Agenda item


To receive a verbal update from the Area Managers from Technical Services and Neighbourhood Services in attendance about any key recent, ongoing and/or future planned Local Services work for the attention of members of the Local Area Council, who will also then?have the opportunity to?raise issues with the Area Managers.?


The Area Managers have principal responsibility for highway services and environmental services, such as refuse collection, street cleansing and grounds maintenance, within the geographic boundaries of the Local Area Council.?


R. Wealleans, Neighbourhood Services Manager, gave an update to the members: 


Once again, following what has been a very long and challenging year for our front-line services – our refuse crews were out again, working across the entire Christmas period. 


We also had cleansing operatives working this period to ensure litter bins were emptied and the streets remained clean and tidy in some challenging areas. 


In addition to this, our tree and NEAT (Neighbourhood Environment Action Teams) teams continue to work hard as we recover from the devastation caused by Storm Arwen. 


Our priority immediately after the storm was to assist with clearance of the road network, we then moved onto cemeteries and other public areas with high footfall. The tree teams will move onto our plantations and urban woodlands in due course. A full recovery will take time and we thank you for your support and patience during this period. 


I’m sure you will join me in recognising and praising the huge efforts of our front-line teams over what continues to be an exceedingly difficult period. 


Covid: There have been 7 positive cases within the workforce over the last 2 weeks with staff following new guidelines, currently there are only 2 staff still off and due to return next week. 


Waste Service: 


  • Refuse collection service worked very well over Christmas period.
  • Very few complaints from residents.
  • Moving collection days etc. - comms strategy worked well with around a 95% presentation on all days. 
  • Dedicated refuse staff collected around 750 tonnes of residual waste over Christmas/New Year period. 
  • 42 tonnes more than the previous residual collection and still averaging 40/50 tonne above collections before Covid. 


Grounds Maintenance 


  • Progress on winter works was initially impacted by Storm Arwen. We are confident that we can recover from this and complete the programme as planned. 
  • Please pass on any work requests you might have has we are now starting to plan for summer works. 
  • Hedges and shrubs. 
  • Leaf clearance has been carried out in all areas, any areas of concern that need attention please let me know. 
  • We have additional large mechanical sweepers deployed in the area to help remove additional detritus generated by the storm 
  • We have started the process of recruiting our seasonal staff for the coming summer period. 


Street Cleansing 


  • Business as usual on cleansing within all areas. 
  • Brock Lane West Sleekburn traffic management arranged to carry out a litter pick and sweep. 
  • We have assisted the local volunteer groups with collections after their litter pick activities and will continue to support them going forward, lately collections have taken place around the West Bedlington/Cambois area. 


The following response was made to member’s questions: 


  • Members thanked the Service for their response to Storm Arwen. It was noted that there were still a number of trees lying around but the Officers confirmed that they were aware of them and would provide members with a timescale for collection. 
  • Blyth Town Council Ridley Park run events around Easter, but the fountains were never switched on at that time, the team were looking into the partnership with the Town Council. 
  • Members raised concerns that in some areas members of the public had been collecting wood and wondered whether it had been agreed. R. Wealleans confirmed he would check and share the information with the members. 
  • Members asked for Officers thoughts on controlling weeds in the area. It was suggested that a policy be created to outlines when the weeds are sprayed they are removed. It was hoped that improvements were made this year. 
  • Members thanked the team for sorting the issue with the bandstand. The issue regarding street lighting would be passed on to the necessary department.  



M. Carle, Lead Highways Delivery Manager gave the following update to members: 


All Highways Inspectors and maintenance crews continue to work Inspecting, fixing carriageway defects, making repairs and making safe category one defects across the Southeast area.? 

The NCC Gully emptier is fully deployed dealing with reported issues and cyclic maintenance. A replacement NCC gully emptier is due next month (four across the county) as part of the Fleet replacement programme. This is a higher specified more powerful emptier. This will give it more capacity to carryout required works.? 

An additional Gully Emptier is being deployed next week targeting whole road sections. This work will be starting in the Ashington Wards.?? 


Larger Tarmac Patching 

Larger Tarmac Patching has been carried out in the following locations:? 

  • Delaval Gardens, Blyth? 
  • Beatrice Street, Blyth? 
  • Coronation Street, Blyth? 

Drainage Improvements:

Drainage Improvements have been carried out in the following areas:? 

The area teams are continuously looking at and programming future works both patching and drainage improvements.? 


LTP - Carriageway Resurfacing

Footway and Carriageway LTP Resurfacing have been carried out the following areas:? 

  • Newsham Road, Blyth (Due to be topped this week NCC1)? 
  • Norham Road, Ashington (Due to be topped this week NCC1)? 

Regeneration Scheme

  • Bowes Street, Blyth – Started Monday 10/01/22 (48 Weeks)? 


Winter Maintenance

Winter Services continue. Omricon has had no effect on the delivery of the services as we use the rest shift to cover the small number of missing drivers. This is well within pre planned arrangements.? 

We have had an average winter so far in both snow and precautionary gritting.? 

We are currently having a small restock of salt across the county. This will ensure we have sufficient resilience levels for the remainder of the winter period.?? 


This includes a 5000-Tonne strategic store located in Powburn.? 


The following comments were made in response to member’s questions: 


  • Members noted that Disraeli street had been put forward to an LTP scheme again. A suggestion to make temporary repairs to the road would be looked into. 
  • Officers suggested the best way to report issues would be to ring in or report online so it was recorded on the main line system. Reports were then run from the system to identify areas that had reoccurring issues. There was a set response that was followed when an issue was logged. 
  • Officers asked that if they contacted them regarding the specific location of the requested grit bin outside South Beach Academy they would look into it. 


RESOLVED that the information be noted.