This is #OurDay
Published on 20th November 2017
Every day, Cheltenham Borough Council staff provide residents with hundreds of services which are at the heart of helping communities to function and work well together.
That’s why, as part of the Local Government Association’s Twitter campaign #OurDay which is celebrated on 21 November, the council is offering an insight in to just some of the services they provide around the clock.
From 7am - a busy start
The day begins early for Ubico crews who get to work early, cleaning streets and collecting refuse and recycling. Car park income collections commence and daily play park inspections get underway.
At 9am – the offices open
The Municipal Offices open to the public and the switchboard phone lines open ready for callers.
From 9.30am – time for tree planting
Janice Payne, one of the council’s community rangers, rolls her sleeves up and supports Friends of Pittville Park volunteers as they plant 300 tree whips from The Woodland Trust. ‘’Green spaces are so important’’ said Janice. ‘’That’s why I enjoy working with community groups to maintain and improve some of Cheltenham’s best loved green spaces whilst my colleague does the same at Leckhampton Hill.’’
10.00am is coffee time for local families
Inspiring Families project coordinator, Sophie Johnson goes into a local school and sets up her regular coffee morning. A big smile welcomes a full room as the coffee and tea begins to brew. Sophie joins in the discussion about what are the best ways of encouraging children to read. A new mum has joined and Sophie shows her and her pre-schooler the craft activity and introduces her to a few of the other mums with similar aged children. The Our Place coffee mornings are a great way for local parents to meet each other and share parenting advice.
At 11.30am, it’s time to inspect our trees
Chris Chavasse is a senior trees officer, Chris gets called to investigate a planning development application affecting trees on and adjacent to a site in a conservation area. He makes some notes to go back to the planner to discuss further. Chris then takes a call from a concerned member of the public who reports a potential fungus on a tree, he takes the details to investigate with the team. He is now going to look at proposed tree walks with the community which are planned for the spring.
It’s lunchtime - making sure your food is safe
Chris Fawcett, is part of the environmental health team with a focus on food safety. He has just written a report to a café which hadn’t been complying with food safety regulation, which exists to keep the public safe. But after re-visiting the café, Chris found that advice had been followed and everything is now satisfactory. He is now going on to study the file of a food business which is appealing against its hygiene rating.
2pm – a visit to a demolition site
A mobile crusher was the subject of a visit by Gareth Jones, also one of the council’s environmental health officers. Part of Gareth’s varied role is to make sure machinery like this is being used safely and in accordance with operating rules set out by the local authority. He said: ‘’The crusher had all the correct paperwork with it and was operating exactly as it should, minimising the effect it has on the environment.’’ The recycled crushed material will go on to be used on site to form roads and foundations.
3.40pm – we deliver occupational health and safety advice
Also part of the same team – which has a huge remit - is Sadie Hawson and she gives occupational health and safety advice and investigates accidents. She said: ‘’Today, I’m investigating chemical burns and injuries from falls, slips and trips. The safety of people matters and it’s important that work places and public areas are of a high standard. We educate and we take action where necessary.’’
4pm - stamping out anti-social behaviour
Aiming to stamp out anti-social behaviour (ASB), Lisa Jones, ASB co-ordinator, works with a variety of partners to deal with issues in the borough. She said: ‘’No two days are the same but a big part of my role is centred around dealing with reported cases of nuisance, harassment and anti-social behaviour complaints. I also engage with and support rough sleepers and beggars, signposting them to partner agencies and handing our warnings where necessary.‘’
5:30 pm West Cheltenham Estates Regeneration Project Meeting
Martin Stacey – housing commissioner joins other council officers from planning services to generate ideas and begin to identify priorities for existing housing and communities in the future. This project involves a wide range of stakeholders including Cheltenham Borough Homes, the NHS, community centres, community groups, local schools and the police.
And so the night shift begins
As some officers leave at the end of the working day, many get ready for the night shift. As the town centre starts to get busy with late night revellers, council and police licensing officers inspect licensed premises, undertake a number of underage sales test purchases and meet with frontline door staff.
Councillor Steve Jordan, leader at Cheltenham Borough Council said: ‘’#OurDay 2017 highlights the vast range of valued services that we, together with our partners, deliver to people across the borough. We work hard to make sure that everything we do is for the good of the local community.’’
Tim Atkins, managing director of place and economic development added: ‘’This awareness day really showcases some of our local services. I am proud of the workforce we have and through great team work and close partnership working, we strive to make a real difference to our communities.’’
For more information about LGA’s #OurDay:
For press enquiries contact: Jemima Lawson, communications officer, telephone 01242 775037 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org