Friday, 25 October 2013

Council Car Fleet needs review

A responsible opposition also serves to highlight where we would save money and protect the public pound.  

A cost cutting measure that I believe should and could be looked at quickly concerns the current and extensive Tory Council car fleet (see below).

I believe Medway could significantly reduce the cost of staff transport that may result in a substantial saving for taxpayers.

Medway has a significant number and combination of lease vehicles provided to staff and employee-owned vehicles. This combination not only means that the Council is adding significantly to local congestion and requiring additional parking (and it has several staff car parks that are in city centre areas) it is also blighted by the fact that the Council has no real understanding of what state all these vehicles are in as far as I can understand.

Identifying the problem is one thing, but dealing with the issue is an entirely different matter and that is where you can learn from best practice.

By using local transport and having access to the cars when they actually need them, rather than frittering money away on an expensive fleet (including maintenance, fuel and car parking space) the council has reported considerable savings.

I have since tried to chase officers of our Council on the cost of the car fleet and have been met by static and complaints it would take too long to compile the information. A worrying fact given one would assume the maintenance and cost of transport with vehicles is usually expensed on separate accounts in many organisations.

This is not to say that all vehicles would be managed in this way; but a certain number could be through use of companies like ZipCar. I appreciate this may take some time given legacy arrangements but over the medium-long term having fewer assets that depreciate in value would be helpful to the public purse.

I will be raising this at audit committee soon. 

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