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Electric vehicle charging points unveiled at Blackbourne Community Centre in Elmswell

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Four new electric vehicle charging points were unveiled at Blackbourne Community Centre in Elmswell on Thursday.

Owners of electric vehicles are now able to use the facilities, which accept automatic card payments.

County, parish and district councillors met on Thursday to herald the installation, one of the few of its kind in the area.

Officials gathered to mark the installation
Officials gathered to mark the installation

Sarah Mansel, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Elmswell and Woolpit, said: “It’s great that Elmswell is at the forefront, paving the way for the other parishes.

“Let’s hope they all follow suit.”

Suffolk County Council last year made £300,000 available to parish and town authorities that wish to install public charging points.

It is hoped that such initiatives will encourage take-up of electric vehicles across the district, as many drivers do not live in areas suitable for private charging facilities.

Elmswell Parish Council chair Fred Pallet said: “Last month, the top three cars sold in this country were all electric.

“This infrastructure’s got to come for us to be able to travel around sustainably in the future.

“This has got to happen.”

Andrew Stringer, Suffolk County Councillor for Upper Gipping, added: “It’s good to see a village hall and a community working with the county council over a long time to install state-of-the-art, accessible electric charging points, which we desperately need.

“If you have electric charging infrastructure in your village, it will mean people will probably come here and spend some time.

“If I needed to charge up, and I was going to be here for an hour, I could take advantage of your beautiful play equipment, and shop in your shops, while I’m waiting for my car to charge.”

Elmswell Parish Council clerk Peter Dow emphasised that the project was part of a wider green agenda for Elmswell.

He said: “I think it’s very appropriate that Elmswell are at the forefront of this little bit of technology, because we already have, under the football pitch, a ground-source heat pump.

“On the roof of the centre, we have a massive array of PV panels.

“This is, in a way, just the next stage.

“Our next plan, in the far corner of the field - where we’ve just acquired six acres of land - is a wind generator, a turbine.”