Grass cutting and litter picking were 'not carried out' in Doncaster

Litter picks and grass cutting operations across Doncaster were ‘not carried out’ because of ‘cultural and performance related difficulties’, council bosses have said.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 3:48 pm
Rubbish dumped, off Church Way, Doncaster. Picture: NDFP-05-03-19-Litter-2

Officers in charge of Street Scene operations at Doncaster Council were alerted to the work not being done in July 2019.

A ‘rapid improvement plan’ has been implemented and a full investigation was undertaken following the complaints.

A report seen by councillors shows that officers also uncovered a ‘variety of other issues’ in relation to the operations in the department.

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Officers said there was a ‘lack of and inadequate allocation of resources’ which led to ‘key hotspot areas’ not being tended to.

There was also said to be ‘failed channels of communication’ between councillors and DMBC staff, ‘problems with IT processes and systems’ and the ‘method in which work is reported’.

Stacey Chaplin, policy and partnerships manager for the strategy and performance unit at DMBC, said: “Having an attractive borough that is free from waste and fly tipped material will help to attract and retain inward investment. It is important that the service area takes every opportunity to engage with a wider audience to ensure that Doncaster is an attractive place to live, work and visit so local people and visitors can take pride in their area.

“The proposal will support service improvement ensuring that the management of the service/assets are efficient, delivers value for money and the approach is consistent across the borough.

“The Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) is presently in the final stages of conducting a peer review of the service to identify the optimum method of working, relevant performance indicators and the steps required to be an industry exemplar of best practice.

“In response to this work, the operational and back-office staff have received training on recommended software which can be used to assess the grade and quality of grounds maintenance and street cleaning. APSE will submit a report at the end of their review on elements ranging from recruitment and retention to opportunities for commercialisation.”

Councillors will be able to ask officers questions on the review findings at a meeting in Civic Office on Monday, January 20.