The Italian Job - these vans are not
WHEN new vans were needed for maintenance workers in Ipswich, the borough council decided to opt for the Italian Job.But unlike the speedy minis that evaded the Italian police as they sped around Turin for hours on end, the council's new Fiat Iveco vans would probably have run out of fuel.
By Paul Geater
WHEN new vans were needed for maintenance workers in Ipswich, the borough council decided to opt for the Italian Job.
But unlike the speedy minis that evaded the Italian police as they sped around Turin for hours on end, the council's new Fiat Iveco vans would probably have run out of fuel.
Because the brand new fleet are reported to do just 12 miles to the gallon as they lumber around the town repairing and improving council homes.
Conservative councillor, George Debman, was horrified when a council worker told him about the new vans.
According to him, any new parts that are needed have to come directly from Italy.
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He said: "We should know why the council has spent money on these gas guzzlers.
"Every time something goes wrong the parts have to be specially dispatched from Italy as they are not even stocked in this country."
The vans have been in service for the last two to three months, but Cllr Debman said workers in the department were shocked that the vans did so few miles to the gallon.
Keith Rawlingson, who is councillor with executive responsibility for the department said he had no idea about the fuel consumption of the vans although he was confident that it was likely to be something that was monitored.
"I don't know that the fuel consumption is abnormally low and there have been no suggestions to me that it has been.
"Fuel consumption is one of the key things that we monitor.
"I am absolutely sure that were there to be something out of the ordinary I would know about it."
He said that council officials would have put the contract out for tender and chosen the best one.
When questioned about Mr Debman's concerns that specialist parts would have to come straight from Italy, he said: "Unfortunately new vehicles have teething problems that require the finding of new parts.
"I cannot imagine that every part that is required has to come from Italy.
"One thing has been mentioned to me where there was a delay in getting a new airbag, but I think it would be quite wrong to suggest that vehicles are being kept off the road for a long time."