THE council is looking to boost its fleet of electric vehicles in a bid to combat climate change, a committee has heard.

Some of the key issues identified for 2018/19 in a report of West Dunbartonshire Council’s environment and neighbourhood delivery plan included identifying further vehicle charging points.

Speaking at the infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee last Wednesday, Councillor Martin Rooney raised the issue of electric cars when he said: “The fact is we are really only scratching the surface of this.

“The big thing coming to roads in the next 20 or 30 years is how we move from the fossil fuels to the electric powered cars.”

Ronnie Dinnie, the council’s strategic lead for environment and neighbourhood, assured the committee that council is looking at different ways to reduce carbon emissions, such as introducing pool cars and reviewing the composition of its vehicle fleet.

He said: “In terms of the council provision of electric cars, we introduced pool cars and have pool cars as part of the facility on Church Street.

“We are going to have a mix of electric cars at Aurora and on Church Street. We have 67 per cent utilisation of our electric cars and we would like to see that increase but that’s been quite positive.

“In terms of public provision of electric charge points, we are establishing a group to see how we can roll this out.”

Recognising there could be some 15,000 families in West Dunbartonshire who are car owners, Mr Dinnie acknowledged introducing accessible charging points was a “work in progress”.

However, the council has been awarded Scottish Government funding to introduce further vehicle charging points over the next three years.

Meanwhile, changing legislation means the council will look at alternative methods of weed control in the coming year, while considering developing more biodiversity areas that do not require weed control.

Council workers currently use contact pesticides – as opposed to residual pesticides – which are safer for animals and children.

Mr Dinnie confirmed in some areas Roundup – a glyphosate-based weed killer – is used.

While park maintenance was being discussed, councillors raised the issue of dog fouling in Clydebank.

Councillor Iain McLaren confirmed the council will be putting signage up in all 90 play areas across West Dunbartonshire, warning dog owners that their pets should not enter the area.

Elected members conceded the “ongoing battle” with dog fouling is likely to continue, because of the attitudes of members of the public.

Clydebank Central councillor Diane Docherty said: “As a dog owner it fascinates me that dog owners go to all that effort to pick up the mess and spend five minutes deciding what bush to throw it in.

“I don’t think we are going to get to the bottom of it.”

Responding to Councillor David McBride’s suggestion that dog fouling could become more prominent in areas where grass is left uncut, Mr Dinnie said: “People’s behaviour is pretty ingrained. People who lift will lift. People who don’t comply will not comply.”

Cllr Docherty added: “It doesn’t matter how long the grass is, a responsible dog owner will pick that mess up. I pick my dog mess up all the time, no matter the situation.”

The delivery plan for 2018/19 was then agreed.