Stockport revealed as third worst place in country to charge electric car

80% of public charging points would take 8 hours to charge a small electric car as Liberal Democrats demand more investment needed

Stockport electric car drivers risk becoming stranded due to lack of action taken by Council

Stockport is the third worst area in the country to charge your electric car, analysis of official statistics by the Liberal Democrats can reveal.

In Stockport, there are a staggering 16,568 registered electric cars sharing just 16 rapid charging points. There are also just 20 older and slower electric chargers in Stockport, despite the above average level of electric cars in the area. Only two local authority areas have fewer rapid charging points for every electric car (Windsor & Maidenhead and Swindon).

Electric car drivers in these areas are most likely to be stranded by charging points taking at least 13 hours to charge a Nissan Leaf. Rapid chargers however, take just 30 minutes, and are proven to encourage far more people to switch to electric cars.

Just 372 new “rapid” electric vehicle chargers were installed in the UK over the last three months, as part of 1,553 new chargers installed. This is despite the Conservatives promising to dramatically increase the number of fast chargers.

These same statistics reveal that less than one in five (19%) of all electric vehicles charging points in the UK are so-called “rapid chargers”, whereas nearly 6,000 public charging points fall into the slow bracket (3KW – 5KW).

This year the Conservatives have cut grants available to new electric vehicles.

Local Liberal Democrat Councillor, Tom Morrison, said: “Stockport Council needs to take action now or risk electric car drivers becoming stranded across the borough because we have outdated infrastructure. The blame lies as much with Stockport Council, as it does with the Conservative government.

“How can we expect people to start using more environmentally friendly electric cars when there aren’t the necessary charge points in place to help people make this decision?”

“Yet again this shows Stockport Council is good at talking about climate change, but completely misses the mark when it comes to tackling it. Positive action is needed now.”

Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport, said: “For all the big talk we have heard from the government at COP26 on electric cars, the reality of their lack of investment shows a completely different picture.

“Instead of vague words, Liberal Democrats are calling for a cut in VAT on the lowest cost electric vehicles and a massive expansion of rapid chargers, particularly in rural areas.”

Lib Dems support new hospital motion but have no chance to raise concerns

At Stockport’s Full Council Meeting on Thursday, Liberal Democrat councillors voted in favour of a motion supporting the expression of interest in funding for a new hospital building to replace some or all of the buildings at Stepping Hill.

As the motion was not considered until the guillotine fell at the very end of the meeting there was no time for a proper debate and no opportunity to try to improve the motion with an amendment to add some much-needed caution.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Helen Foster-Grime, Lib Dem shadow cabinet member for health matters, said: “The Liberal Democrats warmly welcome the possibility of long overdue investment in Stepping Hill Hospital. But residents need to be under no illusions that the funding available nationally is a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the estimated £6.5bn backlog maintenance bill and, even if this bid is successful, it will take many years before any new facilities are opened.

“We have many concerns about what these proposals mean for the already-planned emergency care campus or whether this will mean some services get moved outside of Stockport altogether. We have already seen far too many broken promises from this Conservative government and our National Health Service simply remains chronically underfunded. Add to this the huge waiting lists and increased pressures from our overburdened GP practices with patients turning to Stepping Hill in crisis, there’s no question emergency care support for Stockport is vital.”

Liberal Democrat Councillors continue to fight for more resources for Stepping Hill and for Council support to help the local residents, patients and their families facing exacerbated parking problems at and around the hospital.

Stockport Council adopts Lib Dem proposals for more ambitious climate change action

At Stockport’s Full Council meeting last week, councillors voted in support of a Lib Dem motion, calling on the Labour Cabinet to be more ambitious in pursuing the Council’s Climate Action Now strategy.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mark Roberts, Lib Dem Shadow lead for climate change and proposer of the motion, said: “We cannot afford complacency on the issue of climate change. It was a shame that the Labour group and most of their Conservative backers chose to try to derail the motion, but the desire for true leadership and ambition in tackling this issue won through in the end.

“The issue is too important to allow Labour to try and dismiss it as party political or to switch to simply patting themselves on the back. People see through that and there is simply too much at stake. We have been raising our concerns throughout the Climate Action Now process and it is telling that most of the members of that working group voted in support of our motion.

“A clear signal has now been given that the public expects more of the Labour Cabinet and they need to give officers the resources needed to make a real difference. If they don’t, a Liberal Democrat administration certainly would!”

Pictured, Cllr Mark Roberts beside the Mount Recyclemore sculpture at Stockport Exchange.

Lib Dems call for cross-party summit meeting with local police chief

Concerns over rising crime levels in Stockport were expressed by a number of councillors at last night’s meeting of Stockport Council. Cllr Mark Hunter, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, requested that the Council Leader convene a summit meeting with the new District Commander for Stockport, Chief Superintendent John Webster, as soon as possible.

Cllr Hunter pointed to the recent spike in crime statistics and said residents were increasingly concerned and worried by the increase in car crime and domestic burglaries in particular. Cllr Wilson agreed the request and committed to pursuing the concerns directly with the Chief Superintendent.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Hunter said “I’m pleased Cllr Wilson has agreed to my request and look forward to meeting our new Chief Superintendent. I think this issue is way too important for it to be left to individual politicians and political parties and I believe a genuine cross-party initiative to help the Police tackle crime in our area could pay dividends”.

“I also highlighted the fact that the Lib Dem nomination for the GM Police, Crime and Fire Panel is still unable to take his place on that committee despite being nominated almost five months ago. Since the meeting I learned that the GM Combined Authority sat on the Home Office paperwork to make this happen for nearly three months.

“We have been without representation on this panel and its predecessor body since May 2016 – it is no wonder there has been no effective scrutiny of the political management of our local police force.”

Lib Dems call on local MPs to oppose government Voter ID proposals

A motion calling on local MPs to oppose government Voter ID proposals will be debated at the meeting of Stockport Council on Thursday evening.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Cllr Lisa Smart, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems at Stockport Town Hall and shadow lead for election issues, said: “Any government worth its salt should be working to encourage more people to vote, not making it harder for people to have their say. A government that was confident in the action it was taking would believe it can win the argument and not have to exclude those people least likely to vote for it from the process in a nakedly political attempt to rig the system.”

Local Lib Dem Leader, Cllr Mark Hunter, added: “This has been called ‘a solution looking for a problem’. It is a nakedly political move by this Tory government to try to exclude the younger, the less well-off and those from a minority ethnicity from voting. Of 58 million votes cast in 2019 there were only 33 allegations of impersonation, leading to one conviction and one caution. We urge all our local MPs to support our democracy and act to oppose the government’s proposal.”

The text of the motion to be debated can be read as item 7(i) here:

Lib Dems call for more action to tackle Climate Change and biodiversity crisis across Stockport

Stockport Liberal Democrat councillors will table a motion at Thursday’s Stockport Council meeting, demanding urgent action and a stronger emphasis on the council’s approach to dealing with the cause and effects of Climate Change across Stockport.

The motion will be proposed by councillor Mark Roberts, from Bredbury Green and Romiley, and seconded by Councillor Becky Senior, from Marple North. Both wards have been affected by flooding in recent years after heavy rainfall events. The Liberal Democrat motion calls for local councillors to be given the means to work with residents and contribute to the solutions in dealing with both the causes and effects of climate change locally.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Cllr Mark Roberts said “We need ambitious, achievable interim goals and targets to monitor progress towards the goal of carbon zero by 2038, rather than finding in 17 years’ time that we have failed. We should be banging the drum and leading the fight locally on climate change as opposed to the current Labour administration’s ‘shake a tambourine’ approach. If we lead, residents and businesses will follow. We can and should do more for the sake of our children, our grandchildren and all future generations.”

Councillor Becky Senior said “The council should be planning and delivering an ambitious response to both our local causes and effects of climate change and any mitigation on public roads and services that is required. Unblocking many of the silted up gullies should be part of the response, but looking to hold water back and slow the flow off the hills is equally important for those residents who live in our flood zones. Climate change presents many challenges, and flooding is a very important issue for those affected.”

The text of the motion can be seen here: