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South Kesteven bin collectors and street cleaners are worst paid in Lincolnshire

Bin collectors and street cleaners in South Kesteven are the lowest paid in the county, it has emerged.

The issue came to light at a meeting of the district council’s cabinet on Tuesday, during discussions on the authority’s budget.

Members appeared surprised and voted to free up £93,000 to ensure the employees were paid in line with the rest of Lincolnshire.

An SKDC bin
An SKDC bin

Council leader Coun Kelham Cooke said he had visited the depot to personally thank staff for their efforts over the pandemic.

“During the Covid crisis our waste collectors were collecting in excess of 80,000 bins a week,” he said.

“They operate one of the first and most critical services that we as a district council provide.”

The Journal requested further information on how many staff were affected and why their pay was so low.

A council spokesman said no further comment would be made until after the full council meeting when the amendment to the budget would be discussed.

However, he did stress that Street Scene staff had been receiving a £50-a-week bonus since March, when lockdown began.

Meanwhile, the cabinet remains confident that the council can balance its books this year, despite anticipated cost increases and loss of income.

Expected revenue from the likes of car parking, markets and arts centres has been slashed almost in half due to the virus, from £6.7m to £3.6m.

There will be a predicted budget deficit of £1.3 million for the year but SKDC can raid its budget stabilisation reserve if needed .

Cabinet member for finance and resources, Coun Adam Stokes said: “South Kesteven District Council is in a strong position to cope with the financial impact of Covid-19. The use of the budget stabilisation reserve will only be considered as a last resort after other proactive cost avoidance and reduction initiatives have been considered.

“These include the continual review of expenditure to identify reductions, review of staffing vacancies and prioritisation of key staffing recruitment, and the acceleration of savings, transformation and invest-to-save proposals."

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