South Holland councillors press on with plan to boost pay and conditions of bin lorry drivers
Councillors have agree to press on with plans to improve the pay and conditions of bin lorry drivers.
South Holland District Council has been hit by the widespread driver shortage – with some residents even forced to skip a week’s recycling collection last week.
One of those residents affected by the missed collection was Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, the portfolio holder for environmental services – who told us that he hopes the authority's plan can avoid further delays.
He said: "I hope we can avoid the situation that we had this Saturday where many people didn't get a recycling collection - and I was one, there was no favouritism."
He added: "I am hoping that there won't be delays again but you never know."
At the moment, the environmental services team is said to be revisiting its staffing situation each morning - with black bag collections an absolute priority.
The council is calling on supervisors to help man refuse lorries - and has had less chance to use the road sweeper.
Coun Gambba-Jones received the support of his cabinet colleagues for the plan to tackle the shortage – which includes better pay, training and development - at their meeting on Tuesday.
He said: "Members were fully supportive of the proposals to look for the support from the full council and they understood what we were trying to deal with."
He said the council was due to look into such changes anyway to reduce its reliance on agency staff and plan ahead for the retirement of senior staff.
Coun Gambba-Jones added: "We have got to be fleet of foot about this sort of thing - not just for now, this is also about forward planning and making sure we are helping our own people to make the next step up the ladder because our work force is ageing."
The precise detail of the pay and conditions package is not known - and was discussed during a section of the cabinet meeting where the press and public were excluded due to the confidential nature of the information involved.
The matter is now due to go before the full council on September 22.