Q 1. I have been told that you plan to make thirty of the cleansing staff redundant either through voluntary redundancies or compulsory if you cannot find the required number. Is this true?
A 1. Response from the CM for Streetscene & City Services
The Head of Service will undertake a review and restructure of the service is planned which includes a revised street cleansing provision across the city including a cleanliness based assessment. The proposed changes also includes changes to working hours of operatives through the introduction of four-day (9.25hour) working day over a seven day week. This proposal will only be introduced after full consultation with the workforce and the recognised trade unions and the changes are proposed to result in a reduction of 10FTE.
Q 2. This will have a huge impact on street cleaning and grass cutting. Are you confident that you can still keep the streets of Newport clean and have adequate staff to cut the grass?
A 2. Response from the CM for Streetscene & City Services
City centre programmed schedule of cleansing service will not change significantly from its current provision, however, the employee shifts and hours of work will be amended. All other areas within the City boundary will be rescheduled based on experience and local knowledge of the current cleanliness standards. The reductions in the workforce to achieve the financial savings mean we have to review all operational service delivery. This is including use of more mechanised and modern processes that improve performance and avoid elements of manual work. Significant transformation reviews have been undertaken to ensure efficiency is maximised.
Q 3. In the past residents would have been able to pick up fallen leaves and place them in the orange lidded bin for collection. This was of help to the council. I note that there is a terrific amount of leaves on the floor across the city. Do you think it was wise to bring forward the date for the cessation of the orange bin collection?
A 3. Response from the CM for Streetscene & City Services
A decision was taken over a year ago to withdraw winter collections of the orange lidded bins (green waste) due to financial pressures and the need to reduce service delivery costs. This year the implementation date was deferred and revised in order to cater for the scheduling of half-term and enable a collection following the known trend of increased green waste activity this time of year represents. The Household Waste Recycling Centre at Docks Way continues to provide residents with a facility to dispose of their green waste throughout the year.
Q 4. There are currently eight staff who have been allocated to the winter out of hours team. These staff can no longer work a day shift if they are called out at night. This will further deplete the number of staff who are available for other duties. What contingency plans do you have in place to make up this shortfall in staff numbers?
A 4. Response from the CM for Streetscene & City Services
Winter maintenance has been planned and delivered in this way for a number of years and the service area has to work flexibly in this regard whereby staff are given adequate rest periods complying to the working time directive. In periods of peak demand and adverse weather the service area can engage a limited amount of resource of externally sourced personnel together with the redirection of its own resources to areas of greatest need.