Labour leader 'furious' that bins contract will not be brought back in-house following cabinet decision

Northampton Borough Council will press on with plans to hire a third party to run its waste collections and grass cutting when the current contract ends - even though opposiion members forced the Tories to rethink the policy.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 4:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:06 pm
The council's bin collection and grass cutting contract will not be brought back in-house.

At the start of November, Northampton Borough Council, decided to continue with a private sector firm once the environmental services contract with Enterprise runs out in 2018 - even though the current contract has been iddled with deficiencies.

Complaints have ranged from the quality of bin collectiosn to the length of the gras in the Eastern District - even the state of the borough's cemeteries has come under fire.

The decision was succesfully called-in by the albour group, who argued the council had not fully consulted omn plans to keep outsourcing.

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It meant the policy had to come back before the council's cabinet meeting on Wednesday for a new vote.

But the Conservative-controlled authority voted in favour of the scheme, which means it will launch a consultation on how the new contract should look.

Labour group leader, Councilllor Danielle Stone, said: "I'm absolutely furious that in spite of the lack of to support this, the cabinet has agreed to outsource the waste contract.

We had the call-in, we provided robust argumentsabout why that wa a flawed decision, but they continued down that road anyway."

But during the call-in meeting last week leader of the council, Councillor Jonathan Nunn said the authority could not ignore the expert advice it sought before making the decision.

He said the decision to contract out the service was only the first part of the process and vowed to include parishes and community groups in future discussions about the "standards" expected in a new contract.

He said even considering mounting an in-house business case for delivering services would cost "hundreds of thousands of pounds."

He said: "The current contract has significant shortcomings.

"I get a lot of calls about grass cutting; I get a lot of calls about cleanliness.

"I don't think anyone will say the current contract is serving us good, but there's nothing I can do about that.

"What we have to do is move on from here."