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LGA CALLS ON MINISTERS TO GUARANTEE FUEL FOR VITAL COUNCIL SERVICES

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Essential council services must be guaranteed fuel supplies if current distribution problems continue, Local Govern...
Essential council services must be guaranteed fuel supplies if current distribution problems continue, Local Government Association leaders have said.

Priority services that have been identified by the association include:

The fire service;

Social services: heating for day and residential care services; transport for meals on wheels and for staff and contractors providing home care for elderly and other vulnerable people;

Education: school bus services and heating for school buildings;

Waste: fuel to ensure the collection and proper disposal of local rubbish.

Sir Jeremy Beecham, chair of the LGA said: 'Millions of people across Britain from housebound pensioners to schoolchildren depend on councils to provide a range of vital services.

'As fuel distribution problems begin to bite across the country, we are calling on the government today to ensure they use any emergency powers at their disposal to direct fuel resources to support these services and ensure they can continue.

'However it is essential that ministers are fully informed about all the services that will need priority including fuel for transport and heating.

'The LGA is aware of a fuel allocation scheme produced by the government in 1991 that identified priority services. All local authorities will be urgently awaiting a revised version of this scheme and the LGA is ready and willing to advise the Government which services must be included,' he said.

Sir Jeremy continued: 'Local authority corporate management teams are gathering across the country to plan emergency provision.

'The home office has contacted all councils to gather information about the local situation across the country and have established an emergency information line for local authorities.

'After discussions with our emergency planning advisers and the home office we will be issuing further information to local authorities as soon as it is available,' he said.

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