LYME Regis Town Council has agreed to contribute towards the cost of driving lessons for two of its staff members.
Councillors discussed the possibility of paying for driving lessons for the seafront attendant and a gardener at a recent meeting of the Human Resources Committee.
Members were told that, while driving was not essential for the roles, it would allow for more flexibility within the council’s external works team, making jobs more efficient and freeing up time for further tasks.
A report said that driving lessons cost £28 per hour, a theory test was £31 and practical test between £62 and £75. A fast-pass intensive course, which included 10 hours of lessons of a week and both exams, would cost £450.
Councillor Sean Larcombe suggested that the council pay for half the cost of driving lessons and an examination.
Councillor Stan Williams said a cap needed to be put on this, to ensure the council’s contribution was not open-ended, as it was not known how long it would take the staff members to pass.
Councillor Derek Hallett questioned why the staff were employed if they could not drive, but was told that driving was not listed as an essential skill when advertising the roles. Town clerk John Wright later confirmed that one of the staff members was too young to drive when they were first employed.
Councillor Hallett was also concerned about how other council staff who had paid for their own driving lessons would react if the council agreed to the costs.
It was agreed to pay half the costs of an intensive driving course and examination for each employee, totalling £450.
If the course took place during work hours, the employees would work additional hours to compensate for this, and if they did not pass after the intensive course they would have to continue driving lessons at their own cost.