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Vandalism, rats and a height restriction barrier: FOI reveals damage to council cars

Reversing into a brick pillar, hitting a height restriction barrier and having a car park exit barrier close on the roof are just some of the accidents council vehicles have been involved in.

A Freedom of Information request by the Advertiser has revealed council vehicles were involved in 54 insurance claims for the last two financial years.

Council vehicles include 13 pool Minis, which cost the council £60,000 per year, and the mobile library.

The request asked for a record of all road accidents involving council vehicles for financial years 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.

Accidents include a driver reversing a new vehicle into a brick pillar and smashing a back door window at Windsor Day Centre, and reversing into a low wall in Winter Hill Road, Cookham.

Insurance claims for the mobile library include an exit barrier coming down on top of it, and colliding with a parked car after reversing down a side road.

In another incident in the Town Hall car park, the accident log states: “Driver had trouble finding reverse, and drove into reserved parking sign, uprooting it.”

There were 22 claims for 15/16 year and 32 for 16/17. Four claims remain open.

Damage to the pool cars included five of them being vandalised at Hines Meadow Car Park in April 2016, vandalism to six of the pool cars in the Town Hall car park in February and six of the cars suffering damage due to a family of rats which got into the cars over Christmas.

A council spokesman said it was unable to provide information about how much each claim was for and suggested another freedom of information request.

Tonight (Thursday) cabinet is set to discuss whether to terminate the contract for the pool cars a year early as they are not being used enough.

Some of the claims:

February 2015: Town Hall - Driver hit parked truck when taking pool car out

May 2015: Winter Hill Road, Cookham – Driver of pool car reversed and hit low wall

July 2015: Homeside Close, Maidenhead – Vehicle hit fixed object, minor damage

November 2015: Windsor Day Centre – Driver reversed vehicle into brick pillar and smashed back door window

January 2016: Town Hall car park – Pool cars suffered damage due to rats sometime over Christmas period

April 2016: Hines Meadow – Vandalism to pool cars

June 2016: Boyn Grove Community Centre – Scraped side of vehicle against metal post

September 2016: Boulters Lock Car Park – Driver hit height restriction barrier in error and caused damage to roof and bonnet

September 2016: Windsor Day Centre car park – Driver attempted to drive between two parked vehicles and clipped council bus

January 2017: CA Computing Car Park – As mobile library exiting car park, exit barrier came down on the vehicle

February 2017: Town Hall – Driver had trouble finding reverse and drove into reserved parking sig

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