Harborough and Lutterworth tips may temporarily shut or reduce opening hours

This is due to staff being affected by the Omicron variant

By Red Williams
Friday, 7th January 2022, 10:02 am
The tips at Market Harborough and Lutterworth may have to shut temporarily or reduce their opening hours as workers are hit by the dramatic Omicron “surge” in cases.
The tips at Market Harborough and Lutterworth may have to shut temporarily or reduce their opening hours as workers are hit by the dramatic Omicron “surge” in cases.

The tips at Market Harborough and Lutterworth may have to shut temporarily or reduce their opening hours as workers are hit by the dramatic Omicron “surge” in cases.

The warning comes today as the public are being urged to check online for the latest updates on Leicestershire County Council’s services as the number of people testing positive for the Covid virus soars to record levels locally.

The council said that most services are “running as normal”, including those that support vulnerable people, at the moment.

But the local authority warned that “staff shortages are inevitably starting to have impact on some operations”.

And as a result the waste and recycling sites on Market Harborough’s Riverside industrial estate and on Moorbarns Lane, Lutterworth, could be affected.

You can find the latest updates at www.leicestershire.gov.uk/servicesServices disrupted by staff absence and isolation include:

• Waste and recycling sites - where a “significant number of front-line workers are off and temporary closures or reduced opening hours may be required”

• Some home to school and special educational needs transport services – parents will be contacted if their transport is not available

• A reduced supply of lateral flow tests from the Government – this means they are not currently being distributed by the council’s mobile van testing service.

Deputy county council leader Cllr Deborah Taylor said: “We are taking every step we can to limit the impact of omicron on services.

“But we are a large employer and infection rates are at their highest ever levels in Leicestershire so some disruption is unfortunately inevitable.”

She added: “So far, careful planning has allowed us to limit the impact and keep our key services going, including those supporting vulnerable people, though some changes have been necessary – and other measures may be needed in the near future.

“That’s why we are asking people to keep a close eye on our website for the very latest information,” said Cllr Taylor.

“It always makes sense to be ready for the worst-case scenario and that is what we are doing even though we hope we will avoid it.”

Keep up to date by visiting www.leicestershire.gov.uk/services and following the council's Twitter feed.

The county council warning comes as Harborough District Council said it’s still managing to carry out all of its vital services.

The authority said it hasn’t currently got a “significant” number of staff off sick due to the deepening coronavirus pandemic.

The council said its services hasn’t suffered any “disruption” as the number of people with the Omicron strain in Harborough climbed to an all-time high of 1,510.4 per 100,000 people.

Cllr Paul Dann, Harborough council’s Cabinet lead for corporate and regulatory services, told the Harborough Mail on Wednesday: “We do not currently have significant numbers of staff off work due to Covid and there is no disruption to council services.”

The council is responsible for crucial services such as emptying people’s bins, recycling, collecting Council Tax, housing and planning applications.

Rubbish collections in Harborough were delayed in November and last month after workers employed by the council’s contractor FCC Environmental tested positive for Covid and went off sick.

Mike Sandys, Leicestershire’s Director of Public Health, warned this week that the NHS as well as the 999 emergency services, care homes and local councils was suffering increased absenteeism as a result of fast-rising Omicron virus cases.