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Area Care stepped up again during lockdown

Public areas of Middlesbrough are to be spruced up following the first wave of the Council's response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The focus over the last fortnight has been on delivering frontline services, with priority given to protecting the vulnerable.

Non-essential operations like grass cutting were put on hold, with other services postponed or halted entirely.

Now the Council's Community and Shielding Hubs are up and running, and with communities adjusting to the Government's lockdown regulations, some Area Care services are being reinstated.

Grass cutting and litter picking will resume - less frequently than before - and officers will deal with reports of fly-tipping which has seen an increase.

This week will see 27 staff brought back from duties elsewhere in the Council to give the town's streets, alleys, verges and grassed areas a much-needed makeover.

Essential highway maintenance and works - in accordance with advice from the Department of Transport - will also continue as normal as far as possible.

All jobs will be risk-assessed and staff issued with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure both their safety and that of the public.

Works will be kept to a minimum, with a rota system in place to keep numbers of staff on site to a minimum.

Middlesbrough Council Chief Executive Tony Parkinson said: "A huge amount of work has been carried out over the last two weeks to ensure we're as well prepared as we can be for whatever lies ahead.

"That has had an inevitable impact on day-to-day services as we have focused our efforts on those in the greatest need, and the frontline services that people rely on.

"But we also need to keep the town in good condition, so over the coming days we'll be picking up some of the jobs like grass cutting that have been on hold.

"We will keep the situation under review to ensure our resources are deployed where they are needed, and in line with Government guidelines.

"In the meantime, I'm grateful to everybody for playing their part in following the Government guidance to the letter - by doing that we will come through this, and we will save lives."

For the latest local updates and information, visit the coronavirus page or like/follow COVID-19 Boro on Facebook or Twitter.

Read the latest advice from Government and Public Health England.

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