An update from the council about waste collection and personal finance.
Waste and recycling collections
We are hugely grateful to our committed staff and agency workers who have helped us maintain our regular waste and recycling collections. We know some councils have already scaled back their service, but we really want to continue to deliver these services for residents. We have had nearly 100% staff coverage all week, and as a result we are currently collecting waste and recycling from well over 99% of Southwark homes on their scheduled date.
Some residents will have experienced missed bin collections, often as a result of agency workers not knowing their patch as well as our normal staff. If these can be reported on our website, it will help us fulfil the collection and improve training to avoid it being repeated.
To help allow staff to focus on delivering this service under considerable pressure, it would really help if councillors and residents could do the following if they want to report a missed collection:
· If your collection is missed please check our website (https://www.southwark.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/public-health/for-the-public/coronavirus/impact-on-council-services/impact-of-coronavirus-on-bin-collections) for any updates on services in case anything has changed.
· Keeping calls and emails to the council to a minimum will help us focus on delivering a good service, and supporting our most vulnerable residents. If you need to report a missed collection please do so on our website (https://www.southwark.gov.uk/bins-and-recycling/general-household-waste/report-a-missed-collection)
If you log the request online, it appears automatically on the refuse vehicle’s computer within about 15 minutes, and saves a huge amount of work for the team. This is a far more effective way of resolving an issue than emailing officers or members enquiries, reduces duplication of effort, and normally results in a much quicker resolution for the resident, so your support with this is much appreciated.
Universal Credit and financial support
There has been a significant increase in the number of people applying for Universal Credit (UC) as the current pandemic has worsened, with nearly a million people applying nationally in the past fortnight. We expect that in Southwark another 2,000 council tenants will claim UC in the next six months. We are asking any residents experiencing difficulty in making payments to the council to contact the council (https://www.southwark.gov.uk/council-tax/covid-19-help-and-advice) and we will try to help.
The council has also published information about what is available including financial support and food access if a family are unable to afford food, or if they are self-isolating due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and unable to access food. This can be found on the council’s coronavirus public web pages (https://www.southwark.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/public-health/for-the-public/coronavirus) and food access 9[www.southwark.gov.uk
Citizens Advice have compiled useful advice for those who are struggling to meet their energy, water and mortgage bills as a result of the current crisis. This is available on the Citizens Advice website (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/if-you-cant-pay-your-bills-because-of-coronavirus/).
James McAsh - Labour Councillor for Goose Green ward
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