East Riding Council installs tracking devices in vehicles in bid to drive down fuel costs
A MOVE to install tracking devices in all vehicles operated by East Riding Council has been branded a "snooper's charter" .
Council officials say the new system will save the authority about £300,000 a year in reduced fuel and insurance costs.
But some council staff claim managers are already abusing it by checking on their every move.
One employee, who did not wish to be named, said: "It's just a glorified snooper's charter that gives people the opportunity to question everything.
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"I already know of one person who has been challenged over stopping for a toilet break.
"It's Big Brother gone mad."
The tracking devices are being installed in all types of council vehicle, from cars and light vans to gritting lorries.
Dave Waudby, head of infrastructure and facilities at East Riding Council, said: "The council is currently in the process of implementing a tracking system within its fleet of about 600 vehicles as part of the authority's corporate transformation project.
"The system will provide a range of benefits to the council and the taxpayer by reducing fuel costs and improving service delivery at a time when financial pressures on local government budgets are resulting in job losses and service reductions.
"Monitoring vehicles using tracking systems is not uncommon, with councils across the UK using such systems as well as large commercial operators, such as haulage firms, prominent supermarket chains, utility companies and the Royal Mail."
He said the move would generate significant savings for the authority.
He said: "It is anticipated the system will see the council save about 10 per cent on fuel costs, an estimated saving of £300,000 per annum, as well as complying with its operators' license requirements and reducing insurance costs.
"The council has consulted with both staff and unions throughout the implementation of the tracking system, including demonstrations, and has had a positive reaction from operational staff and unions."
In a statement, the council declined to confirm the cost of installing the devices or identify the contractor involved in supplying them.
It said the matter was commercially sensitive information.
However, a similar recent initiative involving 400 vehicles at Nottingham County Council cost £315,000 to install and lease.
Hull City Council has fitted similar tracking devices to all its refuse collection lorries over the past two years working with technology group Bartec.
A total of 43 bin lorries currently have the tracking equipment installed.
A council spokesman said the full tracking system was due go live in the next few weeks.
It will allow council officials to pinpoint where bin crews are if they receive complaints from the public about missed collections via the council's call centre.