We’re working with colleagues in district and borough councils on how we deal with applications from businesses such as cafes and bars to put seating outside on pavements. This is usually a county council responsibility, but the Government has asked that district and borough councils get involved in approving applications.
It’s important that we strike the right balance between supporting local businesses to get back on their feet at this difficult time and ensuring the safety of pedestrians and road users. So we’ll be working with our partners to make sure applications are turned around as quickly as possible to allow our towns and villages begin to return to a more normal life.
We’re still seeing a huge increase in the number of people using our country parks and countryside sites and I know they have become a sanctuary for many, most of whom I’m pleased to say treat our sites with respect.
But unfortunately there are still some people intent on causing real damage through vandalism, inordinate amounts of litter, large gatherings and use of disposable BBQs – risking the safety of themselves and others.
I’d like to thank our countryside staff who work tirelessly seven days a week emptying bins, keeping our sites well-maintained and generally being the eyes and ears of the authority to make sure that our countryside remains safe for everyone to use.
Thanks too to all staff either who have or continue to work as part of the team keeping our household waste recycling centres open for business. While some of the restrictions have eased, social distancing measures are still in place which reduces the number of vehicles allowed on site. I know it hasn’t been easy at times, but a quick look at the comments on social media shows how much appreciation there is out there for the high quality service we continue to provide.
I’m tremendously proud of the resilience shown by staff across all departments in the most difficult circumstances, the way we continue to rise to the challenge to deal with what lies ahead and the Derbyshire Spirit that continues to shine through.