Lakefield District Housing were one of the hot favourites to win a £1000 prize for energy efficiency when they decided to scrap their 25-strong fleet of vans and instead use donkeys for their or haulage of the equipment needed for housing repairs.
The beasts of burden could easily carry enough tools for the job and although it would take them a bit longer to get there, the already overweight drivers would benefit by walking alongside them. Once they had arrived at the house needing repair, the donkey would be unloaded and left outside on the lawn to graze away to its heart's content - any deposits left behind could be used on the roses.
Don Keys, spokesman for Lakefield District Housing, told In Seine News: "I think it was a great idea as it was getting rather expensive to pay for fuel and emissions were quite high for our ageing fleet of vehicles in comparison to the donkeys. Our tenants would also benefit in having their lawns cut and flower borders fertilised at the same time as having their house repaired."
"In fact we have managed to take delivery of 25 donkeys which will be arriving on 1st May and we hope to inspire other councils to follow suit. What's more the European Energy Council have shown great interest and plan to award us £1000 for the initiative. Let's keep our fingers crossed that nothing stops us."
"One of our electricians has already brought LDH into disrepute by displaying a Christian cross on his vehicle - we have nothing against people wearing religious paraphernalia on their body, but we must insist that they do not display signs of their faith on council vehicles!"
"It would appear that we are no longer in the running to win that energy efficiency prize because some bright spark pointed out to us that ALL donkeys carry a Christian cross on their backs and I guess this constitutes carrying a religious symbol on a vehicle. It seems that we have made an ass of ourselves"