New environmental services contract to be awarded after Enterprise binned off

Enterprise, which stopped collecting black bin liners in 2015, will soon be replaced by a new contractor.
Enterprise, which stopped collecting black bin liners in 2015, will soon be replaced by a new contractor.

Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet is being asked to appoint its preferred bidder when it meets next week after Enterprise was denied the contract.

From an initial nine expressions of interest, the field narrowed down to just two companies. Following a robust evaluation of the two final tenders, the council is now in a position to appoint its preferred bidder.

Former contractor, Enterprise put in a bid at the initial stage but the the firm is no longer in the running. The contractor has been criticised on numerous occasions for missing bin collections, for leaving grass to grow up to a foot long in the east of Northampton last year and, on one occasion, for interring a body in the wrong plot.

Enterprise stopped collecting black bin liners in 2015, which it maintains was because it was never contracted to do so by the borough council.

Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, said: “We have carried out a very in-depth and robust procurement process for this contract and I will have no hesitation in proposing the recommendation to colleagues next week.

“We explored every option – including in-house delivery which independent experts told us would not be cost effective – and the two final bids were exceptional.

“I make no bones about the problems we have had with our current contract so the new service must be exemplary. Our residents demand it so that’s precisely what we intend to deliver.

“Following a very thorough evaluation exercise, the winning bid has been identified. I look forward to announcing the name of our new environmental services contractor at next Wednesday's cabinet meeting.”

In 2016, Northampton residents were consulted about the importance of a new environmental services contract which includes refuse collection, street cleansing and park and open space maintenance.

The resounding message from the 8,000 responses received by the borough council was that good quality service was vital, so the authority has reflected this in its investment.

The two final bids were assessed on cost and quality and the resulting scores have led to the recommendation that bidder B should be awarded the contract. The identity of bidder B will be revealed by the council following cabinet deliberation.

As outlined in the draft budget last month, the new contract will cost taxpayers an additional £3.4 million per year if agreed by cabinet.

Costs will be minimised through direct purchase of vehicles which will save the taxpayer around £1 million per year thanks to the council’s ability to borrow at much lower rates.