Council staff redeployed to help continue key services

Council staff are being retrained and redeployed to help maintain critical services across the borough during the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 26th March 2020, 9:00 am
Numbers are being restricted to ten at funerals in North Tyneside due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of North Tyneside Council’s response to the crisis, the authority has carried out a skills audit to determine how and where the workforce could be redeployed to provide invaluable frontline support and keep essential services running.

The council is also deploying staff to voluntarily help at The Bay Foodbank, in North Shields.

Among the first to be redeployed will be staff from environmental services, who have volunteered to be retrained as refuse collectors to ensure that people’s bins continue to be emptied.

The local authority collects household waste and recycling bins from 100,000 households each week and the move will help to protect the service against potential staff shortages in the coming weeks, as collection crew staff begin to self-isolate at home.

Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “These are extraordinary times and we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure that we continue to deliver the essential services on which people depend.

“If we have any shortages or gaps, we have done a lot of work to identify other staff members who have the right skills and can step in and ensure we have enough people and resources to do the necessary work on the frontline.

“Our staff have many skills that can be easily transferred to other areas and I am immensely proud of the resourcefulness and dedication shown by all our colleagues who continue to get the job done in very difficult circumstances, and the ones who have come forward and shown a willingness to take their place if needed.

“I’m sure our residents would agree with me that they are a credit to the council and the borough.”

The council has also suspended its garden waste collection and closed the Household Waste Recycling Centre, managed by Suez.

Services at Tynemouth and Whitley Bay crematoria, as well as the three burial chapels at Preston, Holy Cross and Dudley, have been limited to no more than 10 mourners and it is advised that congregations space themselves out as much as possible.