Special thanks for district's critical workers for pandemic support

A Harpenden Trust volunteer at the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls

A Harpenden Trust volunteer at the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls - Credit: Richard Nichols

A show of thanks is being proposed for the frontline workers who have supported St Albans district residents throughout the Covid pandemic.

District councillors are calling for official recognition for the dedication, self-sacrifice, skill and hard work shown by so many critical workers over the past 18 months.

In a motion proposed by Cllr Mary Maynard, Conservative councillors are calling for SADC to either waive the green waste charge or allowing a 50 per cent discount on season parking permits for the rest of this financial year.

Cllr Maynard said: "Over the last 18 months, frontline workers have put themselves and their families at risk by going to work every day and meeting with the public. We should thank the people who served us in shops, tended to us in hospitals, delivered our orders, emptied our bins, drove the buses and generally kept us safe.

"Getting recognition is wonderful, but we think our thanks should be more tangible. It is a small token of our appreciation and will demonstrate we are all grateful for what they did."

Cllr Julian Daly, who seconded the motion, added: “We want to recognise and thank frontline workers with substance, not just words. Both half price parking season tickets and the waiving of the new green waste charge are of real value to those who want to take them up.

"No doubt killjoys will complain about a hypothetical 'cost'. But with car parks currently empty it will probably bring in money and the green waste will be collected by teams out on the streets anyway.”

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The motion reads: "Day after day, these critical workers were interacting with the public and making sure key services continued to be delivered effectively and efficiently. They worked with humour and good grace and there is a wealth of stories to show how much their work was appreciated by our residents who are deeply thankful for what they did.

"We are also fortunate to have hundreds of volunteers who stepped forward both during lockdown to help support more vulnerable residents and those who were shielding or could not leave their homes. We would also like to thank all those who were involved in Harpenden Cares, the Harpenden Trust vaccination initiative, Communities First and the groups who helped in our villages."

The motion is due to be debated at the meeting of full council next Wednesday, July 14.