BINMEN and and street cleaners across north Oxfordshire have been hailed for their ongoing invaluable work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, praised its workers for keeping the region clean, saying 'we should never underestimate' the work that they do.

With a national lockdown in effect, the council’s 20 waste and recycling crews are continuing with their kerbside collections, picking up between 220 to 250 tonnes of waste and recycling every single day.

The street cleansing team are also helping to keep Cherwell’s town centres and open spaces tidy, covering around 40 miles daily.

Also read: Barton community association helps hungry in coronavirus lockdown

Frontline staff, which includes the community safety team, are following government guidance to protect their health and that of the public as they work.

In a statement this week Mr Wood said: "We should never underestimate the value created by the workers who collect our waste and recycling, and those who keep our public spaces clean.

"That value comes to the fore more than ever in times of crisis.

"With cleanliness high on the agenda, I know lots of other residents will join me in thanking them for not only continuing to provide their essential services, but for doing so while following Government health precautions."

Oxford Mail:

Among council workers' more unusual jobs, community safety officers have been using a thermal imaging camera to check parks and open spaces at night.

This is part of their work helping the police enforce government social distancing guidelines, as well as checking on residents’ welfare. They are also checking compliance at restricted businesses and licensed premises.

Back-office staff at Cherwell, such as the IT team, have been busy supporting others who have had to speedily adapt to working from home during the crisis.

When disposing of waste that may have come into contact with the Covid-19 virus, residents are asked, as a minimum, to double-bag and store it for at least 72 hours before it is put in the green bin.

Also read: Bicester Town Council to give emergency cash to coronavirus support groups

Salvation Army textile banks in the district are not currently accepting donations and people are reminded not to leave items next to any bring bank as this is treated as fly-tipping.

In line with the government’s instruction to all councils in the UK to house rough sleepers and help protect them from the coronavirus, Cherwell has found accommodation for the homeless in North Oxfordshire.

It says it has worked hard with partners at Oxfordshire County Council, Housing Options, Connection Support, Citizens Advice and the Salvation Army to provide accommodation for all known rough sleepers.

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They are being sheltered at locations in Banbury and Bicester and should any further rough sleepers come forward, the council will be ready to respond and help.

Councillor John Donaldson said: "A lot of hard work has gone in to delivering this very quick turnaround. If people in the Cherwell area know of any further rough sleepers we would be grateful if they notified us.

"In every way people are working together to combat this virus and this is yet another example of communities and organisations coming together in an hour of need."

Members of the public who see someone bedding down or sleeping rough, are asked to report them via the Streetlink website ( or by calling 0300 500 0914.

Also read: Help us to say thank you to our amazing NHS

Anyone who is homeless or worried about becoming homeless should call the council during office hours on 01295 227004, or 01295 221531 at any other time.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of travel restrictions last week, the council is also waiving parking charges in its urban centre car parks for employees who ‘absolutely cannot’ work from home.

Councillor Dan Sames, Cherwell’s 'lead member for clean and green' said: “The government message could not be clearer: unnecessary travel must be avoided and people should work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so.

“To support those who still have to attend their usual place of work, Cherwell District Council is suspending car parking charges in our three urban centres.

“We are asking these people to please identify themselves by placing a formal company-headed letter signed by their employer in their car window confirming that it is essential for them to park in our urban centres to attend work. It is important that this is not abused so that spaces needed by key workers remain available.”

The suspension of parking charges, for eligible workers only, will apply to all three urban centres: Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington.