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Workers battle on despite the storm
FRONTLINE council staff have been praised for keeping services running despite fierce winds which caused severe disruption across south Essex.
The St Jude stormhit the UK on Monday, causing major disruption to train lines and power supplies.
Trees were also brought down on roads, cars and buildings across Essex.
Across south Essex binmen carried out their rounds despite the harsh weather.
In Basildon, day centres for the over-50s were also kept open across the borough by staff.
A team of six tree surgeons and Basildon Council’s parks officers also scoured the borough to deal with fallen trees. In total, seven were brought down in Lake Meadows park, in Billericay, and the Holy Cross recreation ground, in Basildon.
Tony Ball, Tory leader of Basildon Council, said: “I would like to extend my thanks to all council staff who contributed to keeping services up and running.
“I’m sure many of them were affected themselves with a difficult commute, power cuts, and damage to property, yet none of this got in the way of the day job and ensuring members of the public came first.”
Tony Cox, Southend councillor responsible for public protection, waste and transport, said: “We dealt with more than 80 separate incidents – many of them fallen trees or branches – and worked to rectify these as quickly as possible to clear the highway and ensure public safety.
“We are pleased to say our services were minimally disrupted by the bad weather – our leisure and tourism services were open as normal and waste and recycling collection services were completed despite the difficult conditions.”
Basildon Council’s customer services department answered nearly 1,900 calls on Monday, and in sections such as housing repairs and streetcare, call volumes saw a 100 per cent increase.
The council’s parks team had more than 100 calls about fallen trees or branches and the council dealt with 51 repair orders for broken fencing and 17 urgent jobs where roofs had been damaged.
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