Councils join together to procure vehicles


Mid Devon District Council and Exeter City Council have teamed up to procure their fleet vehicles for the first time.

The contract with Specialist Fleet Services (SFS) now means the councils no longer have to purchase their vehicles outright or face unpredictable maintenance costs.

Now the councils have a seven year agreement which secures the provision and maintenance of around 210 vehicles and a better working partnership.

The benefits to the councils include fixed maintenance costs, improved response times for vehicle breakdowns and an out of hours service which ensures more vehicles can stay on the road and be utilised by the crews.

Stuart Noyce, Group Manager, Street Scene and Open Spaces at Mid-Devon District Council: “Previously we purchased our vehicles outright and outsourced the maintenance from a number of suppliers. The contract with SFS is not only better value for money but a better service. We have a fixed price with no unexpected costs, which is much better for budgeting, and one point of contact for all our maintenance needs. There are many additional advantages as a result of this increased harmonisation with Exeter City Council such as the ability to share equipment, carry out joint training and use each other’s depots to park vehicles.”

SFS will provide a range of vehicles including refuse collection lorries, recycling vehicles, sweepers, hook loaders, tippers, vans, cars, telehandlers and grounds maintenance equipment. The new fleet will include a number of electric vans and cars, and the refuse vehicles will be fitted with the latest safety features.

SFS has appointed local suppliers, Trucksmith and Masons Kings to support the provision of maintenance services for Mid Devon’s contract while SHB Hire and Masons Kings will be supporting the Exeter element of the contract.

Cllr Bob Deed, Leader of Mid Devon District Council, said: “As a small council, in terms of population size, our buying power is sometimes limited but by working together with our neighbours and utilising national resources we can provide a better and more reliable service at a reduced cost. This in turn will release funds for other services which will benefit our customers.”