Maintaining essential council services
The council have issued a statement to clarify which services and council workers are deemed to be essential during this difficult period.
A council spokesperson has told us:
"We know that there has been much discussion and debate about what is deemed an essential worker or service, and the same has been happening with our operations."
"We have been following government guidance and where possible staff have been working from home. However, certain jobs and services simply can’t be done from home and in these cases we have been adhering to social distancing guidelines as much as we can."
"We have been working with our contractors and have received assurances that they are assessing the risks and providing staff with the right level of protection, so in many cases we feel it is right to continue with our key services."
Some examples of contractors continuing to work include:
Waste collections - Our contractors are following government guidelines and the recently issued Waste Industry Safety and Health principles.
"We are prioritising waste collection services to ensure every household continues to get a basic collection service."
Public toilets - While footfall is reduced we feel it is vital to continue to offer this service for those that need it, especially key workers that need to be out and about.
"Our cleansing contractor Monitor is taking the precautions needed and doing a great job with increased cleansing regimes."
Grounds maintenance - Grass cutting or tree work may not seem essential to some, but it is important that we keep on top of this health and safety work, especially in areas where people will be doing their daily exercise or in our cemeteries which remain in operation.
"Along with our own staff, our grounds maintenance team are also keeping an eye on the closed playgrounds and fitness equipment."
Parking enforcement - Despite the changes to parking restrictions which has seen reduced enforcement, it is important that we maintain safety and clear traffic flow for emergency vehicles and waste collection vehicles.
"We have reduced staff patrolling key areas to focus on double yellow lines, school keep clear zones and loading bays to allow for critical food deliveries."
"We know everybody is working hard to get through this situation and we are especially proud of our staff and contractors that continue to deliver key functions for everybody in the borough."