July 29 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Blewett
Friday, July 4, 2014
The new council leader is proposing that a Boris bike-style scheme should be introduced for councillors and officers in Brentwood – and be named Barry’s Bikes.
Brentwood Accord council leader Cllr Barry Aspinell announced yesterday (Thursday) that the scheme is in its “conceptual” phase. If plans go ahead, it could be rolled out later this year.
But opposition leader Cllr Louise McKinkay rubbished the idea.
She said: “I have no interest in Barry’s Bikes and I suggest he gets back on his bike with his ideas. I think it’s barmy.”
She said that he has done no costing and is concerned that taxpayers may foot the bill.
Cllr Aspinell, a keen cyclist, will bring the idea up at the finance and resources committee meeting on October 29 and believes it could be “cost neutral”.
“It will encourage people to be healthier, reduce the carbon footprint and free up car parking spaces, which at the council is problematic,” he said.
Cllr Aspinell, took power last month with a coalition of Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Brentwood First councillors.
He said there are limited parking spaces at council offices and no storage space for bicycles.
“I have to put mine behind the door in my office,” he said. “They will be top range stuff and I’m hoping for a significant take up.”
He said that staff will be able to lease the bikes from the council with the option to purchase them after two years.
He has suggested the scheme may be rolled out for the public.
“If we could get a Boris bike scheme throughout Brentwood that would be great. I will see where we can go with that. I think that has got legs,” he said.
Cllr Aspinell is yet to confirm the colour scheme but it may not be in his Liberal Democrat yellow.
“They could be yellow but they could be different colours.”