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Cabinet members agree pool car shake-up

A report about the future of the Royal Borough’s pool cars was discussed at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The council is looking at backing out of the three-year-lease for 13 Minis and switching to electric hybrid cars.

Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) presented the paper at the meeting, which was held at Forest Bridge School in Chiltern Road.

He said the council had electric pool cars before it switched to the petrol-fuelled Minis, which are only clocking up 6,300 miles a year, instead of an anticipated 10,000.

The paper also looked at changing the council's mayoral car, which is a Jaguar XJ, to an electric car next year.

Cllr Coppinger said: “They mayor’s car is very important and its the first thing people see when she arrives.

“The mayor’s car is about ten years old now, and has done 158,000 miles. It’s capable of doing a few more years but we think it's right to show people we’re going to lead on this.

“We want to show to our staff we’re committed to new technology.”

He said the new car would have to have presence and be suitable for the mayor.

The last part of the paper looked at on-street electric car charging points in Windsor and Maidenhead.

Cllr Coppinger said he didn’t want to put charging points in streets where residents found it difficult to park and said a full consultation would be done with residents about the scheme.

Cabinet agreed to terminate the existing pool car fleet at the end of next year, carry out a review of the milage policy, secure a new electric car for the mayor next year and look into locations to install ten charging points.

The Royal Borough's bus champion Cllr Hari Sharma (Con, Furze) also spoke to cabinet members about the bus service in the area.

Last month the Advertiser reported several key routes are out to tender, after Courtney Buses said it was unable to continue running ‘loss-making’ routes.

Cabinet agreed to approve £153k for five years from 2017-2018 for the continuation of the operation of bus services.

Council leader Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) asked for an analysis to be undertaken by the borough about why patronage on bus services was decreasing.

Other items discussed included:

- Cabinet approved a report which would see the contract for 4 Marlow Road awarded to Parkwood. It will now manage the building, which is home to Maidenhead's Citizens Advice Bureau and the youth counselling service. The report states all sub-leases and users of the centre would operate as they do currently on the same terms.

- Cllr Jack Rankin (Con, Park) presented a report about the RBWM trading company. He said three sites were now available for key workers to rent in Vansittart Road, Windsor, Hampden Road, Maidenhead and Wessex Road, Maidenhead.

- Cabinet members noted the progress made by the troubled families’ programme, which supports vulnerable families in the borough.

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