Labour: Waste collection services in Northampton are failing

Photograph sent in by Mounts resident George Zmijewski, shows bin bags lining the streets in the area after collection day.

Photograph sent in by Mounts resident George Zmijewski, shows bin bags lining the streets in the area after collection day.

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Northampton Borough Council should put together an in-house bid to take over waste collection in the town because its current contract is failing, says Labour.

Last week a decision by environmental services contractor Enterprise to strictly enforce the council’s two green bag policy prompted angry responses.

Streets were left strewn with black bin liners after bin days, even though the non-regulation bags had always been collected until a fortnight ago.

Many people called the council’s hard-line policy into question, with some arguing bigger houses could not fit all their non-recyclable waste into two green sacks.

But the council said Enterprise should have given people more notice before suddenly enforcing two-bag rule to the letter.

This week the town’s Labour group said the council should put together its own bid to take over waste services when the Enterprise contract ends in 2018.

Deputy leader of the group, Councillor Gareth Eales, said: “An in house bid team, made up of dedicated borough council officers, needs to start its work sooner rather than later so they can put together a comprehensive offer backed up with a strong evidence base. The present contract has delivered very poor performance and we are left with an untidy town and unclean neighbourhoods.”

Leader of the authority Councillor Mary Markham said the council will be considering bringing the contract back in-house in 2018.

She said: “A contract is a contract and we will work to it until its renewal in 2018. Then we will look at all the options.”

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HAVE YOUR SAY ON WASTE ISSUES TONIGHT

A Labour councillor who says she is “frustrated” by the lack of cleanliness in St James is to hold a public meeting about clearing the ward tonight (Thursday, July 16).

Councillor Rufia Ashraf (Lab, St James) is to gather the views of people on how to tackle problems such as fly-tipping and the amount of black bags left following bin days during an event at St James Community Centre, from at 6.30pm. She said: “Residents want a cleaner and safer St James and are frustrated with the services they have been receiving.”