Harrogate council staff could be offered electric cars


Last updated Feb 2, 2021
Photo: Jeremy Segrott/Flickr.

Staff at Harrogate Borough Council could soon be able to sacrifice some of their salary for an electric car.

Senior councillors on the authority’s cabinet are set to vote today on a scheme which would see employees offered the chance to lease ultra low emission vehicles.

It comes as councillors passed a motion in April 2019 to support measures to address the climate emergency as outlined by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

However, a Liberal Democrat motion calling on the authority to declare a climate emergency has twice been rejected by councillors.

Further calls for a citizens’ assembly on the climate have also been rejected.

The motion in 2019 put forward by council leader, Richard Cooper, and Cllr Graham Swift included a proposal for a salary sacrifice scheme for low emission vehicles.

Council officials said the move would help to reduce the authority’s carbon footprint and make savings on national insurance and pension contributions.

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As part of the scheme outlined by officers, staff would lease a car from the council in exchange for part of their salary.

Staff would need to pass eligibility criteria as well as a driving licence check.

The authority currently employs more than 1,000 people, however it has proposed to set the minimum threshold for the scheme at £19,000.

Meanwhile, council bosses will investigate the need further further electric vehicle charging points at sites it owns.

The authority would also need to procure a supplier for the electric vehicles.

A report due before councillors said:

“The current time is perfect for implementation of an electric vehicle salary sacrifice scheme due to benefit in kind conditions introduced by government. 

“Currently it is more advantageous for a member of staff to lease an electric vehicle through salary sacrifice and this helps to bridge the cost gap between electric and petrol/diesel.”

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