Council staff say the show must go on across the East Riding

Hundreds of refuse collectors, road workers and maintenance staff continue to work flat out across the East Riding to make sure essential services are maintained during the Covid-19 crisis.

From this week, more staff employed by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council will be re-mobilised to tackle maintenance work on such areas as parks and open spaces, school grounds, and road repairs.

Around 50,000 refuse bins are still being collected by the council every day.

Councillor Mike Stathers, the council’s portfolio holder for enhancing communities, paid tribute to the authority’s workforce for adopting ‘the show must go on’ attitude.

He said: “These are extremely difficult times for everyone, but every effort is being put into maintaining as many of the key services that affect our lives.

“For example, grass verges close to road junctions must be kept cut and clear for traffic safety. We still have around 500 children attending school so we need to make sure the school grounds are properly maintained.

“We need to cut the grass in our public parks and open spaces in line with Government guidance so people can take exercise and urgent repairs to our council housing stock must continue.”

He added: “A very small number of people have questioned why this type of work is still being done during the health crisis, but we believe these tasks are essential, as much for safety reasons as anything else.

“We are conscious of the need to protect all our employees and to that end we have introduced new health and safety measures and social distancing for all our staff working on the front line.”

Cllr Stathers said the authority would also be continuing with road repairs and improvements, including its annual surface dressing programme, which has an annual cost of around £3m.

He said: “For this year’s surface dressing our road teams will concentrate on roads in rural areas. They will not be working in the urban areas, where we would have to move any parked vehicles and potentially disrupt pedestrians, but they will still be working hard to keep our rural road system to a good standard.”

“The council’s job is to protect our public by maintaining our 2,000 miles of highway.”

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