MBC accelerating electric vehicle charging bays in town


Maidstone Borough Council (MBC), has announced that it is to introduce additional electric vehicle charging bays in and around the county town.

As part of the authority’s bid to be a Business Rates Retention Pilot for 2019/20 (which offers 75% business rates retention), MBC will be installing 16 Electric Vehicle charging bays in prime town centre locations in off-street car parks.

The announcement reflects the need for more charging areas as revealed in the latest Department for Transport report (DfT Vehicle Statistics Report), which showed that the number of motorists using plug-in vehicles in Maidstone has increased by 45% (rising from 222 to 322), between October 2017 and September 2018.

Maidstone Borough Council Chair of Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee - Councillor David Burton said:

“Improving air quality is one of the biggest challenges that we face here is Maidstone and across the whole of the UK.  To be able to announce 16 new charging bays in and around the town is really great news.  Anything to encourage the use of electric vehicles directly helps improve the air that we breathe in our streets, outside our schools and homes.

A small but significant step in the right direction that I hope will be followed by many more supported by our leading planning guidance to get charging facilities as part of all new developments.”

The project is part of a Business Rates Retention Pilot and has been announced at the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting held today – Wednesday 23 January 2019.

The meetings’ Agenda also included the Business Rates Retail Discount scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in each of the years 2019-20 and 2020-21 (as announced by the Government in the Budget on 29 October 2018).

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties listed for rating (a hereditament) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments.

Also discussed during the meeting was the Council Tax Long Term Empty Property Premium which outlined the decision by Maidstone Borough Council to charge 50% Council Tax premium on properties that have been unoccupied for more than two years.

New regulations have now been introduced to allow authorities to vary the percentage of Council Tax premium that is charged over the next 3 years for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.


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