One of the buzz words for the new ‘big society’ is going to be acountability. Not only are we all supposed to be taking an active part in our new society, but we will need to be checking up on people apparently!
Nottinghamshire County Council have as part of their new policies decided to install tracking devices across the council’s fleet of vehicles. Apparently this will improve fuel efficiency and overall driving standards.
The Council say the system will mean drivers can take the best route and save fuel – reading between the lines I would suggest it is more about keeping the council workers ‘at the pit face’ for their full shift. The days of ‘nicking off’ are over! (although I would be suprised if this has been happening for years now!)
The devices will be put in the authority’s fleet of 400 vehicles and will cost £315,000 to install and lease, but the authority claim a pilot scheme showed it would save £250,000 a year after three years. In 2009 the vehicle location systems were installed in 80 of the council’s fleet. This demonstrated an annual 9% reduction in mileage, reduced overtime claims and led to a 10% saving in fuel costs.
I suppose this is something we are all going to have to get used to – we can already be tracked by our mobile phones by the police if they need to, so this is only a small additional step.
I am not totally comfortable with it though – it’s all a bit 1984!