Councils take crisis action to keep going

As problems finding petrol continued last week, local authorities were concentrating on keeping those staff who work with the most vulnerable people in the community mobile.

Social workers, care assistants and people who transport children with special needs were being given priority to ensure they could continue to deliver a service.

Nottinghamshire County Council hired 40 diesel vans for use by social workers and other essential staff to allow it to take advantage of the council’s on-site diesel supply. This is usually used by refuse collection and gritting vehicles.

“All our area offices have one for social workers to deal with emergencies,” said Terry Gorman, assistant chief executive of personnel and corporate services.

Priority staff at Hampshire County Council were being given petrol vouchers as part of a scheme set up by the police to match supplies with those most in need.

Hampshire staff were also being encouraged to use the car pool service on the council intranet, said training manager Sue Marsland.

Tony Gray, director of central services at Luton Borough Council, said non-essential services using petrol, such as cutting grass with motorised mowers, had been stopped to conserve supplies.

Sue Scrivens, policy and employee relations manager at Worcestershire County Council said the council’s green commuter plan and several years of taking part in national car-free-day had stood it in good stead as staff are already accustomed to sharing cars and cycling.

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