13 February 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

Blackpool confirms move in-house

Blackpool council expects to make “significant savings” when it brings its waste collection service back in-house next year, when its contract with Veolia comes to an end.

The authority has accused Veolia of offering savings through service reductions.

Blackpool council confirms its plans to bring its waste collection service in-house next year (Picture: Shutterstock)

In a report, Blackpool said bringing the domestic waste service back under its umbrella will give the council “increased control and oversight of a key service”.

This will include “the opportunity for the authority to be more flexible in its delivery arrangements if circumstances or legislation should change in the future”.

Cost

The current cost of the service and contract is £3.8m per annum. The council said, that analysis has shown the level of saving is initially in excess of six figures for each year.

Currently, an alternate weekly collection system is in place, including a grey bin for residual waste, a blue bin for commingled recyclable materials, and a brown sack for paper and card. There is also a subscription for green waste collections.

The domestic waste contract was awarded to Onyx (now Veolia) in April 2005 and extended in 2010. The contract now expires on 31 March 2019.

According to a report by the authority, savings have been made over the years, but “Veolia have only offered these through service reductions.”

The service will either be carried out In-house or via an arms-length (wholly-owned) company.

‘Flexibility’

When contacted by letsrecycle.com, a council officer said: “The council is taking the bin collection service back under the umbrella of the council in a little over a years’ time. There are no planned changes to collections and all existing contract staff will transfer to the council.

“The current collection contract started in 2005 and is approaching its natural termination date after being extended for seven years. The council has made the decision to insource the service in order to increase flexibility in service delivery and realise further efficiency savings.”

The council said there is the possibility of “significant legal implications” including TUPE and Procurement considerations. And, that suitable advice will be sought as the Corporate Project Board further develops towards its preferred option.

A comment has been requested from Veolia.


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