Frontline council staff thanked for 'amazing' work during pandemic in Harrogate
Unsung council heroes in Harrogate have received heart-warming messages for their work to keep the community going.
Bin men completing their weekly collections in the borough have been left colourful thank you cards from grateful residents - whilst union leaders have recognised IT and business support staff working behind the scenes.
Speaking for Unison, Branch Secretary David Houlgate said: "These staff have been a credit to the council and a credit to themselves, their professionalism and dedication is amazing, they are fantastic.
“We know that week in week out year after year council staff deliver vital public services to the local community, but in the face of the biggest crisis the country has experienced in peace time the staff have gone the extra mile in keeping these vital public services going."
Harrogate Borough Council said it is doing everything it can to cope with added pressure on its household waste and recycling collections - as families stay at home and recycling centres remain closed.
Crews are wearing gloves to stay safe and residents can also help by washing their hands when putting anything into bins or recycling boxes.
And whilst other precautions have been put in place to protect staff from infection, Mr Houlgate said talks are being held about what more can be done.
He said: “The nature of some work can make social distancing difficult and we do know that Harrogate Borough Council have put in place measures to help mitigate against this, but we still think more could be done in relation to this and we are in ongoing discussions with the council.”
Mr Houlgate said the council's IT department had undertaken a "mammoth task" to enable office based staff to work from home.
He also highlighted how business support officers have delivered more than £26million in government grants to small firms.
Other council staff have also been carrying on their work to support residents most in need through welfare support, essential repairs and by helping the voluntary sector with distribution of food and supplies.
Mr Houlgate added: “I’d also like to publicly pass on the thanks of staff in these services for all the support they have received from residents around the district. It is very much welcomed and appreciated by them as they try to continue to provide essential public services.”
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