Why Calderdale Council is merging two key services to protect communities and green spaces

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

A merger of two key Calderdale Council teams will be discussed as the authority continues its review into enforcement and cracking down on residents' concerns and issues.

Following a recent review of enforcement, the Council is looking to crack down on local issues in a firmer way, with a more streamlined, joined-up process to deal with people’s concerns more quickly and effectively.

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As part of this, two Council services that are key to the quality of life in Calderdale – Highway Maintenance and Safer, Cleaner, Greener – could be integrated into a single new Green Spaces and Street Scene Service.

These 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 much more.

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Councillor Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, said: “As part of our enforcement review, we have already taken steps to ensure local issues are quickly assessed and passed to the most relevant teams, with a focus on early intervention to stop issues escalating in severity and cost.

"The proposal for a new, integrated team would build on this and help deliver a more seamless, cost-effective service, providing the best possible value for local people.”

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In December 2018, the Council’s Place Scrutiny Board supported the creation of a new Green Spaces and Street Scene Service, to build on the joint working already taking place between the two existing services, and following the recent combining of Environmental Health, Community Safety and Licensing into one team to ensure stronger enforcement.

If approved by Cabinet, the new service would work on an area team basis, covering the Upper Valley, Lower Valley and Halifax.

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It is hoped these teams would be able to deal with a wide range of issues in their areas responsively and effectively, without having to refer jobs to other parts of the Council.

Opportunities for savings would include sharing resources such as vehicles and equipment, and dealing with issues all at once to limit disruption – for example, repairing potholes, maintaining green spaces, sweeping streets and cleaning gullies at the same time.

The next Cabinet meeting takes place on Monday 18 March at Halifax Town Hall from 6pm.

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