Agenda item

Assisted Car Purchase Scheme (Agenda Item 8)

Report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning.



The Payroll & Reward Manager introduced Alison Peart and Cal Spearman, two new HR Business Partners who were in attendance to learn about the General Purposes Committee.  He then went on to give a brief overview of the report.


The Lease Car Scheme was being phased out following an earlier recommendation from the General Purposes Committee.  When that decision had been made it had been agreed that the dormant Assisted Car Purchase Scheme would be reintroduced.


The Assisted Car Purchase Scheme offered car loans at attractive interest rates.  In reintroducing the scheme the Payroll & Reward Manager had looked at similar schemes at other local authorities.  The South Holland scheme had been in place for some time and the new scheme would mirror that one.


The number of applicants was not known but there had been five or six firm expressions of interest so far.


Mr Borrett noted that the scheme was for essential car users only but would also be available to casual users for the purposes of recruitment and/or retention.


Mr Carter asked whether there would be a list of the casual user posts which would be eligible for the scheme and the Payroll & Reward Manager advised that CMT were keen to have discretion to look at each case on its merits.


Mr Borrett asked if that was the same at South Holland and was advised that the key features were identical but at South Holland the scheme was also open to casual users who travelled over 500 business miles a year.  Some parts of the South Holland scheme were considered to be out of date, the key features had been adopted and modernised.


Mr Borrett then asked what the scheme would cost. 


The main cost would be the loss in bank credit revenue and it had been estimated that the potential loss of interest would amount to a few hundreds of pounds only.   From information gleaned from other authorities it seemed likely that there would only be about 16 loans a year with an average amount of £4,000.  The financial risk had been modelled on that estimated take-up.


Members debated the matter further and did not feel able to make a decision without having further information about the potential costs.  They also raised concerns about the lack of equality with some casual users being eligible for the scheme and others not.


Mr Borrett clarified that he was not against the scheme but said that Members needed to know what it would cost and what it would achieve for corporate objective reasons.  There also needed to be parity with South Holland.


Mr Bambridge had concerns and felt that the scheme should only be available for essential users with high mileage.  He also wanted clarity on costs.


The Payroll & Reward Manager explained that the scheme would cost a lot less than the Lease Car Scheme with a potential six figure saving.


The Chairman made various suggestions to Members to try to reach a compromise but acknowledged that more information was needed.


RESOLVED not to make a decision until further financial information was made available.

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