Fife Council’s co-leader has apologised to the people of Fife for poor levels of service as Covid continues to impact on staffing.
David Ross said sorry for problems hitting social care, grass cutting, refuse collections and roads repairs.
And he also apologised for issues with the contact centre which saw people hanging on the phone without an answer.
The Labour leader said staff shortages and backlogs of work due to lockdown were to blame for the delays.
And an increase in demand for some services has had an additional impact.
“We are apologising to people in Fife for us not being able to keep up with the normal level of services,” he said.
Mr Ross said staff were doing their best under difficult circumstances and called for understanding.
Catalogue of complaints
The apology followed a catalogue of complains from the public in recent weeks.
Last month, the council issued an unreserved apology for failing to answer the phone to hundreds of frustrated Fifers.
It acknowledged it was letting people down and brought in more staff to answer calls.
And earlier this month, it conceded it was struggling to keep on top of grass cutting due to the so-called pingdemic.
Meanwhile, in west Fife bins were not collected due to staff shortages.
And disabled people complained they were struggling due to a lack of home carers.
Mr Ross acknowledged all of the problems.
And he said: “Despite the fact we’re seeing restrictions lifted and things gradually opening up again, we’re still clearly affected by the pandemic.
There’s a backlog of work we’re having to catch up on due to the restrictions.”
Councillor David Ross
“Clearly Covid is continuing to have a serious impact on the ability of the council to maintain and carry out its services.
“We have increasing numbers of staff having to isolate.
“And we have staff having to be diverted from normal work to deal with the effects of the pandemic.
“There’s a backlog of work we’re having to catch up on due to the restrictions.
“And we’re also seeing an increase in demand for services that perhaps has been suppressed during the lockdown.”
Staff doing a ‘fantastic job’
In addition, Fife Council is having difficulty in recruiting both permanent and temporary staff.
A national shortage of home carers and HGV drivers is having a particular impact.
“Our staff are doing a fantastic job in coping with the pressures on them,” Mr Ross said.
“I ask for patience and understanding from people when we’re maybe not hitting the high standards we always aspire to.”