Perth and Kinross Council to replace provost’s Audi with ‘environmentally friendly’ option
Perth and Kinross Council has revealed plans to replace the provost’s car with a “more practical and environmentally friendly” option.
The council is considering replacing the Audi A8 with something along the lines of a Ford Transit nine-seat hybrid vehicle.
Officers are also exploring the option of using a multi-purpose pool vehicle operated by the council’s fleet service to “make the most of resources” as the council seeks to make savings.
Board members were briefed on Monday, January 23, during a meeting of the Provost’s Subcommittee.
Provost Xander McDade told the sub-committee – which consisted of his deputy provost and five bailiffs – that a nine-seater would be more practical for transporting delegation groups around.
He said: “We did a lot of research into the civilian vehicle last summer and we tested a number of different options. From testing those options, we settled on a sort of modified Ford Transit – a nine-seater.
He laughed: “It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but it’s very practical. And that’s one of the main things from our point of view that we want something that’s more environmentally friendly, so it was a hybrid, but we also wanted something that would be more practical for carrying around large groups.
“So if we have a civilian delegation, for example, we will all be able to drive around in one vehicle, instead of needing multiple vehicles or hiring minibuses – as we currently do – to support them.
“The vehicle is obviously used for supporting civic events, transferring things from cash and carry, glasses, chairs, whatever it may be. I think there were even barriers in the back of it, so a more practical vehicle for such purposes.”
The Independent Highland Perthshire councilor explained why they decided on a hybrid vehicle as the best option.
The provost said: “A fully electric vehicle would not be practical for some of the distances and duties and areas it goes, but a hybrid is much more appropriate and given the current – which can be described as a ‘gas-sugar’ – this would be a significant reduction in emissions.
“At the moment the car we have chosen has just been taken out of production before being replaced. So we are trying to understand whether we might be able to buy an external or second-hand version of it or whether we will have to wait.
“Officers are investigating this at the moment, but we have arrived at what we think is a much more practical solution that will be available for a wider use of purposes.”
Bailie Ahern asked about the number plate and whether it would be transferred to the new vehicle.
Scott Hendry, acting manager of democratic services, added: “One of the options we have looked at is the purchase of another vehicle.
“Another option we have considered is that the council has a number of pool cars as driven by its fleet service and we are looking at whether that could be another option again in terms of a multi-purpose vehicle in terms of trying to reduce costs save. , make the most of resources we can. There are a number of options we are looking at.
“Obviously if there was a situation with the current car and the number plate, we would have to make a decision about how it will work going forward. I understand it has been presented to the council and it will be up to the council to decide going forward.”
Deputy provost Andrew Parrott said having the personal sign can “sometimes help the people who are expecting the provost or whoever is representing the council”.
Provost McDade added, “We won’t be replacing things like the attachments that contain flags and haven’t used those things in quite some time. And there’s quite a significant cost in those kinds of things. We’re looking at every opportunity to to reduce any costs and to make it a more environmentally friendly option.”