‘Please buy your fuel as usual’, says council chairman

  Posted: 06.10.21 at 10:19 by Charlotte Lillywhite

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In his latest regular column, the chairman of Maldon District Council, Councillor Mark Heard, reflects on the recent fuel crisis in the district, and urges residents not to panic buy.

Amid all the other issues facing us, such as Covid, Brexit, gas supplies and HGV driver shortages, we have also had the recent fuel situation to contend with.

Excessive and immediate demand rather than supply chain issues drove the recent shortage of fuel at petrol stations in the district, with motorists forming queues for fuel most days.

There always was enough fuel for us all, but shocking news and alarming headlines immediately created long queues at all of our petrol stations making a potential hazard for other vehicles and causing difficulties for emergency and service vehicles trying to reach people in need.

Data shows that most people spend between £25 - £30 when refuelling, but human nature made many people go out of their way to make a special journey to fill their tanks to the brim and to even fill up jerry cans to store fuel at home.

Those who need to store fuel at home should follow the law carefully to keep themselves, their families and neighbours safe. Petrol should always be kept in proper containers in an outbuilding and never left outside. Keep it away from any sources of ignition and ensure the storage room is cool and well ventilated. Remember that excessive storage of petrol can invalidate your home insurance.

The very shortage affecting us all has been exacerbated by all of us going out and filling up when we really don’t need to!

The good news is you can only really fill up once and you’ve then got to use that fuel, so this is a short-term thing; it’s not like the fuel crises in the past when suppliers were hit by strikes so, once people have filled up, they won’t travel any more than they normally would, so the strain on the system should ease up.

The district council relies on fuel to provide all of your services and has struggled just like everybody else, due to the national shortage of HGV drivers plus the fuel situation. With refuse lorries unable to collect some waste, community safety officer patrols curbed and parks maintenance reduced; the situation has touched upon everything.

Your district council representatives have been well briefed by officers with daily emails about routes and services affected and action taken.

There’s no energy crisis in the UK, so please buy your fuel as usual.
Whether or not we have fuel affects lots of other services we normally take for granted such as local busses carrying essential care and shop workers, fire, police and ambulance personnel and disrupts many other services in the district.

Remember, if you’ve got it, a lorry brought it in the first place. If we are all sensible, there’s plenty for us all!

Until next time - take care.

Councillor Mark S. Heard
Chairman of Maldon District Council


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