Herald - Issue 405

Page 60 • The HERALD • 22nd April 2021 v THE HERALD - SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES v AUTOPAT A Family Business Established since 1982 PROMPT & EFFICIENT v Servicing v Mechanical Repairs v MOT’s - Petrol & Diesel v Air Conditioning Service Unit 3, Hardley Ind. Est., Hythe 023 8084 0163 Hampshire County Council Commits to Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Fleet 190 electric vehicles are set to replace diesel and petrol ones in Hampshire County Council’s eet as part of a drive to tackle carbon emissions and improve air quality. is will contribute to the County Council’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2050. Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Commercial Strategy, Human Resources and Performance, Councillor Stephen Reid, said: “As part of our commitment to tackle carbon emissions and improve air quality, I’m pleased that the Authority will switch its fossil fuelled vehicles to an electric alternative wherever possible. Electric vehicle technology has advanced to the point that it is both a cost effective and a reliable replacement for cars and small vans. This means 190 zero-emission vehicles will be joining our fleet once older vehicles come to the end of their lifecycle.” At his Decision Day meeting on Wednesday 17th March, Councillor Reid approved a policy that means that, where they are suitable, electric vehicles will be the default choice across the County Council. is transition to electric vehicles will be phased to avoid unnecessary expenditure. A pilot has already successfully seen electric vehicles used by the County Council’s school meal catering service (HC3S), asbestos management team, and Hampshire Highways. For larger commercial and specialist vehicles where the market does not o er electric options, the County Council will explore enhanced environmentally friendly options. For example, it is currently trialling the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil – a renewable fuel made from waste oil and food - in a small number of vans and trucks. To support the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, Hampshire County Council is also currently working with district partners to install more ‘on-street’ charging points as part of a trial pilot in Winchester and Eastleigh. More information is available on the County Council’s website: www.hants. gov.uk/transport/electric-vehicles/pilot-schemes Since the 1st April, the County Council has purchased 100% renewable energy so other commercial or domestic EVs charged at its charge points will also further help to reduce carbon emissions. Groups across the New Forest are being invited to apply for funds for actions to help protect the New Forest’s precious landscape. In January 2020, the New Forest National Park Authority declared a climate and nature emergency. It recognises the threat of climate change to the special qualities of the area and is working with others to help prevent or reduce its e ects. e grants are launched on the back of the online New Forest Awakening Festival which ran throughout February and raised awareness of the nature and climate emergencies, highlighting how people could make a di erence. Lots of small actions really do help, and the Authority has grants of up to £150 available to schools, youth groups and other organised community groups and charities to kickstart projects. Grants are available for activities that achieve any of these aims: Improving opportunities for wildlife and habitats - Providing new habitat, such as creating new ponds or wetlands; introducing native planting, wild owers, and other pollinators to attract bees and butter ies. Or enhancing existing habitat such as introducing bird and bat nesting/roosting opportunities, bug hotels, bee bricks, hedgehog homes or movement corridors. Reducing carbon emissions - Encouraging more walking and cycling, supporting locally-produced food and goods, promoting ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’, disposing of litter responsibly, supporting clean energy. Connecting new groups to nature - Supporting ideas led by and/or engaging typically under- represented groups in the New Forest National Park. Enabling new experiences in and around the National Park for audiences from di erent communities, ages, backgrounds, experiences, and identities. Applications are now open and can be made until the closing date of Tuesday 4th May. John Sanger, New Forest National Park Authority Member and Chairman of its Sustainable Communities Fund, said: “Ensuring this precious landscape survives for future generations requires a team effort, and we are lucky to have many people in our communities who respect and care for the New Forest. This was evident in our last micro-grant scheme, where dozens of schools and youth groups bid for grants to make their areas greener. We were thrilled to be able to help them establish wildlife gardens and composting areas, build bug hotels, and raised beds, and buy tools and litter picking equipment. We hope people have lots of fun doing the small things which make a big difference to our environment.” To apply for a grant, visit: www.newforestnpa. gov.uk/scf ​The statutory Notices of Election have been published ahead of the Hampshire County Council elections on Thursday 6th May 2021. is marks the rst step in the o cial election timetable, in the lead up to polling day on 6th May, when people living in all 76 of the County Council’s electoral divisions choose who they want to run the range of essential local services that impact on all aspects of everyday life - for 1.4 million people living in the Hampshire County Council area. Services delivered by the County Council include education, roads and social care for vulnerable children and adults, as well as access to the countryside, and libraries. Two divisions elect two councillors, due to the size of the electorate, so Hampshire County Council consists of 78 councillors. Councillors represent all the people within their divisions, decide how £2.1 billion of taxpayers’ money is spent each year on the delivery of services for the residents of, and visitors to Hampshire. Councillors provide a focus for local people when they have concerns or want things done, using their local knowledge of the area and the issues a ecting residents to help the County Council make decisions and check the quality of services it delivers. District councils administer the County Council’s four-yearly elections on behalf of John Coughlan, the County Returning Officer and County Council Chief Executive. Mr Coughlan said: “If you plan to vote in person on 6th May, polling stations will be safe places, and we have been working closely with Government, members of the electoral community and our Public Health teams to ensure the most up to date public health guidance is put in place as we prepare for the elections. COVID- Safe measures will include hand sanitiser at the entrance to polling stations, and floor markings to remind people of the importance of keeping a safe distance. Voters can also keep themselves and others safe by wearing a face covering and bringing their own pen or pencil. You should not attend the polling station if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been asked to self-isolate.” If you would rather not attend a polling station on 6th May, you can vote by post or appoint someone you trust to vote in your place, known as a proxy vote. For a proxy vote, the deadline is 5pm on 27th April. Please note, registration for postal voting has now closed. It will be a combined election on 6th May with polls for Hampshire County Councillors, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, district and borough councillors in some areas, and some parish/town councillors. For information on the local elections, Schools & Community Groups – Apply NOW for Climate and Nature Grants visit the County Council’s elections webpages: www. hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/ electionsandvoting Hampshire County Council Elections 2021

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