Unions ‘on board’ with plan to fit tracking devices to all Mid and East Antrim Council vehicles

Tracking devices are to be fitted in all Mid and East Antrim vehicles in a bid to improve efficiency.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 10:11 am

The 140-strong fleet is to be fitted with the technology at a cost of £12,000, a meeting of the borough council’s Policy and Resources Committee on Tuesday has been told.

The council’s Operations Director Philip Thompson told councillors that the system had already been deployed by the former Larne Borough Council in 2013.

He indicated that the system is being developed “in conjunction” with the trade unions and will be progressed through data protection, assessment and equality processes.

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Council vehicles are to be fitted with a tracking device.

Mr Thompson told councillors that tracking can be of “huge benefit” to the council on a number of issues such as incidence of accidents.

“It supports staff in what they were doing at the time,” he said.

“Once approved, we would hope to proceed with fitting of tracking devices into all vehicles.”

Carrickfergus DUP Alderman Billy Ashe said: “I propose and welcome this. When you think some bin lorries do eight to nine miles per gallon, it is important to track to make sure they are using the shortest route, not only savings financially, but what we are putting into the atmosphere.”

Larne Lough Alliance Councillor Danny Donnelly asked if the unions are “quite happy with the proposal” adding “other than that, I think it sounds great”.

Mr Thompson stated: “It has been agreed by the forum which the main unions are involved in.”

The devices are also expected to be of benefit in the event of vehicle theft and recovery, monitoring vehicle “downtime”, reducing “spurious” third party claims, assistance with route scheduling and improving vehicle and staff security.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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