Praise for frontline staff who keep up the hard work through lockdown

Bin crews, street cleansers and community safety officers are winning praise as they continue to deliver frontline services for north Oxfordshire.

Published: Tuesday, 31st March 2020

With a national lockdown in effect because of Covid-19, Cherwell District Council’s 20 waste and recycling crews are continuing with their kerbside collections across the district. At this time of year they collect between 220 to 250 tonnes of waste and recycling per day.

The street cleansing team are also continuing to keep Cherwell’s urban centres and open spaces tidy, covering around 40 miles daily. Frontline staff, also including the community safety team, are following Government guidance to protect their health and that of the public as they go about their work.

Cllr Barry Wood, leader of the council, said: “We should never underestimate the value created by the workers who collect our waste and recycling, and those who keep our public spaces clean.

“That value comes to the fore more than ever in times of crisis. With cleanliness high on the agenda, I know lots of other residents will join me in thanking them for not only continuing to provide their essential services, but for doing so while following Government health precautions.”

The community safety officers, meanwhile, are also out in force, using a thermal imaging camera to check parks and open spaces at night. This is part of their work helping the police enforce Government social distancing guidelines. As well as checking on residents’ welfare, they are also checking compliance at restricted businesses and licensed premises. 

Meanwhile back-office staff, such as the IT team, have been busy supporting others who have had to speedily adapt to working from home in wake of the crisis.

The customer services team usually works on desktop computers. With only four laptops to their name, they faced an obvious hurdle when the guidance to shift to homeworking was given. IT services were able to train staff to work from home with 44 new laptops, enabling them to make the change with minimal disruption to the service they offer.

When disposing of waste that may have come into contact with the Covid-19 virus, residents are asked to, as a minimum, double-bag and store it for at least 72 hours before it is put in the green bin.

Salvation Army textile banks in the district are not currently accepting donations. People are reminded not to leave items next to any bring bank; this is treated as fly-tipping.

For more updates on Cherwell’s response to the coronavirus situation, visit this page.