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Extra staff brought in to boost City Centre clean up

posted 25 Jul 2009, 14:10 by myEdinburgh Admin
The City of Edinburgh Council has brought in 30 extra staff to help deal with street cleansing and refuse collection whilst The Gathering event takes place this weekend. Private contractors have been brought in to spruce up the city in advance of up to 20,000 people descending on the city for the weekend's events.

Extra staff started the clean up at first light this morning (Sat) after Council workers refused to work overtime or carry out extra duties in their dispute over changes to the modernisation of pay and working practices.

Mark Turley, Director of Services for Communities said: "When there is a large influx of extra people into the city we routinely carry out extra work in response to this as residents, businesses and visitors would expect. Not only do we do this so the areas are presented at their best, but it is important for hygiene and safety reasons too. Normally this work would be carried out by Council staff doing overtime. However, since the unofficial work-to-rule includes an overtime ban we have brought in contractors."

Council staff on normal duty will operate through other parts of the city centre to keep litter at bay and ensure the streets are clean.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader said "We have a duty of care to the city and have put arrangements in place to ensure the health and safety of residents and visitors. Proposals for new working and shift arrangements that avoid street cleaners and other Council employees losing substantial amounts of money, in return for normal working are on the table. But until we have a negotiated settlement we have a clear responsibility to do everything in our power to manage things sensibly, maintain our quality of life and show the city at its best."

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals Champion said; "The Gathering is showcasing Scotland to the world this weekend and our international reputation is imperative to the continuing economic health of the city. We want to ensure that visitors have a quality experience here and that business interests are maintained. I'm sure this weekend will be a great success for all involved."

Extra litter picking, street sweeping and emptying of bins will continue over the entire weekend and those enjoying the spectacle are urged to treat the city with respect and use bins provided or take their litter home.

Graham Birse Deputy Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce said: "We're pleased the Council is taking these extra measures to address this problem and we would urge they continue their determination to keep the streets clean and find a solution to resolve this dispute as soon as possible."

Video information links can be found at

Source: The City of Edinburgh Council