South Tyneside Council has been recognised for its fleet service after being named a finalist in national public sector awards.
The Fleet Management Team was selected as a finalist in the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards for the fourth year running. The annual awards recognise high achievement and excellence in frontline public services delivered by local authorities.
The Team was one of four other local authority fleet teams to receive Finalist awards in the Best Service Team of the Year: Transport and Fleet service category. The category winner was announced as Fife Council in a ceremony in Swansea.
Welcoming the Finalist award, Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "To be named by an independent agency as being among the country's top five fleet teams is a fantastic achievement for the Council.
"The judges recognised the strides being made within the section to provide a more efficient and reliable delivery of service with a fleet of vehicles that are safe, clean and green.
"The award not only showcases the good work of the team but demonstrates the high quality of service that the Council continues to provide in the face of funding reductions. Well done to all those involved."
The Council operates a diverse fleet of 350 vehicles and 19 items of plant machinery. They are used across a range of departments and are essential to the vital front-facing services they provide. The Team has also recently brought in a new element to the service, to maintain and repair private cars and commercial vehicles.
Over the past four years, the Council has implemented a number of changes and restructures within the department. This has also included the introduction of new diagnostic equipment, systems, procedures and strategies to deliver a more efficient and cost effective fleet.
The team drew praise for their success in improving services while saving more than £400,000 a year, through a new maintenance regime and more efficient use of vehicles. The changes have also helped to save 36,000 litres of diesel and cut CO2 emissions by 95 tonnes.
APSE Chief Executive Paul O'Brien said: "Our frontline services richly deserve their recognition as being amongst the best in public service delivery. ASPE is all about encouraging public service excellence and we are delighted that our finalist and winning councils are equally committed to delivering the best possible local public services."