mileage claims - car lease hire

Cheshire East Council saved more than £920,000 on staff mileage claims in 2020/21 because of the Covid pandemic, writes Belinda Ryan.

Figures released by the council in a report to the corporate policy committee reveal mileage claimed by staff in the 2020 calendar year was down by 41% compared to 2019, with over 1.2 million fewer miles being claimed.

The report adds: “Actual mileage payments to both regular and casual users across the council were 53% down in 2020/21 compared with 2019/20, this equated to approximately £927k less being paid for mileage claims in the last financial year.”

The council says it will look to reduce the need to travel and cut costs and also contribute to its aims to be carbon neutral by 2025.

The report, workforce efficiencies and terms and conditions review, states: “The pandemic has altered how our staff are working.

“In line with the Covid restrictions and requirements from March 2020, those staff who are able to work from home have been encouraged to do so.

“Whilst these arrangements are not permanent, they have provided an opportunity to review ways of working and have dramatically reduced the need to travel and therefore costs.

“Senior officers have committed to permanently reduce business mileage across the council by 30% which could result in a staff travel budget saving of £428k from 2021/22.”

It continues: “The medium-term financial strategy agreed by council in February 2021 recognised the unprecedented financial challenges facing the council.

“One of the approved proposals is a review of ways of working, looking at opportunities for efficiencies and, potentially, changes to terms and conditions of employment where benchmarking shows Cheshire East Council has more favourable terms when compared to other councils.

“The intention is that identified savings will reduce costs over the longer term and protect jobs.”

The council believes that, subject to consultation and agreement with staff and trade unions, further savings could be made in relation to travel and mileage and by 2024 costs could be cut by more than £750k.

Councillors at corporate policy committee meeting next Tuesday will be asked to support the ongoing engagement with trade unions and staff on new ways of working and other workforce initiatives.

They are also being asked to approve the start of formal consultation with the recognised trade unions on changes to a range of terms and conditions of employment at an appropriate time following a review of how the council’s terms and conditions compare to other authorities.

One Comment

  1. The one good thing to come out of this pandemic is that those who have been able to work from home have made a significant impact into the world’s carbon footprint due to the need not to travel both to and from work, but also for meetings in different areas.

    With meetings now taking place virtually and managers trusting their employees, long may this continue

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