Honiton: Highly praised street cleaner loses his job

PUBLISHED: 09:12 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 00:59 16 June 2010

Antony Westcott.

Antony Westcott.

HONITON has lost a street cleaner hailed as the best in years - because his temporary contract has come to an end with East Devon District Council.

HONITON has lost a street cleaner hailed as the best in years - because his temporary contract has come to an end with East Devon District Council.

Antony Westcott left the post last Saturday - just days after being featured in this newspaper clearing up the mess left behind by drinkers in Lace Walk car park.

Previously, residents and business owners had praised Mr Westcott for his dedication to duty.

Adrian Phillips, owner of Millstream Taxis, said Mr Westcott had done such a good job of sweeping High Street that he failed to leave a single stray leaf outside Honiton Evangelical Congregational Church - something never before seen, in recent history.

Mr Westcott's disappointed colleagues thought he had fallen victim to proposed cutbacks to the council's StreetScene service.

However, a spokesman for the council revealed: "This is not a case of redundancy. Mr Westcott was employed by EDDC on a seasonal basis. Such workers are employed for a fixed term, at the end of which time they cease to be employed by us. In many cases, such workers are then re-employed the following season and so on.

"Mr Westcott came to the end of his 2009 fixed term, but was asked to stay on for a further period while a permanent staff member was on compassionate leave. It was always understood that this extension to Mr Westcott's employment would end when his colleague returned to work and Mr Westcott was aware of this. This has now happened.

"We have recently announced that some seasonal staff may not be re-employed in the coming year, due to savings being made in our StreetScene service. Whether this will impact on street cleaning staff is not yet clear. More will be known after our 2010-11 budget is set on February 24."

The spokesman added: "We are aware that Mr Westcott's work is highly thought-of in the town. This can only improve his chances of finding future employment.

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