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Public sector must review fleet strategy amid cuts

Date: 10 November 2010   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Government and local authorities will need to review fleet strategies further in the wake of more cuts announced in the coalition's Spending Review, according to leading industry figures.

GE capital Fleet Services commercial director Gary Killeen said: "George Osborne's plan to rein in Britain's soaring national debt will almost certainly have an indirect impact on the fleet industry for the foreseeable future. Even tougher fleet-related decisions may have to be made in terms of fleet managers tightening their belts to soften the blow of rising costs and the possibility of managing a reduced fleet."

Enterprise director of business rental Rob Ingram agreed: "The Spending Review has inevitable implications for local authorities and it will encourage many councils to step up and review their transport arrangements going forward. Without doubt they will need to make sensible cuts and adjustments where possible. As such, we expect to see more councils seeking advice as to how to make their travel more efficient, especially in relation to reducing their grey fleet."

He added it is important to remember that travel will remain an essential element to the public sector in fulfilling their responsibilities: "Reviewing travel policies and adopting a range of alternatives to manage efficiency is a far better response than knee-jerk cost cutting that could result in a reduction in necessary travel."

Fleet body ACFO said it is aware of a number of public sector organisations that have already made significant changes in their fleet and travel policies in at least some areas of operation. "Significant financial savings can be made relatively quickly and easily without impacting on the efficiency and effectiveness of organisations and the work that they undertake," said ACFO director Stewart Whyte.

Automotive Leasing brand director Stuart Walker said the Spending Review cuts can create an opportunity to reform fleet management. "The public sector faces the harsh reality of Budget constraints for years to come and it must make some very difficult decisions about where the axe will fall.

"With a long-term vision, however, the Spending Review presents an opportunity to reform fleet management, increase efficiency and achieve significant cost savings."

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