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Argyll and Bute Council has announced a number of changes to bins, roads and amenity services as the spread of coronavirus impacts its operations.
In a statement, the local authority said: ‘Keeping people safe from the spread of coronavirus means making changes to how we work. We must concentrate on the services that will help to keep people safe, and that the council must deliver by law.
‘To ensure we have enough people to do what we need to do, we have made some changes to services.’
The council will continue to:
- Collect the general waste bins, maintaining the current schedule;
- Provide burial and cremation services but limiting attendance to immediate family members only (up to a maximum number of eight);
- Limit ferry and air travel via ferries and Oban Airport to emergency/essential travel only;
- Make repairs to dangerous defects in infrastructure and follow up inspections as required;
- Respond to emergency call-outs and winter maintenance as necessary; and
- Provide any home to school transport as required for essential/key workers.
- Commercial waste uplifts for businesses that are permitted to continue to trade and have a contract with the council. Those that deal with food will have their food waste collected separately.
The following are services which the council has had to stand down due to comply with government guidelines around social distancing, for the three weeks that current guidance on staying safe is in place, and to meet staff shortages:
- Public conveniences to be closed.
- Emergency road repairs to continue; all other road works to cease on account of lack of materials and staff. All roadworks to cease and current jobs will be made safe and traffic management will be removed where possible.
- Following Scottish Government instructions, play parks will close immediately, along with outdoor gyms. Football pitches should no longer be used for matches, but can be used for exercising as long as social distancing is respected.
- Civic amenity sites will close to the public immediately.
- Blue bins/bags will not be collected. Please store your recycling where possible or flatten your recycling to get as much as possible into your blue bin and bag any extra.
- Glass and domestic food waste will not be collected.
- There will be one more collection of commercial waste for businesses that have to close as a result of the response to COVID-19. It will then stop for customers who don’t need it. There will still be a service for businesses that are open and have a contract with the council, such as supermarkets.
The statement continued: ‘The situation is fluid and we may need to make changes at short notice. Urgent changes will be posted on our website: https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/service-disruptions.
‘Information on longer-term changes will be issued on our social media channels, website and local press.
‘We would appeal to members of the public to work with us during this challenging time. We are working hard to protect our front-line staff.
‘You can help us by reading the guidance about waste disposal if someone in the household has or is suspected of having COVID-19: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
‘We will resume services wherever possible. Until then, our focus is on maintaining the most vital services.’