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ASSURANCES have been given to that there is enough diesel for a council to continue its normal working pattern for the next three weeks at least.
At a meeting of the Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Community services committee the fuel crisis and also the UK’s shortage of lorry drivers was brought up by Cllr John C Morgan.
The committee had been discussing the council’s waste and recycling performance for 2021.
Cllr Morgan said:  “I know of lorry drivers that have been parked up for the last couple of weeks as they’ve not been able to get fuel.
“Have we contingency plans regarding fuel, loss of drivers as well due to  covid and flu illness?”
The council’s neighbourhood services manager, Mathew Stent said: “It’s only Wednesday last week (September 29) that we took a fuel delivery of just over 14,000 litres of diesel that our fleet runs on.
“That filled our fuel tanks pretty much to the brim and that will see us on a normal working pattern see us through for at least three working weeks.
“The contingency is there that if we did see fuel shortages or have to issue fuel to other services such as home care or social services we would have to start prioritising or perhaps rationing fuel.
“To date we have not seen any impacts of the fuel shortage that have been in the press.”
He added that the council’s suppliers through the National Procurement Service had issued a bulletin last week saying that only one supplier was seeing slightly longer delivery times.
On HGV drivers, Mr Stent told councillors that the issue had been placed on the council’s risk register.
Mr Stent said: “To date we have not seen an impact on any of our services, our priority particularly coming into this time of year remains our waste collection and, from November 1, winter service.
“We’ve fully manned up the rota for the winter period.”
He added that if there were spikes in staff absences due to “covid or general sickness” that could see staff from other parts of the council redeployed to help out as had happened in previous lockdowns.

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