City refutes green travel underspend

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CITY council chiefs today dismissed accusations they had underspent by more than £250,000 on a budget for green transport.

The Scottish Tories claimed that across Scotland more than £2 million of taxpayers’ cash set aside for buying and running electric vehicles was lying dormant in council bank accounts.

The statistics were obtained in Freedom of Information requests to local authorities.

Tory transport spokesman Alex Johnstone said: “This makes a mockery of the SNP’s pandering to the green lobby, which is costing the taxpayer millions. This cash could have been used far more wisely in services people actually need and care about.”

The Tories claimed Edinburgh had £279,280 allocated under the Low Carbon Vehicle Support Scheme which it has failed to spend.

However, the authority said the funding which the Tories claimed the council received actually covered other organisations in the Edinburgh Partnership, such as the police and fire services, while the spending figure they quoted related only to the council.