Road cleaning team to be cut from 18 to 10 as part of Wiltshire Council's £1m savings

A Balfour Beatty worker in Trowbridge

Wiltshire Council cabinet member John Thomson

First published in Wiltshire
Last updated
by , Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey

Road sweepers were told this week that their numbers would be cut as part of efforts by Wiltshire Council to save £1million.

There are 18 road sweepers in the county but this will be reduced to 10.

However, a spokesman for the council’s highways contractor, Balfour Beatty, said that up to 15 new roles are to be created as part of restructuring of its highways and streetscene team and the road sweeper staff will be able to apply for the new roles.

A spokesman for Balfour Beatty, which took on the £25million a year highways contract last June, said he could not give details as to how the restructured contract would operate as it had not been finalised.

A Balfour Beatty employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We are disgusted because we were told that there would be no cuts to frontline services and now this is happening.

“Morale is just so low – it has been for a long time now – but when Balfour Beatty took over we were told nothing like this would happen because we’ve got contracts and now it has.

"We were told that agency staff will be moved on and we can have their jobs but just because we work in one town now doesn’t mean we’ll get offered a job in the same town and people won’t want to travel so it’s just a way of getting rid of us.

“People will notice a massive difference.”

It is believed that one member of staff would be cut in towns which have both a litter picker and another member of staff operating a large street cleaning machine.

However, Coun John Thomson, cabinet member for transport, disputed the £1million figure given by spokesmen for both Wiltshire Council and Balfour Beatty on Wednesday.

He said: “There are no cuts; there is a restructure to the highways team so people will be moved from one role to another.

“When highways maintenance was put under one umbrella contract the company that took it on were told they had to make efficiency savings year on year for the life of the contract so our money went further.

“As long as the roads are swept, gullies are emptied and holes in roads are filled we don’t mind how they chose to deliver the service as long as they meet our standards.”

Highways issues can be reported to Wiltshire Council via the My Wiltshire App, its website or on 0300 456 0105.

Comments (13)

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9:06am Thu 8 May 14

the optimist says...

Brilliant timing from Wiltshire Council? Just when communities are preparing for their "best kept village" or " town" competitions.

Surely the local authority have a duty to maintain a clean and healthy environment and not one that attracts vermin?

If Wiltshire Council continue to cut services then why do we pay council tax?
Brilliant timing from Wiltshire Council? Just when communities are preparing for their "best kept village" or " town" competitions. Surely the local authority have a duty to maintain a clean and healthy environment and not one that attracts vermin? If Wiltshire Council continue to cut services then why do we pay council tax? the optimist
  • Score: 22

9:34am Thu 8 May 14

Blanche Terraine says...

There should be more of these workers, not fewer, because the litter problem is dreadful. Must it become a public health hazard before the Council wakes up?
There should be more of these workers, not fewer, because the litter problem is dreadful. Must it become a public health hazard before the Council wakes up? Blanche Terraine
  • Score: 17

10:40am Thu 8 May 14

shed says...

Cuts need to be made in order to pay the £1.5 million, or thereabouts expenses of Jane Scott and her cronies.

How does she justify spending almost £1000 per week on expenses?

Balfour Beatty if they have not taken on a poisoned chalice, have certainly badly misjudged this contract, or as we plebs say, have dropped a bolx on it and are losing money.

There is a stink about WCC which needs looking at.
Preferably not by Balfour Beatty, they can't see the potholes.
Cuts need to be made in order to pay the £1.5 million, or thereabouts expenses of Jane Scott and her cronies. How does she justify spending almost £1000 per week on expenses? Balfour Beatty if they have not taken on a poisoned chalice, have certainly badly misjudged this contract, or as we plebs say, have dropped a bolx on it and are losing money. There is a stink about WCC which needs looking at. Preferably not by Balfour Beatty, they can't see the potholes. shed
  • Score: 27

11:20am Thu 8 May 14

vox sanitatem says...

Sadly this seems to be the case with sphere of life in Britain today.

Whether it be the Forces, the NHS, Emergency Services, in fact most things.

Legions of pen-pushers sat on their backsides in cushy offices, while the ones on the front-line, getting their hands dirty, literally, are cut on a regular basis
Sadly this seems to be the case with sphere of life in Britain today. Whether it be the Forces, the NHS, Emergency Services, in fact most things. Legions of pen-pushers sat on their backsides in cushy offices, while the ones on the front-line, getting their hands dirty, literally, are cut on a regular basis vox sanitatem
  • Score: 26

12:32pm Thu 8 May 14

Friend of the People says...

Road sweeping and grass cutting; Balfour Beatty always seems to be in trouble.

There is a general feeling that this £25 million contract was just too big and run in a way that ignored local knowledge and needs. It is all very well Wiltshire Council bundling up all these important frontline services in one mega contract, but while it looks good on paper, reality on the ground is different, especially in different areas of a big county such as Wiltshire. Perhaps the town and parish councils should take over, but that means double taxation.

Whatever way it definitely needs sorting, from my window I can see grass and weeds that have not been cut at all this year.
Road sweeping and grass cutting; Balfour Beatty always seems to be in trouble. There is a general feeling that this £25 million contract was just too big and run in a way that ignored local knowledge and needs. It is all very well Wiltshire Council bundling up all these important frontline services in one mega contract, but while it looks good on paper, reality on the ground is different, especially in different areas of a big county such as Wiltshire. Perhaps the town and parish councils should take over, but that means double taxation. Whatever way it definitely needs sorting, from my window I can see grass and weeds that have not been cut at all this year. Friend of the People
  • Score: 8

12:42pm Thu 8 May 14

beetawix says...

there was a mention of new roles as part of this restructure announcement which all commenters thus far have chosen to ignore.

We all know that current policies are progressively making this county unfit to live in, but this is not just a cut.
there was a mention of new roles as part of this restructure announcement which all commenters thus far have chosen to ignore. We all know that current policies are progressively making this county unfit to live in, but this is not just a cut. beetawix
  • Score: 8

12:49pm Thu 8 May 14

beetawix says...

vox sanitatem wrote:
Sadly this seems to be the case with sphere of life in Britain today.

Whether it be the Forces, the NHS, Emergency Services, in fact most things.

Legions of pen-pushers sat on their backsides in cushy offices, while the ones on the front-line, getting their hands dirty, literally, are cut on a regular basis
utter nonsense.

office staff are being cut as heavily as non-office staff, if not more so
what is this cushy offices nonsense?
penpushers ? they dont use pens now
[quote][p][bold]vox sanitatem[/bold] wrote: Sadly this seems to be the case with sphere of life in Britain today. Whether it be the Forces, the NHS, Emergency Services, in fact most things. Legions of pen-pushers sat on their backsides in cushy offices, while the ones on the front-line, getting their hands dirty, literally, are cut on a regular basis[/p][/quote]utter nonsense. office staff are being cut as heavily as non-office staff, if not more so what is this cushy offices nonsense? penpushers ? they dont use pens now beetawix
  • Score: -3

1:02pm Thu 8 May 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

".... from my window I can see grass and weeds that have not been cut at all this year"

Give weeds a chance.
".... from my window I can see grass and weeds that have not been cut at all this year" Give weeds a chance. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: -1

1:41pm Thu 8 May 14

The.Central.Scrutinizer says...

Mowers and/or the mowers managers do not demonstrate much grass management skill ie wait till a foot tall before cutting, then only when wet, then leave to give new growth a poor start.
It would be better to have a flock of sheep to manage it or better still just abolish public grass - is it really necessary?
Mowers and/or the mowers managers do not demonstrate much grass management skill ie wait till a foot tall before cutting, then only when wet, then leave to give new growth a poor start. It would be better to have a flock of sheep to manage it or better still just abolish public grass - is it really necessary? The.Central.Scrutinizer
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Thu 8 May 14

Bowers-peterblack-tescos says...

beetawix wrote:
vox sanitatem wrote:
Sadly this seems to be the case with sphere of life in Britain today.

Whether it be the Forces, the NHS, Emergency Services, in fact most things.

Legions of pen-pushers sat on their backsides in cushy offices, while the ones on the front-line, getting their hands dirty, literally, are cut on a regular basis
utter nonsense.

office staff are being cut as heavily as non-office staff, if not more so
what is this cushy offices nonsense?
penpushers ? they dont use pens now
They dont use pens because they have all be given Laptops and hot desks. What a waste of money
[quote][p][bold]beetawix[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]vox sanitatem[/bold] wrote: Sadly this seems to be the case with sphere of life in Britain today. Whether it be the Forces, the NHS, Emergency Services, in fact most things. Legions of pen-pushers sat on their backsides in cushy offices, while the ones on the front-line, getting their hands dirty, literally, are cut on a regular basis[/p][/quote]utter nonsense. office staff are being cut as heavily as non-office staff, if not more so what is this cushy offices nonsense? penpushers ? they dont use pens now[/p][/quote]They dont use pens because they have all be given Laptops and hot desks. What a waste of money Bowers-peterblack-tescos
  • Score: 9

5:24pm Thu 8 May 14

politepanda says...

beetawix wrote:
vox sanitatem wrote:
Sadly this seems to be the case with sphere of life in Britain today.

Whether it be the Forces, the NHS, Emergency Services, in fact most things.

Legions of pen-pushers sat on their backsides in cushy offices, while the ones on the front-line, getting their hands dirty, literally, are cut on a regular basis
utter nonsense.

office staff are being cut as heavily as non-office staff, if not more so
what is this cushy offices nonsense?
penpushers ? they dont use pens now
name the departments that have lost almost 50% in ONE hit!!
[quote][p][bold]beetawix[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]vox sanitatem[/bold] wrote: Sadly this seems to be the case with sphere of life in Britain today. Whether it be the Forces, the NHS, Emergency Services, in fact most things. Legions of pen-pushers sat on their backsides in cushy offices, while the ones on the front-line, getting their hands dirty, literally, are cut on a regular basis[/p][/quote]utter nonsense. office staff are being cut as heavily as non-office staff, if not more so what is this cushy offices nonsense? penpushers ? they dont use pens now[/p][/quote]name the departments that have lost almost 50% in ONE hit!! politepanda
  • Score: 1

6:56pm Thu 8 May 14

beetawix says...

bowers-.........etc

Officers have not been given laptops. Laptops (or maybe desktops in some cases) are used by them as they are in all companies in the so called information age. I don't understand what your refence to hot desks has to do with anythig
i dont know if money has been wasted.

ps i do not work for or support the council but cretinous uninformed derogatory comments about the work force should be challenged
bowers-.........etc Officers have not been given laptops. Laptops (or maybe desktops in some cases) are used by them as they are in all companies in the so called information age. I don't understand what your refence to hot desks has to do with anythig i dont know if money has been wasted. ps i do not work for or support the council but cretinous uninformed derogatory comments about the work force should be challenged beetawix
  • Score: 7

8:24pm Thu 8 May 14

corshman says...

Here we go again, councillor Scott and friends don't give a toss about front line services. They sit in there offices have meetings all day, collect there expenses and haven't a clue what goes on in real life. We have a council which is top heavy in managers who shouldn't be there, whilst ordinary workers are ditched so they can sit in there and work out ways to keep there jobs. What a bunch of wasters.
Here we go again, councillor Scott and friends don't give a toss about front line services. They sit in there offices have meetings all day, collect there expenses and haven't a clue what goes on in real life. We have a council which is top heavy in managers who shouldn't be there, whilst ordinary workers are ditched so they can sit in there and work out ways to keep there jobs. What a bunch of wasters. corshman
  • Score: 10

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