Three Rivers Council has revealed it has given nearly 30 waste lorry drivers a £3k raise to stop them being poached amid staff shortages.

Numerous Herts councils have been hit by a national driver shortage, which coupled with the pandemic is causing delays to services county-wide 

Three Rivers has given their 29 lorry drivers – covering all council services – a salary increase of up to £3,000 for the next 12 months, starting in August.

The increasing pressures on waste services emerged at a meeting of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership on Monday (July 26).

Cllr Phil Williams said: “We have had the same problems as everybody else – and dealing with them in similar manners.

“Although we have paid our drivers a retention to save them going off and finding a job that they are going to earn an extra £5,000 a year in.

“We have been approaching them and offering them a retention to keep them on board.”

In addition he said the crews in Three Rivers were continuing with Covid measures – such as staggered starts and bubbles – to reduce absences.

Meanwhile Simon Aries also acknowledged that the driver shortage had impacted on services at the county council’s Waterdale waste transfer station near Watford.

He said the shortage of drivers for the ‘bulkers’ had for a time led to longer queues that they had wanted.

He told members that if there was disruption in the coming weeks – that meant sites had to be closed – they would prioritise the opening of the larger HWRC sites.