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Notts green move provokes outcry

Date: 08 August 2007

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The Lord Mayor of Nottingham has prompted a public outcry from his constituents following a declaration that his next official car would "balance the need for a suitably dignified vehicle with environmental and cost concerns".

Signalling his green intentions, the current pair of 1990 Bentleys have already been converted to LPG but will now be swapped for less polluting alternatives.

A columnist for the local Nottingham Evening Post has slammed the decision and expresses fear of downsizing.

"Lets stick with Bentleys, the cars should be big classy models that make a statement about Nottingham and its ambitions.

"I pray the council does not bottle the issue and give us a couple of dolled-up saloons. You can tack a crest and a flag but they will still be inappropriately ordinary."

A reader agrees, commenting, "a Vauxhall or Skoda may be cheaper, but do we need to cheapen the image of Nottingham any more"?

Callie Lester from the East Midlands branch of the Friends of the Earth applauded the council's decision to consider a greener option.

"The council has a good opportunity to lead by example by investing in a green car. That might get other large employers to think about similar issues. But the council must go beyond the headlines, and the most important thing is looking at what they do in terms of policy."

Nottingham council's fleet boss refused to be drawn into the argument and declined to comment on the matter.

Interestingly, the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea continues to attract fury over his company car choice, a £115,000 Bentley Flying Spur.