Agenda item

Clean and Green- Verbal Update


The Assistant Director of street scene and leisure provided an overview of the changes made to the operational delivery model across Thurrock. They had moved away from traditional hand sweeping to mobile sweeping.


It was decided that the service could be delivered with 14 less staff with minimal impact of the quality of the work being produced. Despite this by September 2023 there was a noticeable downturn in the quality of services. With an increase in complaints in litter and weed growth. Following a review, it was agreed to bring back 9 members of staff which impacted the quality of services and drove up improvement standards. In addition to this staff undertook training in November 2023. This covered code of practice on litter and refuse; cleansing standards, health and safety, tools, equipment PPE, and uniform.  A review of cleansing schedules and rounds was undertaken to assess efficiency.


The Committee were advised that Bartec software is used to improve refuse, recycling, garden and food waste services for councils and residents. Initially the usage was poor with approximately 14% usage across the service. After a review and training on how to use the software, this increased to 89% by the end of January 2024. This led to a reduction in member inquiries and complaints relating to the clean and green service.


Other key points raised include.


·       From November 2023 to present 100% of members complaints and queries have been responded too in a reasonable amount of time and closed within 10 days.

·       4011 cleansing inspections have been carried out between April 2023- January 2024 across the clean and green services. 97% of inspections were graded B or above. 51% were at grade A. 46% were at grade B, 2.7% grade C and 0.7% at grade D.

·       3,996 service requests were received and responded too.

·       661 litter bins on the highway have been emptied regularly.

·       2405 fly tips have been removed.

·       8 remembrance memorials were thoroughly cleaned in preparation for Memorial Day.

·       Playground inspectors have carried out 4003 inspections of play areas. As a result, 302 defective pieces of equipment have been repaired throughout the borough.


The committee were advised that work is being carried out to meet Thurrock’s corporate objectives an update will be provided once further progress is made.


The Chair raised concerns about the litter on the A13. Advising the area is often resident’s and visitors introduction to Thurrock, however its is unknown that Thurrock does not own this. The Chair questioned whether anything could be done to get the highways department to abide by Thurrock’s cleaning standards. The committee were advised a 3-mile section of the A13 has been handed back to Thurrock. It’s not in the best condition, however work is being completed to address this, with a 30-day work cycle that started last week.


Action: Assistant Director of Street Scene and Leisure to provide the exact 3- mile location of the A13 that has been handed back to Thurrock to councillors.


The Vice Chair praised the work done around the play areas, however questioned why the football pitches were not being used to their full extent. Advising that there is a mound of earth that has been dumped possibly fly tipped on Heath Road. Therefore, the sports field cannot be used.


Action: Assistant Director Street scene and Leisure to investigate any issues with the sports fields and pitches and feedback to the committee


Councillors questioned the frequency of street cleaning and weeding. They were advised most roads are cleaned every two weeks; however, this is dependent on schedules. In addition to this the barrow sweepers carry a bottle of weedkiller that they use when sweeping the roads.


Councillors questioned whether there was a cleaning team for maintaining signs. It was confirmed there was one and it applied to the cleaning of graffiti.


Members questioned the frequency of training. They were advised there was no evidence of regular training due to absence of records, however a training matrix is being drafted and going forward annual refresher training will be provided.


The committee were reassured that they can review performance through the Bartech software. As well as reviewing why refuse has not been collected and address any issues in real time.


The Vice-Chair questioned whether Thurrock should consider roadside drains due to the large puddles of water around drains in Tilbury. The Committee were informed the drains will be added to a roadside programme.


Action: Road drainage cleaning schedules / frequency to be clarified and feedback to the Committee.