It is very satisfying that the anomaly of the council lease cars is finally being appreciated – not only in difficult times, but perhaps it should have never have been started, given the minute business use and high quality cars.

The scheme is described as a car scheme; it applies to cars only and not vans – or perhaps there is another explanation of the 475 leased vehicles of which only 284 “members” are in the scheme. What are the remaining 191 vehicles used for and by whom? Do they give rise to a tax perk as well? Is this the only company car “management” in being? Is there another scheme running in parallel?

There is clearly a marked difference between the “Authority” and the Opposition. On the one hand the Authority seems reluctant to act quickly in ending the scheme and refers to “phasing out” and reducing costs like this as quickly as possible; however, their action consisted of only proposals. For debate – transitional arrangements for ending the scheme. These would include intention to close the scheme by 2014. This did not convey any sense of urgency and then there would be no access to the scheme after that date. On the other hand, the Opposition complain that the scheme’s very existence is “outrageous” especially as expenditure on it (£4 million over three years) had not been revealed to councillors, and it should have been ended immediately.

An aside – is it certain that the loss of the “perk” will not be replaced with an increase in salary at the end of the scheme or at any time in the future? Business use is usually paid for on a mileage scale i.e., a Government one.

It is appreciated that the reporter had to condense the interview into a few paragraphs and I may have misunderstood. What if the country’s fortunes recover – by 1984?