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Council services could face disruption as vehicle provider enters administration

09 May 2024 2 minute read
Flintshire Council bin lorries

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

Frontline council services such as bin collections could be disrupted after a company which provides vehicles to the local authority entered administration.

Flintshire Council outsourced the supply and maintenance of its fleet of 400-plus vehicles to Essential Fleet Services in 2016 in a bid to save money.

It was announced last week that the firm, now known as Go Plant Fleet Services, had gone into administration.

The council’s initial seven-year contract with the external provider ended last year and was originally allowed to expire without a new deal being struck.

However, a temporary extension of six months was given in late October after concerns were raised that failing to reach an agreement would have led to bin collections coming to a halt.

The authority’s monitoring officer Gareth Owens admitted at the time that it would have resulted in all of its vehicles being taken away, including bin lorries and housing repair vans.

Uncertainty

Officials said more time was needed to hold discussions with the company over a new long-term arrangement due to uncertainty surrounding inflationary cost pressures.

Following the company entering administration, the council has reported that services are running normally, but has warned of the possibility of future disruption as it looks to find alternative vehicles.

Chief executive Neal Cockerton said: “Flintshire County Council is aware that Go Plant Fleet Services Ltd, who provided fleet management services to the council, have entered administration.

“We are in discussions with the administrators to resolve matters. Currently services remain as normal.

“We are engaged with local and national suppliers to ensure the continuity of services, however, some disruption may be inevitable during the period of transition.”

Sale

Joint administrators Mike Denny and Jonny Marston, of Alvarez and Marsal, completed the sale of several depots owned by Go Plant Limited last week.

However, the future of the fleet services element of the business remains uncertain.

The pair blamed challenging conditions, including cost pressures and a subdued UK housebuilding market, for the company entering administration.

A spokesperson for the joint administrators said: “We are working closely with Flintshire Council to try to ensure continuity of frontline services in the area and to minimise any disruption.”


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