8,000 people have their say on Northampton bin collection... but service will still be outsourced

Uncollected rubbish in The Mounts. The council has been criticised for outsourcing environmental services to private companies.
Uncollected rubbish in The Mounts. The council has been criticised for outsourcing environmental services to private companies.

8,000 Northampton people have had their say on the future of street cleaning, bin collection and cemetery maintenance in the town.

The new contract will be shaped by residents' feedback, but despite criticism last year for outsourcing the services, the new contract will still be awarded to an outside, private firm.

Northampton Borough Council was criticised last year for outsourcing services to private company Enterprise, whose contract runs out in June 2018.

Speaking in 2016, deputy mayor Councillor Gareth Eales said: "If you walk around the town you can see streets are littered with rubbish.

"People are sick to the back teeth. It's quite clear that outsourcing had failed."

As part of a review, Northampton Borough Council wrote to every household in the borough in December last year for their views on what they wanted from environmental services.

Now, 8,000 people have replied and shared their opinions what they want from Northampton Borough Council.

Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for the environment, said: “We have had a really great response to this consultation and it shows how very strongly people feel about these important services and the impact they have on the life of the town.

“We are very grateful to everyone who took part and I can assure them that their views will be taken into account as we move forward through a tender process and look to find the best quality service within the budget available for the people of Northampton.”

The survey results and the opinions of Northampton residents will be passed on to companies bidding for the new contract.

Leader of the opposition at Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Danielle Stone, said: "I'm absolutely furious. What form the service would take was not on the survey. What the Borough Council intend to do is award the contract to a private company for up to and beyond 10 years.

"If we bought services in-house or at least through an 'arms-length' company it would be more efficient, more reliable, cheaper and we would have much more control.

"Services like waste management are changing very quickly and we don't know what the needs are going to be in 10 or even five years time."

The review has also included meetings with residents groups and face-to-face interviews with a sample of 1,000 residents.