The council previously contracted an external company to carry out repairs and servicing to its vans and lorries. But when the contract came to an end, the council took on its five staff, including four mechanics and one administrative officer.

Cllr Andy Pratt, portfolio holder for Environment, Place and Inclusive Communities, said: ‘This was a win-win situation: it allowed us to build resilience in our service and have greater control of it – but also had the benefit of safeguarding five local jobs.

‘This arrangement offers us better value now and may, in the future, be an opportunity to generate income.’

Currently, the team will maintain the council’s fleet, and take on a small number of external contracts. The service is based at Copeland council’s Moresby depot near Whitehaven.