Prioritise petrol for key workers - call by Birmingham councillors

Calls to prioritise petrol for key workers from Birmingham councilorsCalls to prioritise petrol for key workers from Birmingham councilors
Calls to prioritise petrol for key workers from Birmingham councilors | LDR

Key workers providing an “essential lifeline” should be given priority access to fuel in light of the current crisis.

Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Ian Ward (Lab, Shard End) and cabinet members have called for care workers, social workers, home to school transport teams and day centre staff to be prioritised for fuel access.

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Some 37 per cent of the forecourts represented by the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) were reportedly out of petrol on Wednesday – down from two thirds on Sunday.

The Government has put around 150 qualified drivers on standby to help deliver fuel – with another 150 personnel made available to support them.

The councillors have now called for the Government to “replicate measures introduced during the fuel crisis of September 2000”. The letter is also signed by cabinet members Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Lab, Holyhead), Cllr Sharon Thompson (Lab, North Edgbaston) and Cllr Waseem Zaffar (Lab, Lozells).

In a letter to transport secretary Grant Shapps, the group said: “We are writing to call for key workers to be given priority access to fuel amid the current crisis and to urge you to include care workers, social workers, home to school transport teams and day centre staff in any priority scheme.

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“Like NHS staff, teachers and other professions, these workers provide essential support to people across Birmingham and the wider UK and they absolutely must be able to get fuel to continue providing the services our communities need.

“It is clear that any Government plan to alleviate the shortage of HGV drivers to transport fuel will not immediately ease the current difficulties and, in the meantime many key workers are struggling to obtain fuel.

“This then has potentially disastrous consequences for many vulnerable individuals and families. Therefore, we urge you to replicate measures introduced during the fuel crisis of September 2000 – designating specific filling stations for essential workers, who can then continue to provide much needed care and support.

“As you know, these workers have provided an essential lifeline for many vulnerable people throughout the pandemic and must be given all necessary support to continue their vital work unhindered by the current difficulties.”

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