Much is being attempted to be made by the Cheshire West Labour group of the decision and the decision making process that was employed recently when the replacement second car for Chester's Civic team, including the Lord Mayor of Chester, was agreed on.
It might be helpful to put some context in place around the decision and the vehicle finally decided upon.
The decision was made by the executive body who manage the historic roles of Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Chester, the Charter Trustees. This is a group of elected councillors who sit in wards which used to constitute the old Chester City Council.
The lease on the old Vauxhall Insignia expired in 2013 and the Trustees previously agreed that that lease should be renewed on a 6 monthly basis. This was done from 2013 to 2016 and since then it has been leased on a monthly basis. It is without doubt that this current second car requires replacing.
So what considerations were taken in to account by the Trustees? We needed a car that had proven reliability, no undue limitations on distance or range, as minimal an environmental impact as possible, suitable rear seat and cabin room for the Civics', often dressed in full regalia including robes and hats, and a local employment/manufacturer link to the North West.
Clearly the smallest and most economical of the cars on offer are unlikely to be a suitable car for the purpose it is intended for whilst the largest is not going to reduce our impact on the environment as much as we should.
The information below was taken from the report papers presented to the Trustees to aid their decision making. The financial information has been removed for contractual reasons.
The Cost Ranking orders the cars in relation to their total cost, with 10 being the most expensive and 90 the least. The second civic car does limited mileage, rarely over 3000 miles per year.
Taking in to account the user requirements, the environmental impacts and the cost implications the Trustees passed a majority vote in favour of the Jaguar XE. While there is a difference (and one all trustee's were concerned with) of the MPG between the models on offer, over 3000 miles x 3 years the average increased consumption of the XE is = 9 gallons of petrol compared to the hybrids. The difference in the average CO2 emissions of the Toyota's and the Hyundai when compared with the Jaguar XE over the same period and mileage indicate that the XE would emit an additional 2,860 Kg of CO2. To add some context to this, the average human being exhales about 1 Kg of CO2 in 24 hours as part of our normal breathing process.
Taking the costs, the practical requirements, the reliability and local employment links in to consideration the Jaguar XE was voted for, by a clear majority, when the Trustees met on the 2nd of Nov 2017.
One of the key things that I have noted in persuading us all as individuals to reduce our CO2 footprint is the success of encouraging us to consider our impact on the environment when making major purchase or travel decisions. To 'dictate' to others rarely encourages any positive actions. What we must always strive do as an elected body is to balance the impact of our corporate actions with the practicalities of delivering our obligations.
As a keen supporter of environmental improvement programs I am more than happy to be held accountable for my part in this decision making process as I have done exactly that, balanced environmental and cost impacts against the requirements of the asset being procured.