Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet has agreed today to establish a new Highways Board with the first meeting to take place in September.
Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Transport said: “This new Board will examine the work of the Highways Service, including budgets, programmes, and performance, and the pressures the service faces as a result of decreasing budgets and increasing inflation. The first meeting in September will consider innovation in Highways and will meet bimonthly.”
The Board will be chaired by Councillor Shore and be made up of eight Members formed from cross party membership, with four Labour Members, three Conservative, and one Independent, supported by senior officers. Councillor Shore will share the Highways Board recommendations with Cabinet for review and where agreed, approval.
Meanwhile, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet has also endorsed the borough’s local Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy.
The Council has developed a draft Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy (EVCI) in response to the Climate Emergency declaration and Air Quality Management Plan.
The EVCI Strategy covers the Council’s approach to supporting the delivery of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, including for public use, for Council fleet and at Council workplaces.
The Strategy sets out several ambitious targets for the roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including a target to be a regional leader in terms of charge points per 100,000 population by 2025, and a national leader by 2030. The Council is on track to achieving the 2025 target, maintaining this position will require a significant increase in charge point provision.
The strategy also supports the Council’s application to the Office of Zero Emission Vehicle’s Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund. The LEVI fund aims to deliver a step-change in the deployment of local on-street charging infrastructure. The Council has been assigned a provisional allocation of £2,049,000 from this fund, and an expression of interest was submitted in May 2023. If successful, a full business case will be submitted by November 2023. The funding would be awarded 2023/24. The funding will allow the council to leverage significant private sector investment to facilitate rapid expansion of the borough’s public charging infrastructure network.
A six-week public consultation on the draft version took place between 1 February and 15 March 2023. Responses showed a high degree of support for the policies set out in the strategy, both from those who already drive electric vehicles and those who do not.