Grounds maintenance staff’s “incredible” efforts praised

Published 6th August 2020

Grounds maintenance staff in Sandwell have been praised for their "incredible" efforts in supporting both the council's Covid-19 emergency response and now continue with grounds maintenance.

Grass cutting and grounds maintenance activities are now well under way again after the service was suspended because staff were needed to assist in vital frontline Covid-19 resilience roles.

Cabinet member for safer communities Councillor Joanne Hadley said ground maintenance staff had been working extremely hard to catch up on the backlog of work since a limited service had resumed in June.

She said: “I know that many residents were keen to see this service back up and running and I would like to thank them for their understanding and patience, a lot has already been achieved by staff since the service restarted.

“We have prioritised the work that needed doing and to start with focused on sites where there may have been a health and safety issue for older residents along with sports pitches, schools and parks.

“This has now been completed and we are now into the next phase of work targeting sites on our wider housing estates. We have also begun cutting grass verges, banks and traffic islands, so residents should see visible improvements in this respect.

“I would like to thank grounds maintenance staff who are working hard to get to sites as quickly as they can but because grass is overgrown, it is taking longer than normal to carry out and complete each job, so I would ask people to bear with us.”

Deputy Council Leader Councillor Maria Crompton added: "Our grounds maintenance staff have been absolutely incredible in the way they have supported the council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many of them have been delivering food parcels, working in our cemeteries, turning their hands to other types of work and supporting us in responding to the emergency situation.

“Now they have returned returning to their normal jobs and are getting on top of all the mowing, planting and tending of our parks, green spaces, grass verges and estates.

“I know the public will appreciate the work our grounds maintenance staff have been doing and I am really pleased to see them return to their normal duties.

“I would like to say thank you for all their efforts over what has been a challenging few months for these key workers, who have gone above and beyond to help us support our community and look after our most vulnerable residents.”

Play areas and playgrounds currently remain closed until the council decides it is safe to reopen them, so grass in these areas will not have been cut yet. Grass in play areas and playgrounds will be cut once a decision is taken to reopen them.