£2m set aside for green transport lying unspent

29 Dec 2012

Alex Johnstone MSP

More than £2 million of taxpayers’ cash set aside for SNP green transport initiatives is lying dormant in council bank accounts.

The Scottish Government has allocated millions in a bid to encourage councils to purchase and run electric vehicles.

But it has emerged more than £2 million of taxpayers’ money has still not been spent, with local authorities unsure of how to use it.

Some councils have not even spent a penny of their allocation.

The statistics obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information also found that around a third of councils do not even have electrical charging points.

The Scottish Government wants to subsidise green vehicles as part of its Low Carbon Vehicle Support Scheme.

South Lanarkshire had the biggest underspend, with £309,000 unused, while Edinburgh has £280,000 unspent and Fife has £220,000 remaining.

The underspend means, of the £7.8 million allocated, around £5.5 million has been spent by Scotland’s local authorities on this programme since 2010.

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Alex Johnstone MSP said:

“This makes a mockery of the SNP’s pandering to the green lobby, which is costing the taxpayer millions.

“What is the point in giving councils money to be spent on environmental initiatives which are clearly not a priority for them.

“Some don’t even have electrical charging points, which really does show just how ludicrous this obsession has become.

“What’s worse, this £2 million of unspent cash could have been used far more wisely in services people actually need and care about.

“Instead, we have this vast sum gathering dust while people’s cars are being damaged by potholed roads, teacher-pupils ratios are widening and council care workers are under even more pressure to meet demands.

“The SNP has already devoted nearly £8 million to green transport schemes – the least it could do is redeploy the remainder which would actually give Scotland’s councils a much needed cash boost.”



Below is total cash underspend of Scotland’s councils in relation to the amount they were allocated under the Low Carbon Vehicle Support Scheme in the last two years.
Aberdeen – £62,226
Aberdeenshire – £10,926
Angus – £142,000
Argyll and Bute – £21,138
Clackmannanshire – overspent £46,826
Dumfries and Galloway – £12,544
Dundee – overspent £94,956
East Ayrshire – £1,747
East Dunbartonshire – £185,000
East Lothian – overspent £6,196
East Renfrewshire – £17,000
Edinburgh – £279,280
Falkirk – £146,740
Fife – £220,215
Glasgow – £3,005
Highland – £22,817
Inverclyde – £67,000
Midlothian – £80,528
Moray – overspent £21,520
North Ayrshire – £23,195
North Lanarkshire – £128,160
Orkney – overspent £1,485
Perth and Kinross – £125,623
Renfrewshire – £143,719
Scottish Borders – £133,803
Shetland – £150,000
South Ayrshire – £33,867
South Lanarkshire – £309,126
Stirling – £47,275
West Dunbartonshire – £23,150
West Lothian – £73,203
Western Isles – overspent £10,025
Total – £2,282,323