Threat to county services by increased Covid staff absences

Melton borough residents have been warned that opening times for some council services, such as waste and recycling centres and libraries, might be affected by a countywide surge in coronavirus cases.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 12:41 pm
Updated Friday, 7th January 2022, 2:32 pm
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Leicestershire County Council say most services are currently running as normal, including those which support vulnerable people, but that staff shortages are inevitably starting to impact on some operations.

And the authority announced this afternoon (Friday) that Somerby waste site has now been closed until further notice due to staffing and driver shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

With Bottesford tip also currently out of action until later this month due to essential maintenance work being carried, Melton’s Lake Terrace site is the only waste and recycling centre available for borough residents.

Residents are asked to check the County Hall website for updates on any further changes, in light of the increasing infection rates sparked by the Omicron variant.

Deputy county council leader, Councillor Deborah Taylor, said: “We are taking every step we can to limit the impact of omicron on services but we are a large employer and infection rates are at their highest ever levels in Leicestershire so some disruption is unfortunately inevitable.

“So far, careful planning has allowed us to limit the impact and keep our key services going, including those supporting vulnerable people, though some changes have been necessary – and other measures may be needed in the near future.

“That’s why we are asking people to keep a close eye on our website for the very latest information.

“It always makes sense to be ready for the worst-case scenario and that is what we are doing even though we hope we will avoid it.”

The council say reduced opening times may be required as a temporary measure at tips if a significant number of front-line workers are off.

Parents will contacted, the authority point out, if there are changes to transport services for children with special educational needs.

Residents are advised that the current reduced supply of lateral flow tests from the government means they are not currently being distributed by the council’s mobile van testing service.

Go online at www.leicestershire.gov.uk/services to check on updated changes to council services.