Cabinet Call - this week with Roger Gambba-Jones, South Holland District Council portfolio holder for waste and recycling
Like most residents I become frustrated at the sight of litter, graffiti and fly tipping, as well as the early out refuse and recycling bags, all blighting our streets, roads and open countryside – and, as ‘rubbish man’, my colleagues and others are quick to point out the problems to me.
Yes, for my sins I am ‘rubbish man’ in council circles. I don’t think they’re calling me rubbish, but instead that I’m the cabinet member for waste and recycling, though I’m never absolutely sure!
My role also includes parks and open spaces which itself is shortened to ‘cutting the grass’ – both descriptions are fair but don’t tell the whole story.
Alongside planning issues, keeping local community areas clean, tidy and pleasing to the eye is seen as the most important thing we do for residents and businesses.
Quite rightly every other cabinet member will tell you the same about their services, and that’s okay, because I know better!
But seriously, South Holland is overwhelmingly rural, with scattered communities to be served and isolated homes to be reached.
It is therefore a great source of pride to me that, unlike other councils, we still provide weekly refuse and recycling collections for more than 38,000 South Holland properties.
Our 14 refuse and recycling freighters work across the district five days every week, providing the weekly service so highly-valued by residents.
Our small street cleansing team is also out and about all year round. The team empty and maintain more than 460 litter bins, eight sets of public toilets and tackle litter and fly tipping problems wherever they find them. They also sweep South Holland’s town centres every morning.
South Holland’s grounds maintenance team put in long hours preparing and planting to bring splashes of colour across our communities – work which can be undone in a matter of seconds through mindless vandalism.
The team take great pride in their work and always appreciate a kind word from members of the public.
Finally we are always looking to bring new and improved services for residents.
Our textiles recycling pilot in 5,000 homes is proving a great success and we are just now consulting on a new garden waste service.
Please go to www.shol land.gov.uk/environment/waste/GardenWasteCollectionSurvey and let us know what you think about the proposal.