The York Council is coming in for more criticism as – for the second day running – waste, recycling and green bin collection arrangements failed yesterday.
Residents were advised to leave out their bins but most remain unemptied.
Officially the Council’s excuse is that there is a shortage of HGV drivers. That has been true since BREXIT saw some drivers return to their homelands although other pressures have resulted from COVID absences and increasing numbers of jobs in the commercial delivery sector.
The actual HGV training (practical) only takes 5 days but the entire process from start to end will take around 8-10 weeks to get the licence in hand.
Usually employers pay for the training in return for a guarantee that the driver will stay with the company/authority for a minimum contract period.
Some HGV drivers can earn up to £45.000 a year. There are an estimated 500,000 vacancies for HGV drivers in the UK.
The Council first identified a shortage of HGV drivers in November 2018 click.
It appears to have made little progress in the interim to ensure that vacancies can be covered.
In the meantime, it needs to be more proactive in telling residents when they can expect to have their waste collected.
If necessary, auxiliary “bring” sites should be established for green waste.
It is not just refuse collection failings which are causing concerns.
Many sports fields and play areas have not had the grass trimmed for several weeks. The neglect runs contrary to the Council s policy of tackling obesity and encouraging healthy lifestyles. When they are eventually cut, mounds of cuttings blight the parks and amenity spaces.
Weeds are now growing rapidly in many gutters. The spraying contractors got off to an early start this year but standards have gradually declined as the summer growing season has got into full swing. Where gutters have not been swept properly, weeds are now reaching a metre or more in height. Again the Council have failed to tell residents when they can expect to see their streets treated,
The promised rain later this week, will see more rapid growth in grass, weeds and bushes. Many of the latter are already obstructing footpaths.