Grass cutting, bin collections and cemetery upkeep in Northampton "should continue to be done by contractors", reveals borough

The contract with Enterprise to provide environmental services for Northampton Borough Council runs out in 2018
The contract with Enterprise to provide environmental services for Northampton Borough Council runs out in 2018

Northampton Borough Council wants to continue "out-sourcing" services such as bin collections and grass cutting when the current contract expires in 2018.

But the council says it would put the contract tender which would mean Enterprise Managed Services Ltd would not automatically get the new deal.

A seven-year deal was signed with Enterprise, part of the Amey Group, in 2011. The deal has, at times, met criticised after complaints about the frequency of bin collections, the quality of the upkeep of the town's cemeteries and the state of litter across Northampton.

Earlier this year, the borough carried out face-to-face surveys with 1,000 people to get their feedback on the service.

A proposal will be put forward to the council's cabinet meeting next week with a recommendation to go back to market with a new contract to run the environmental services for the borough.

A spokesman for the council said: "The borough council has worked with experts to consider the options for delivering waste services, and has come down to a short-list of three: bringing the service back in–house; setting up or using an existing local authority-owned company or continuing to contract out the service and going back to the market to award a new contract.

"Each of the three options was examined in detail, and whilst all three are likely to be more expensive than the current contract, overall contracting out performed better on an assessment of quality, risk and value," he added.

"The cabinet is, therefore, being asked to agree to continue to contract out the service, and to begin the procurement process for a new contract. Cabinet is also being asked to set aside up to £400,000 from reserves to fund the procurement process," he added.

Councillor Jonathan Nunn, acting leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “We looked in detail at the different options available for providing these critical services to make sure that we are aware of the latest and best approach to them.

"This assessment was carried out for us by experts in the field of waste management, and to be certain that the assessment process was thorough, PWC our Internal Auditors were also asked to take a good look at it. Following consideration of the findings, we have decided to recommend to cabinet that the council continues to outsource.

“We also consulted a broad range of groups and commissioned a survey as part of this appraisal and the feedback from that will be used to help shape the service, ensuring we get the best possible quality and value we can, as we move forward in the procurement process.”

The meeting takes place on Wednesday, November 16 at 6pm at the Guildhall.