I have been in receipt of many complaints regarding bin collection over the last few weeks.
The first thing to note is that with two bank holidays to absorb it is inevitable that there will be some disruption.
Secondly throughout the pandemic our bin collection service went largely uninterrupted. Our bin workers have served us well. But the problems are a source of frustration.
You will all be aware that the ‘Stop the Oil’ protests. There have been 700 arrests across the nation, yet more than half of those were in Thurrock. It just so happens that the waste depot is in the vicinity of these protests so it is inevitable that there would be some disruption. Add to these the bank holidays and changed working practices and we have a perfect storm. In future Thurrock Council needs to warn the public about disruption rather than apologise after the event.
Which brings me to another point. While our bin workers carried on working through the pandemic, Thurrock council officers were closed and officers working from home. There are plenty of officers who are slow in returning back to work. This is all very well, but since so many of our senior officers do not live in the borough, it is difficult to see how they can serve the public unless they do attend the office.
A more hands on approach might have averted the problems we have had recently. There have been two nations in response to this pandemic. Those for whom it was business as usual and those who were able to stay at home. It is time now it went back to business as usual for everyone.