21 road sweeper job losses a ‘step too far’

Road sweepers face cuts
Road sweepers face cuts

The shedding of 21 road sweepers jobs as part of restructuring and cuts to Fife Council’s revenue budget is a “step too far” says a Glenrothes Councillor.

SNP councillor Ross Vettraino claims the current service is ineffectual and fails to use the available street cleansing resources efficiently, effectively and economically.

“Cuts in personnel just compound the issue,” he told the Gazette.

Fife Council confirmed that 21 positions will be shed from the workforce by the end of the year as part of a voluntary redundancy move.

“The Council’s culpability can be seen everywhere, the Main Streets in Thornton and Milton and Coaltown of Balgonie being good examples,” Mr Vettraino added.

“These streets are now only swept by mechanical sweepers, which cannot access most of the road channels because of parked vehicles.

“Nor can these mechanical sweepers always access pavements and are unable to deal with weed growth.”

The councillor says he has received a growing number of complaints from disgruntled constituents and has already instigated one meeting with Altany Craik, chairman of Glenrothes area committee and Damien Woods, service manager for the two recently amalgamated departments; street cleaning and grounds maintenance and parks, now responsible for road sweeping in the region.

“The absence of realistic work schedules is a major contributor to the inefficiency, the current schedules were found to be unworkable six years ago, but have never been changed,” Mr Vettraino continued.

He added he is still hopeful of service improvements despite challenging budget constraints and is pushing for better training for all staff.

Damien Woods, service manager for parks, streets and open spaces said: “The merger has allowed a more integrated approach to service delivery at an area level, particularly for grounds maintenance and street cleaning.

“In order to stop duplicating tasks we carried out an analysis of all tasks within the new service, creating new roles and responsibilities.

“There have been no compulsory redundancies but a small number of posts are not being filled as they become vacant. This will have no affect on overall service delivery.”