Amber Valley bin collections may be reduced due to coronavirus
Bin collections in Amber Valley could be reduced in the coming weeks due to potential staff shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Amber Valley Borough Council, which is “on the brink of bankruptcy”, was told earlier this month that it must make drastic and rapid steps to avoid a total freeze on further spending.Further threats to the council’s budget and resources are now facing the council due to the covid-19 virus.A previous major source of income from central government to district and borough councils was the revenue support grant but this has been phased out since 2010.Amber Valley had at that time received £9 million in funding support – but this now stands at just £4,000 for the coming financial year.It is left with few remaining sources of income, which are council tax, charges for services such as car parking and business rates.The number of people using car parks over the next few weeks and months will fall significantly due to widespread self-isolation – meaning another loss of vital income for the council.This paired with a business rates “holiday” for many businesses in the borough will see more income lost.Cllr Chris Emmas-Williams, leader of the council, who is over 70, will no longer be attending public meetings, along with several other councillors, after government advice to self-isolate.He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We may have to pause garden waste collections and reduce bin collections generally if we have a shortage of staff for bin collecting. It is right that we look into it but are not at that stage yet.“The picture is changing every day and we are always having to review what we are doing, it is always fluctuating.“We are currently reviewing our staff to see how many will have to work from home because of health conditions or to look after children or their parents.“The government announced a lot yesterday and we are hoping they will put money in for councils too.
“W e are helping to support services and local councils will need help.
“We are hoping the government will help us with lost business rates.“This is an unprecedented situation we are facing, we have never had anything like this.”