Joint Waste Contract

Portfolio Holder’s Update to Cabinet on new waste contract - 5 July 2017

"Following my update to all Members last Friday, I would like to take the opportunity to briefly update Cabinet on the performance of the new waste collection contract as it enters its second month. 

Overall the service continues to improve each day, as the crews become more familiar with the revised collection routes and as Amey tackle the underlying operational problems.    I am aware that each crew member and Amey’s local management are tenaciously and tirelessly doing all they can to deliver the quality and reliability of service expected by the Council and by our residents and as is clearly set out in the service specification in the contract.    However, I regret to say the quality of service in areas of our borough is still well below those expectations.   For these shortcomings as the client for the contract I offer an unreserved apology to all our residents who have been so seriously inconvenienced.

Understandably residents with outstanding collections are becoming increasingly dissatisfied and of course I empathise with them, there is no doubt that the service they’ve received is unacceptable.    I am appreciative of the continuing hard work of our excellent customer services team who are updating and advising residents with collection problems.  They are conveying the most up to date information they have from our contractor and we are trying very hard to reflect the current service promises without wanting to raise expectations or mislead.  It is a very difficult balance to strike.

Despite what is recognised as an ongoing improvement in the service, it remains a matter of great concern to all that, during the first month of the contract, there have been significant and repeated service failures by the contractor with many Target Key Performance Indicators not achieved, including large numbers of missed collections and a failure to rectify these within the agreed period.   These continuing failures will result in significant financial penalties being applied under the terms of the contract.

I am also aware of the wider powers available to the Authorising Officer and the Contract Partnering Board under the new joint arrangements for contract management.   I expect the Contract Partnering Board, at its meeting next week, to consider what further contractual measures are needed to resolve the underlying causes of these service failures and the prevention of any recurrence.   I’m sure the Cabinet will support me in urging the Contract Partnering Board to exercise all contract powers at its disposal to secure the provision of the services in accordance with the specification.

In closing, I would again apologise to the residents with unresolved collection problems and assure those residents and my Cabinet colleagues that our officers and the new joint contract management team remain fully focused and committed to a rapid and stepped improvement in service quality.   I will continue to keep Members updated to that end."

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