Cheshire East Council is set to underpin efficiency savings of £1m, putting frontline staff first in its scheme to maximise health and safety and strengthen the standard of service delivery
The authority is working in partnership with AJF Waste Management to provide training to all of its 200 frontline operatives as it introduces a new, streamlined collection service across 165,000 households.
Head of Environmental Services, Phil Sherratt, described the new collection system as an opportunity to set fresh benchmarks for staff in terms of how they represent the council in delivering high quality services and a chance to reinforce safer working conditions.
He said: "In delivering this new service, with the help of the re-inducted staff, the council is going to make more than £1 million in terms of efficiency savings; it will be doing the right thing in terms of the environment by maximising recycling; and it will also be delivering a system that is much more customer orientated and significantly lower risk in terms of health and safety."
AJF Waste Management will lead each member of staff in a full day of training, which covers: dynamic risk assessment; safe working practices for street collections; reversing assistant training; raising standards in customer service delivery; upskilling frontline operatives; and implementing an ongoing training process to ensure continuity of standards between employees and any temporary staff arriving on the team.
"The waste collection service is probably the most high profile service offered by a local authority," Phil Sherratt added. "As we roll out the new system, we could limit communications with our customers through call centres or email systems, but we think most issues can be resolved immediately and to the satisfaction of both customer and the council by our frontline staff."
Andy Firman, Managing Director of AJF Waste Management said: "In the current economic climate, standards of service delivery and value for money are under greater scrutiny than ever, so the upskilling of staff not only secures a more professional service, it also offers the best chance of avoiding accidents and injury.
"We are very pleased to be working with the staff at Cheshire East Council; if more waste industry operators put the same investment into raising the skills of their frontline operatives, as they do at Cheshire East, I'm sure there would be less accidents and people's perception and respect for these hardworking operatives would change into the bargain."
For more information vist www.ajfwastemanagement.co.uk