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My Leader last week focused on supply chain issues caused by the UK’s Track & Trace system - which is, no doubt, having an impact overseas too - and I’d previously talked about the difficulties cleaning teams have in getting to and from work with transport systems either shut or operating restricted timetables. Linked to this is a thread I’ve been following on social media regarding missed bin collections, which instead of the usual ‘bash the bin people’ comments, discussed why collections weren’t taking place (shortage of qualified bin lorry drivers because of Covid and/or isolation regulations, despite Government exempting refuse collection workers from the strictest isolation regulations) and what to do about it. This underlined just how much attitudes have changed thanks to the pandemic. There were links to articles about our success in transport services cleaning (even if the services aren’t running!). So yes, the industry has certainly improved in people’s eyes, over the past 18 months or so…
Local social media groups are brilliant at keeping residents up-to-date with fast-changing local issues, (“Tesco Express is fully stocked with toilet rolls and no queues to get into store”) and putting the vulnerable or sick in touch with residents who can deliver shopping etc. Now bin collections have become sporadic and residents in many towns have been asked to not put their bins out unless they’re full, to speed up the round and enable operators to provide cover to other areas, I love that neighbours are combining their waste, to reduce the number of bins that need emptying and ensure that there isn’t a build-up of waste. With more than a third of some workforces having to isolate and haulage companies offering hugely inflated salaries to entice bin lorry drivers away from their local authority employers, I can’t see things improving quickly, so the more we can do to help, the better.
The links I mentioned earlier revealed that swabs and air samples taken this year at four major railway stations and Intercity train services running between the stations, found no traces of Covid-19. Well done to the cleaning teams at London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly stations and on the trains themselves! The news follows similar tests on London's tube trains, buses and stations, which found no sign of Covid-19 or new variants. Network Rail says the test results are "proof" that the "dedicated approach" by station cleaning teams and train staff to keep passengers safe, have worked. Excellent news and congratulations to everyone involved!
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5th August 2021