A Sefton Council refuse collection lorry in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Some Sefton residents frustrated at delayed refuse collections have been abusing refuse collection teams and frontline council staff – with the aggressive behaviour described as “completely unacceptable”. 

Two weeks ago Sefton Council revealed how some waste collection services had been impacted by a much higher than normal level of staff sickness absences.

This significantly impacted the local authority’s specialist driver unit, where 27% of the team were left unable to work due to sickness. 

Sefton Council has reacted by deploying extra resources to clear backlogs and get collections back to normal, as people were asked for patience while the issues are tackled. 

Sefton Council’s Head of Operational In-House Services, Michelle Williams, said:

“We understand the frustration felt by many residents over the delays that have resulted from a combination of successive Bank Holidays and significant staff absences in addition to operational issues.  We are working hard to catch up on missed collections as soon as we can.

“We want to thank our teams for the considerable effort that is going into achieving this but to say that incidents of abuse they have received as they go about their work is entirely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“These are the same teams who people praised and came out to clap for their work throughout the COVID pandemic, and we would ask people to now treat them with that same respect.

“We would like to reiterate our apologies to those who have been affected by these delays and thank the overwhelming majority of residents who have shown patience and understanding.

“I can reassure them we are doing everything we can, including deploying extra resources, to clear backlogs and get collections back to normal as soon as we can.”

Michelle went on to say reports of abuse about the delays to bin collections aimed at reception staff at Council buildings was also unacceptable.

Sefton Council said previously that they continue to “work hard to address any missed services and we ask that residents continue to leave their bins out for collection”. 

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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