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London Borough of Hackney – Environmental update

London Borough of Hackney

The London borough of Hackney has already saved thousands of pounds using the way they manage their fleets, but they don’t seem to stop dwelling on their achievements.

Hackney has identified the purchasing power through their coordinated procurement program and planning to take a step further.

The fleets include of total 380 vehicles with HGVs, company cars, light commercial vans, welfare busses, and refuse vehicles; the power of 450 employees driving their own cars on job sites is well known as the ‘grey’ fleet.

Up until recently, the local authority corporate fleet manager Norman Harding has been held to change the sourcing of vehicles through individual departments.

Harding became part of the council in February 2007 and had the first permanent membership in the fleet management unit.

Harding explains, “Like all local authorities, numerous departments are providing a range of different services, and in the past, each one of those departments had its budget for procuring vehicles.”

“How they managed their drivers were up to them. There would be a nominated person within the department, who wouldn’t necessarily have to be a transport professional,” says Harding.

Explaining further, he says, “Their skills remit would be based on their frontline services, but they would also have the added responsibility of making sure their drivers and vehicles were managed appropriately. However, they didn’t have the right skills to do the job, and that was recognised by the senior management team, which initially decided to centralise the compliance function.”

The report resulted in the foundation of the fleet management unit consisting of a team with a fleet engineer, deputy, two administrators and Harding himself.

It sits within the council’s finance directorate, and while its initial aim was to make sure Hackney did not fall foul of the law, it became crucial to a root and branch review of existing practices.

The foundation lies within the council’s finance board of directors while aiming to ensure Hackney is against law foul.

“When I first came here, I recognised the council had a very comprehensive health and safety policy, but I felt it needed to be developed further to include vehicles,” furthers Harding.

“I drafted a separate safety policy – an occupational road risk policy – which now means there is a whole raft of guidance notes available to drivers and managers.”

Hackney’s Particular courses of action include:

  1. New employees to undergo inductions that are corporate, directorate and local. The waste services include safety measures used at local tipping sites.
  2. Drivers’ licence checkup.
  3. Training (Vary upon userbase)
  4. Drivers’ hours’ records. (with updated drivers’ hours reports.)
  5. Regular vehicle inspections.
  6. Fleet maintenance records and scheduling.
  7. Fleet defect reporting.
  8. Road traffic accidents reporting and dealing.

Hackney’s work in the field resulted in calling the local London authority a ‘Business Champion’ under the Uk government’s back for creating the best Business campaign delivered by Roadsafe.


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