Jobs could go as binmen are given laptops

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BINMEN and road sweepers are to be given tablet computers, laptops and top-of-the-range mobile phones - in a move which would result in job losses.

Doncaster Council has announced plans to upgrade its IT systems over the next year as part of a £365,000 package - but it is feared people could lose their jobs as the technology makes their roles unnecessary.

At a meeting of the overview and scrutiny management committee, council director of finance Simon Wiles said: “We have now got into the advanced stages of Streetscene, where all our frontline services will have some kind of handheld devices.

“Rubbish collectors or street cleaners will have laptops in covers which could be used to stay in touch with contact centres.

“This means we would need less people to do jobs, we would have reduced costs through reduced staff, but we become much more efficient as a result.”

The idea behind the scheme is that call centre staff can speak to the public about issues such as damage to council homes or overflowing bins, then directly email workers on the street to carry out the work, without having to return to the depot.

It is hoped the scheme will cut the number of duplicate calls logged, and save time. n DONCASTER Council is looking to spend £1.4m on creating more gypsy caravan sites.

Each of the proposed 16 sites will cost around £90,000, with the cash coming through a grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.

A report says gypsies and travellers make up two per cent of the borough population, with estimates of between 4,000 and 6,000 people.