DESPITE FEARS: No bin truck drivers in Bolton have left for other operators
No bin truck drivers in Bolton have left for other operators in the past six months despite some local authorities ‘haemorrhaging staff’, Image: LDRS
Bolton Council have not lost any full-time bin lorry drivers to other operators in the past six months despite fears that ‘local authorities are haemorrhaging drivers like never before’.
The issue was addressed at a meeting of Bolton’s full council when the cabinet member responsible for waste management, Coun Nadim Muslim was asked to give assurances that there are no grounds for concern about services offered by the council that require the use of HGV drivers.
Coun Garry Veevers raised the issue in the council chamber-as a national shortage of heavy goods drivers affected various sectors of the economy.
He said: “It is widely reported that at least 18 councils have delayed bin collections owing to a lack of HGV drivers necessary to operate recycling and refuge lorries.
“At roughly the same time, Lancashire County Council announced around 500 schools are now offering a reduced menu to pupils also because of the national driver shortage.
“Drivers who two years ago would typically have earned in the region of £35,000 are being offered salaries as high as £56,000.
“Consequently, local authorities are haemorrhaging drivers like never before because they cannot possibly hope to match these vastly inflated salaries.
“What actions are being taken to ensure minimal disruption to essential services such as bin collections, provision of school meals and, as winter fast approaches, the gritting of Bolton’s roads?”
Coun Muslim, said: “The council’s waste and recycling service has not lost any HGV drivers to other operators during the last six months.
“And while this service does utilise the services of temporary HGV drivers from recruitment agencies to fill gaps in the permanent workforce we have continued to source required drivers without any issue.
“With regard to school meals, the service has had disruption given the national shortage of HGV drivers in terms of availability of some products and consistency of supply.
“But I am pleased to report that our school meal service is continuing to offer a healthy, nutritious lunchtime meal with minimal disruption to our scheduled menus.
“We are keeping head teachers informed.
“At the start of school term we increased stocks in our kitchens to mitigate any last minute shortages.”
Words: Chris Gee, Local Democracy Reporter
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