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Bonkers Blog February 2013

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28 February (Part 2) - Wheeling, dealing and stealing

How about some slightly lighter fare to end the month?

If you take a look at Bexley council’s ‘over £500’ expenditure list for January and tot up the amount paid to Lex Autolease you’ll find it comes to around £58,000. Money flows in that direction every month, not always the same amount, but Bexley must be leasing quite a lot of vehicles.

A poke around their website reveals that Lex provides a “top performing fleet of 140 cars” to Bexley council and offers the service provided to Bexley as a prime example of their expertise and flexibility in the hope of enticing more clients. Whether putting Lex in the best possible light is compatible with doing the same for Bexley may be open to debate.

Lex retells a couple of interesting stories…

Example of former employeeIn 2009 Bexley experienced a car taken by a former employee who did not make arrangements to return it. Effectively, the vehicle was missing and Lex Autolease worked closely with Bexley to search for the vehicle's location. When Bexley were unable to find the car or claim for it on their third-party insurance, Lex Autolease sold the vehicle to the Council thereby ending their lease and enabling them to write off the car's value on the Council's accounts.

After this process was fulfilled and Lex Autolease received Bexley's payment the vehicle was found and returned to the Council. Bexley no longer required the car and Lex Autolease accommodated a request to refund their payment and issue them with an Early Termination instead.

Hmm. Unbelievable. A thief in Bexley council. Who, senior enough to have use of a car, left in 2009? Several if I remember correctly.

Not content with having a swankey limo to swan around in, a pen-jabbing mayor needs two…

Mayor Alan DowningUnder increasing budget pressure the Council wanted to retain use of a second vehicle for the Mayor but not at the expense of replacing the agreement with a new car.

Although the existing car was five years old the mileage was below what was expected at this stage. Lex Autolease agreed to informally extend the present contract, on the agreement that the Council might be asked to contribute towards future maintenance costs.

It wouldn’t look right for a borough paying the sixth highest salaries in the country to suffer the indignity of having only one limousine.


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