Snow: Criticism ‘unfair and unjust’

SIR – I have noted your recent articles referring to the environmental services provided for Welwyn Hatfield Council, by Serco.

Myself and my team feel that the level of criticism towards the service and the efforts of my colleagues is unfair and unjust and I would appreciate the opportunity to respond.

The usual service is brought into disruption when we have snow, due to the fact that only main roads are normally gritted by the county council.

This year has been very difficult as even some of the main roads have not been gritted, making it very difficult for our 26-ton vehicles to travel safely and our priority is always the safety of our staff and the general public.

As more people have stayed at home, and tend to park further out from the kerb, it has also made access in the residential roads very difficult.

Where our staff have not been able to carry out the refuse and recycling service, we have been diverting our efforts into footpath cleaning in priority areas as requested by the council.

We have also tried very hard to send out the crews wherever possible, even in bad weather, although when the conditions have become poor again, we have again had to cancel operations due to safety concerns.

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I can promise you we have a very keen team of staff who want nothing more than to deliver an excellent service, even when that has meant working in weather that many others would not even attempt to get to work in.

It is therefore very upsetting when these efforts end up being criticised unfairly.

I hope this letter goes some way to letting the residents of Welwyn Hatfield know that the Serco team is committed to providing the best possible service, even if the weather is against us.

George Saba,

Senior supervisor,