Fleet team provide a wheel-y good service

The team responsible for keeping big wagons, mini-buses, gritters and mobile libraries on the road have been praised by a council watchdog.

Fleet services recently appeared before the council’s scrutiny board for resources and council services to report on how they keep around 1,200 vehicles in top condition.

Councillors on the board heard about fleet services plans to replace vehicles, go green with alternative fuels, offer training and apprenticeships, generate income from MOT tests and ensure drivers are fully up to speed with the latest training.

Fleet services plan to replace a wide variety of vehicles throughout 2012/13 to help meet the needs of various council services at a cost of £5.2million.

The service has also been at the forefront of testing new alternative fuelled vehicles. Leeds City Council was the first UK local authority to install its own gas refuelling station and fleet services have continued to explore how greener vehicles operate, how easy they are to maintain and if they are reliable enough to withstand the demands of a busy council service.

While going about their daily business, commercial services have offered work placements, work experience and apprenticeships, helping a total of 45 people.

And as well as keeping council vehicles roadworthy, council mechanics have been offering impartial MOTs to members of the public for everything from cars to buses. An additional MOT testing station has been installed and will be up and running once approved by VOSA.

As an approved training centre, fleet services has also delivered driver certificate in professional competence for HGV drivers to over 1,100 people.

Councillor Pauleen Grahame, chair of the scrutiny board (resources and council services) said:

“Without a fleet of safe, reliable vehicles the council wouldn’t be able to deliver a range of vital services to residents. As well as the core role of managing the fleet, it’s very encouraging to see the benefits of jobs and apprenticeships offered by the team, the positive impact on the environment from reduced emissions with greener fuels and the opportunity to generate income from providing MOTs to the public.

“We’ve had a really positive response to the recommendations of the scrutiny board; recommendations we’ve made have been endorsed and taken up by the team and we’re delighted with the progress being made by fleet services.”

For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577