Visit to our gritting vehicle fleet and future STP projects

I spent an enjoyable couple of hours this week back on the shop floor of our Fleetcare operation, getting to understand the challenges of maintaining and repairing our vehicle fleet. At this time of year, it’s all about gritters.

We have a fleet of over 40 trucks with ploughs and salt spreaders to keep the 6,500km of Highways clear of snow and ice. The combination of water and salt is especially corrosive to steel and the trucks deteriorate very quickly. I was very happy to be able to discuss some options on how we might make these trucks last a little longer with the mechanics who see the damage up close.

Proving that this job is nothing if not varied, I’ve also been getting to grips with the Estates portfolio of the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which I’ve agreed to lead. Top of the list is an improved offer for Leek and the Moorlands, learning from the excellent facility at Northfield Village in Stafford. In essence, the current hospital is developed out of a Victorian workhouse in Leek and is not optimised for the needs of the community. If we get this right, and there is every reason to be optimistic, we will produce a facility that caters for an ageing population in the digital age, as well as hosting the medical and care services that the Moorlands needs in the future.

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