Andy Chick, length of service 12 years
I met up with Andy Chick – the Village Operative who is busy sweeping to keep Temple Cloud looking its best. I wanted to find out how Andy was getting on with Village Operative duties this Autumn and took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his work.
Q – Is the timetable you work to useful and how much do you stick to the duties outlined on the timetable?
A – It is useful but it is not rigid. It is better at other times of the year but in the Autumn I spend more of my time clearing leaves in areas with high footfall. This includes the Doctors Surgery, the Bus Stops and the Village Hall. The leaves can become a hazard for Villagers especially when they are wet.
Q – Tell me about the waste, where does it get collected from?
A – I bag it up and leave if for collection by the bus shelter or opposite the Chinese. Sometimes the bags are taken within hours sometimes during my shift and other times they can be there for a couple of days awaiting the council collection.
Q – Are you allocated enough time to do your duties?
A – Mostly. It can be greatly affected by the weather. Sometimes I will sweep and the very next day the area may look like it could be done again but I carry on and tackle it again. The bus shelters could be done every day but these are the areas that people notice the most so I try to prioritise those areas especially in the Autumn when a massive task is to clear the leaves. It requires flexibility, if I see a pile of leaves outside the Surgery then I prioritise. I wouldn’t want someone to have a nasty fall, it’s common sense.
Q – What is the biggest obstacle doing this job?
A – Autumn is the hardest time with the volume of leaves falling from the trees and also the weather! The leaves become so heavy when they are wet that they can be difficult to lift from the pavement.
Q – What do you dislike about the job?
A – It always amazes me when I see fly tipping. Not just off the beaten track but sometimes on the main road for all to see. That is terrible.
Q – Tell me what keeps you motivated doing this job?
A – I love being outdoors, being on the move and keeping active. It keeps me fit and healthy really. I started doing this when my children were young and it was great to be in charge of my own time. I have been doing it ever since. I also work as a painter and decorator. I can move things around depending on weather and other commitments. I also like the fact that usually, before I leave I can see that I have made an impression.
Q – Do you get the chance to meet the Villagers?
A – Not really, I’ve been doing this job 12 years but people don’t usually stop. I suppose people have their own busy lives.
As I finished up my chat with Andy one of the residents opposite came out of their house and said ‘hello’ to Andy. No doubt many of you will remember having seen Andy around the Village in his high visibility tabard so please say hello if you see him in passing!
Parish Clerk, Jenny Howell