Uncertain future over jobs as Calderdale Council agree to service merger

Community Safety Warden inspects rubbish at a fly tipping hot spot in Pellon,
Community Safety Warden inspects rubbish at a fly tipping hot spot in Pellon,

Two key Calderdale council work teams will be amalgamated into a single front line source – though some details of the effect on staff have still to be ironed out.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet agreed when it met at Halifax Town Hall last night (Monday, March 18) that the Highways and Safer, Cleaner, Greener teams should become one force and consultations with staff and Trade Unions representatives should begin.

When progress has been made, Cabinet will consider the proposal again in the summer.

Amalgamating the teams should provide benefits to the public by delivering better services and the council by saving money through better use of resources and equipment, said Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden).

In basic terms, one way the public could benefit is the team able to tackle more than one sort of job in the same area at the same time, for example fixing potholes and cutting grass verges, rather than one team completing its job before another comes along to undertake its task.

It is expected the new services will not require any compulsory redundancies but there are still a lot of issues to settle with staff representatives.

Cost savings would include using and adapting vehicles and equipment for a wider range of tasks.

Together the services are responsible for keeping neighbourhoods and town centres clean, maintaining parks and open spaces, protecting Calderdale’s distinctive countryside, repairing potholes, dealing with a range of issues on the borough’s roads and more.

Last December councillors on the Place Scrutiny Board gave the proposals wholehearted support when they were unveiled for debate by the council’s Neighbourhoods lead Andrew Pitts.