Senior city council managers have been urged to book vehicles from the authority’s car club – to save cash on hiring vehicles.
Correspondence seen by the P&J, sent to team leader and inspectors, revealed that one council department appears to be spending tens of thousands hiring vehicles for them.
Now they have been reminded that the authority’s co-wheels car club is available and that employees can block book a vehicle during working hours.
The car club includes hydrogen and electric vehicles which can be rented by members of the public, and was created to drive down pollution and increase air quality.
The latest revelation comes after the P&J revealed the authority had been renting vans for months while a fleet of new vehicles awaited servicing and having the council logo applied.
Last month, the P&J revealed nearly a dozen hired vans are still being used by the local authority –after they had bought, taxed and insured dozens of new vehicles in February and parked them at its Kittybrewster depot.
This year the cash-strapped authority made some £41million of cuts and savings in their budget.
A senior council source said: “People are still seeing the hire vans going around the city all the time but why would senior managers get to hire out vehicles for themselves and not use their own like other staff?
“Also if the cars are all block booked would the public be able to access the car club cars?”
Opposition Liberal Democrat infrastructure spokesman Steve Delaney was broadly supportive of the drive – but said more careful management in the past might have meant the savings weren’t needed.
He said: “I would like to see these vehicles used to the maximum and I suppose if council workers can use them rather than hire expensive vehicles that is something that should be looked at.
“Of course we would want members of the public using the cars but if they aren’t in use then staff should get them.
“Had there been more priority given to finding savings in recent years we may not be in this position.”
The city council was contacted for comment.