Strategy relates
to the introduction of Air Quality Planning Guidance which includes
provision for the incorporation of electric vehicle charging points
in new builds. I was pleased to
champion that piece of work and that it was unanimously supported
are examples of some of the measures we are taking that will
tangibly improve the air quality of our residents.
to be aware that this is the technology of here and now, but it is
changing and we should not restrict our thinking to, for example,
the idea of fixed electric vehicle charging
infrastructure. Let’s be really
ambitious and make Maidstone a pioneer and leader in this
pleased to tell you that through the Quality Bus Partnership,
working with one of the bus companies, an electric bus will be
trialled very soon – another exciting example of new
a very exciting time; there is much more we can do. Let’s not rest until Maidstone is the
exemplar in encouraging and promoting electric vehicle usage and
improving air quality.
Question to the Chairman of the Communities, Housing
and Environment Committee from Councillor J Sams
Councillor J Sams asked the
following question of the Chairman of the Communities, Housing and
60,000 homes in England have remained vacant for at
least 2 years and 11,000 homes across the country have remained
uninhabited for a decade or more.
Councils have the opportunity to make use of Empty
Dwelling Management Orders which allow Local Authorities to bring
unoccupied properties into use as housing.
Whilst this 2004 Housing Act legislation was aimed
at properties that have been empty for 6 months or more we can show
you properties in Harrietsham that have
been empty for over 10 years.
In light of the housing shortage in Maidstone what
steps will this Council take to use this legislation for the
benefit of local residents?
Chairman of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee
Housing and Health team works hard with the owners of empty
properties to bring them back into use.
However returning empty properties back into use is often not
straightforward. This is because the
reasons properties are left empty for long periods of time are
often complex and difficult to resolve.
Empty Dwelling Management Orders were introduced in
2006. In reality they are difficult to
obtain. During the period 2006-2011
only 43 EDMOs were issued nationally.
Council Tax records show that there are currently 116 properties in
the Borough classified as empty and unfurnished for over two years.
However there may be further properties that are not being lived in
but are not classified as empty on our system for the purpose of
Housing and Health team has liaised with the owners of eight long
term empty properties in Harrietsham. None of
these properties would be suitable for consideration of an Empty
Dwelling Management Order for a variety of reasons, including being
subject to probate, being part of commercial premises, being about
to be demolished or currently being marketed for sale. If there are other properties we are not aware of
please do contact the Housing and Health team and we can
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