2 January 2020 by Joshua Doherty

Buckinghamshire waste services to ‘harmonise’

There will be a move to “harmonise” waste services in Buckinghamshire as the five councils in the area merge into a single unitary authority from April this year.

However, these plans are at an “early stage” and it is unclear what form this will take.

From the next financial year (2020/21), the four district councils – Aylesbury Vale, South Buckinghamshire, Wycombe and Chiltern – along with Buckinghamshire county council, will all merge into a unitary authority called ‘Buckinghamshire council’.

The move was confirmed earlier in 2019 by the then secretary of state for housing, communities and local governments secretary James Brokenshire, and saw three of the district councils launch legal action to try and halt the plans.

From April 2020, Buckinghamshire county and Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Buckinghamshire and Wycombe districts councils will be replaced by a single Buckinghamshire council

Contracts

For waste collections, the district councils currently have different contractors, with Ayelsbury running an in-house service, South Buckinghamshire having a deal with Biffa, and Chiltern and Wycombe having a joint deal with Serco.

In 2018, Chiltern, Wycombe and South Bucks Councils announced that they are looking to procure a three way contract in the near future.

This plan could continue and Aylesbury run a separate in-house service, but no formal public statement on this is thought to have been made so far.

Martin Dickman, environment services director at Buckinghamshire county council, told letsrecycle.com: “The work to merge five local authorities into one unitary authority is significant. All the councils are working hard to make sure all services run smoothly before and after Buckinghamshire Council comes into effect. Whilst there will be a move to harmonise services, as there will be across the whole organisation, it is too early to say what form that may take.

“The focus currently is making sure one of the most important services offered to Buckinghamshire residents continues without a hitch on April 1st 2020”.

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