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Councillors approve new measures to tackle driver shortages in South Holland

Posted on 4 October 2021

South Holland District Council has approved a series of recommendations to support its waste crews and help attract new drivers to join the team, including better pay, new working patterns and further support, training and progression opportunities.

Amidst a national shortage of drivers, the Council has acted quickly to help protect and develop its workforce, and maintain its service delivery across the District of weekly refuse and recycling collections, as well as the garden waste subscription scheme.

The vital role that waste crews play every single day has been repeatedly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic and current staffing shortages, continuing to provide their crucial service to residents throughout, even at the height of lockdown when most people were staying at home and delivery stopped elsewhere in the country.

South Holland's crews are also regularly noted for the role they play in the local community, whether it's a smile and wave even in the more challenging weather conditions or going above and beyond their duties to help residents or report issues they spot back to staff at the Council.

The recommendations approved last month at a full Cabinet meeting are designed to reflect the importance of these teams, and provide security and opportunities for workers to develop new skills and move up through the Council over time. It will also help to create more permanent positions within the team, bringing new jobs to the local economy and reducing the reliance on external providers.

Councillor Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for environmental services, said: "I am pleased that my fellow councillors have supported these proposals to help recognise the importance of our waste collection service and environmental services team in South Holland.

"Every single one of us benefits from the hard work they do, and ensuring they feel valued as a team and are provided with the opportunities for personal and continuing development is so important. These changes will help us continue to grow a skilled and dedicated workforce, and to build a resilient service to meet any further challenges that may come our way."