Omicron contingency plans drawn up by council

Photo of an MDC bin lorry

Mansfield District Council has drawn up contingency measures as Covid infections continue to impact on services.

Among the most challenging impact is in the collection of waste and the council is prioritising services to focus on emptying its green general waste and blue recycling domestic bins.

Glass collections have been suspended due to Covid cases among the Waste and Recycling crews, leaving a shortage of HGV drivers. The council will return for glass at residents' next scheduled delivery or notify them if collections can resume earlier.

Residents are advised that additional recycling material will be collected on their next scheduled collection if it is presented in a recyclable container such as a cardboard box or paper bag. Alternatively they can use recycling centres to dispose of any excess waste.

To help catch up on missed collections, the council is offering staff overtime to deliver extra bin rounds once operatives are able to return to work. It is also using agency staff and redeploying staff from other council services where possible to work with bin crews.

Customers are being kept up to date via email and on the council's social media pages and the news section of its website. Residents can sign up to receive council news by email on the council website (link opens in new window).  

Covid infections, driven by the more transmissible Omicron variant, have also hit other services including the Crematorium, the Museum, and the Palace Theatre where three performances of the panto, Sleeping Beauty, had to be cancelled due to a Covid outbreak among the crew.

Theatre shows in January are expected to resume shortly, starting with the Johnny Cash Roadshow on Friday 7 January. The Museum is currently open but on reduced hours.

Staff absences due to Covid over Christmas and New Year also affected Mansfield Crematorium. However the team pulled together and services went ahead as planned to minimise disruption to families.

Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: "Like many businesses and authorities across the country, the council has been feeling the effects of the current upsurge in Covid cases.

"Our biggest challenges lie with the front line in neighbourhood services including waste and recycling, street cleansing, and the crematorium.

"The council continues to make the safety of colleagues and customers a priority and we’re taking steps to keep ourselves and the public safe.

"In particular we are encouraging all council staff to test themselves regularly and ensure they are as protected as they can be against Omicron by being fully vaccinated.

"They have done an amazing job over Christmas and New Year in very difficult circumstances with many going the extra mile to keep services going.

"We can only apologise where this has not been possible and ask people to bear with us while we ride out the current Covid storm.”

The council has re-introduced daily reporting to assess and address the current operational impact on services and manage staff absences, plus weekly meetings to deal with any new government measures.

The council has been asked to help support the NHS throughout January by facilitating patient discharges from hospital. The council's ASSIST service will be involved in this process.

Published: January 5th 2022