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West Berkshire Council defends owning petrol station after declaring a climate emergency

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West Berkshire Council has defended its ownership of a petrol station, despite declaring a climate emergency three years ago.

It owns a petrol station site at Tipton in the West Midlands as part of its commercial property investment portfolio.

"Are we planning to off load that asset as it is not compatible with our climate emergency declaration?" asked Carolyne Culver (Green, Ridgeway) at last night's executive meeting.

West Berkshire Council (53995632)
West Berkshire Council (53995632)

But West Berkshire Council’s executive member for finance and economic development, Ross Mackinnon (Con, Bradfield), defended its ownership.

He said: "We are the landlord of that site and there is no guarantee that as cars get a bit cleaner and fossil fuels fall away that that site will always be a filling station.

"We are no more invested in fossil fuels than we are baked beans because we own the land on which a Sainsbury's sits."

The strategic asset plan was presented to the council's executive committee last night (Thursday).

Ross Mackinnon (Con, Bradfield) defended the council's ownership of a petrol station
Ross Mackinnon (Con, Bradfield) defended the council's ownership of a petrol station

It heard that West Berkshire owns 599 properties and land assets totalling 892 hectares (excluding highways) - equivalent to over 1,200 football pitches.

The total current asset value of the portfolio, which includes supermarket sites in the north of England, is worth £410m and it makes annual rental income of £3.8m.

West Berkshire Council has a significant property portfolio which either contributes directly with the delivery of its services (such as libraries, schools, and care homes) or indirectly (such as corporate offices, depots, and investment properties).

It has 89 schools and 29 car parks among the properties.

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