Lockdown has seen mechanics and fitters put the pedal to the metal to keep the council moving.

Although many of Swindon Borough Council’s services have been put on hold, the vehicle pool team have been busier than ever.

They’ve been making sure council staff delivering food or medicines to elderly or vulnerable people have had enough vehicles to get around town.

The workshop and fleet operations manager Ian McKinnon said: “We’ve been as busy as we’ve ever been during lockdown, busier in many ways because we’ve had to ensure social distancing in the workshop – which has made things more difficult.”

The teams have been taking in vehicles from those used by staff in planning services, building control and environmental health and licensing, and making sure they’re ready to be used for essential deliveries.

Ian added: “We’re not having to reconfigure them, but we give them a thorough clean inside and sometimes the outside if it needs it.

“They go out with supplies of alcohol wipes and instructions to wipe down all the contact points – door handles, steering wheel, brake and gearsticks.

“Sometimes they have to do it three times a day.”

The team has been making sure waste and recycling crews have extra vehicles to use.

Ian said: “Instead of three being in a cab, the trucks go out with two and others follow on in another vehicle.

“Making sure they’re all ready means bin collections can carry on.”

Despite the work under tricky circumstances, Ian says the team feel very proud of their work.

“We’re keeping some of the essential services going.

"We know that there are a lot of people who rely on the food deliveries and medication because they can’t go themselves because they’re vulnerable,” he said.

“They need the service but it wouldn’t happen without us keeping it going.

“We know our work is necessary and we are proud of that and it keeps us going, because it’s much more difficult for the fitters because of having to maintain social distancing.

“It sometimes feels like we’re in the background and nobody knows what we do or that essential services rely on us, so it’s good to get a bit of recognition.”