(Resolutions (a) to (d) were resolved matters determined by Cabinet)
RECOMMENDED that Council; (e) approve the use of new prudential borrowing for the Fleet Replacement Plan and recognise the impact of this on the annual revenue budget requirement.
Note - Members are referred to agenda item 11 and the urgent decision taken by the Chief Executive and advised that on 23 June 2021 Cabinet unanimously approved the Council’s £31.1m Sustainable Fleet Management Strategy and Fleet Replacement Programme. This included investment in supporting Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure required to operate EV vehicles within the fleet. The report required Council approval, which was originally planned for July 2021, but because of Covid-19 restrictions was postponed to 14 September 2021.
Because of the significant manufacture lead-in times for fleet vehicle procurement an Officer Decision Record was taken in advance of September Council for 18 service critical vehicle purchases included within the Fleet Replacement Plan (FRP) These vehicles are currently scheduled to be replaced in year 1 of the FRP. The vehicles are summarised below:
• 5 x Dennis Eagle Electric Refuse Freighters £2,000k
• 12 x Dennis Eagle Standard Refuse Freighters £2,220k
• 1 x Iveco Stralis 26t Grab tipper lorry £140k
Total spend (18 vehicles) £4,360k
The Officer Decision Record also approved progression with £390k of upgrade works to electricity infrastructure at Hatchpond Depot to support the transition to electric vehicle replacements. 5 of the 18 vehicles proposed to be acquired in advance of Council approval require access to EV infrastructure. Total Fleet Replacement Plan spend to be incurred in advance of Council approval is therefore £4,750k from a total proposed request of £17.8m for the 21/22 element of the plan and overall plan investment value of £26.92m over 3 years.
Reasons for the decision taken:
Failure to move ahead with the Fleet Replacement Plan and associated Sustainable Fleet Management Strategy would have placed the authority at risk as vehicles reach end of life of repeated statutory service failure, associated reputational damage, increased revenue budget pressure and potential for breach of its Operator Licence compliance. The vehicles detailed within the Decision Record have reached end of economical life and have extended lead in manufacturing timelines with provisional build slots booked in accordance with procurement processes in the knowledge of a previously planned Full Council meeting of the 13 July 2021 decision. Due to a delay in lifting Covid-19 restrictions a decision was taken to cancel the meeting delaying approval. The impact of this delay until the planned next Council meeting of 14 September placed BCP Council at risk of losing provisional build slots. The vehicle manufacturer was experiencing high demand and was in a position to offer unsecured build slots to other customers which would have resulted in extending the period before securing receipt of replacement vehicles estimated at this time to be 6 months and consequently increasing the risk of interim hire costs and/or service disruption to the Council. At the time the Decision Record was taken the service had 7 vehicle breakdowns impacting service performance a pattern that will increase until replacements are delivered as existing fleet reaches end of life. The release of £390k to upgrade electricity supply to the Depot underpins the strategy, without it orders for the 5 x ERCV’s cannot progress. Funding sources have already been secured via existing MHCLG Waste Infrastructure Grant.