Carpet sweeper

North Ayrshire: Street sweeper sold just for council to rehire her

A FRUSTRATED council worker, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted The Times to express his growing concerns about the services provided by North Ayrshire Council.

These accusations included allegations that waste management staff took shortcuts – but using Covid-19 absences as an excuse among other things.

Although the most damning of all the accusations on the table was that North Ayrshire Council had sold one of its fleets of road sweepers because the repair costs were unprofitable.

The sweeper was then auctioned off to an outside company.

Although the source said the council were then to hire a road sweeper later in the year – at a cost of £900 a week.

The same vehicle they had sold was then leased to them.

The Times took this accusation to North Ayrshire Council for confirmation.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We have a robust fleet asset management plan governing our approach to the maintenance and management of our fleet. This particular vehicle was identified for replacement in 2020 as part of our annual rolling program, but through regular inspection and maintenance it has remained serviceable for a further period.

“Following a breakdown in February 2022, a technical inspection of the vehicle was carried out and revealed that approximately £25,000 worth of repairs were required.

“We felt it was not cost effective for a vehicle of this age and condition to undergo such extensive repairs, so it was sent to auction.

“In April, we looked for the rental of a sweeper and an operator for a period of two weeks. The short lease of this vehicle was provided through our supply framework and was the most cost effective option available. »