3 October 2014 by Tom Goulding

Tewkesbury set to join Ubico umbrella from 2015

Refuse and recycling collections in Tewkesbury are set to be delivered by local authority-owned company Ubico Ltd from April 2015, the borough council has announced.

The council – which currently carries out in-house collections – agreed to TUPE transfer its staff to Ubico Ltd at a meeting this week, with the decision due to be ratified in December.

Tewkesbury borough council is set to TUPE transfer staff to Ubico in April 2015

Tewkesbury borough council is set to TUPE transfer staff to Ubico in April 2015

The move comes as Tewkesbury council looks to become more cost efficient in the way it delivers its services, with the move to Ubico set to cost a ‘one-off’ set-up fee of £86,000.

The council predicts that the switch will save taxpayers in the borough an estimated £364,000 by 2020, with annual savings of £99,000 thereafter.

Collections

Meanwhile, the council has said there ‘are no plans’ to make changes to the way services are delivered to households, with Tewkesbury likely to retain its alternate-weekly collections of refuse and commingled recycling.

Alongside waste and recycling collection, Ubico is also due to also provide street cleansing and grounds maintenance for the borough.

Nick Firkins, services manager for Tewkesbury borough council, told letsrecycle.com that if approved the move would have no impact on residents, while Ubico and the borough council already share facilities at the Swindon Road depot in Cheltenham.

Commenting on the agreement, councillor Jim Mason, lead member for clean and green environment, said: “We know that our issues like waste and recycling collection, and street cleansing are extremely important to our residents, and we are really proud of the services we provide. This will not change, and, in particular, our residents should not notice a difference in the way their bins are collected.

“What this decision does mean, however, is that we can continue to provide the same level of service while also exploring how we can improve on what we do. On top of this we will be achieving significant savings, which will help us to make sure we are providing the best possible value to our residents.”

Value

Managing director of Ubico Rob Bell added: “Ubico has worked closely with the council over a number of years and we know how much they value their environmental services such as waste and recycling.

“The existing environmental services team will transfer to Ubico and they already deliver a high performing service. Moving forward, we will work together as one team to provide the same high quality services currently enjoyed by residents whilst working to reduce overheads and improve value for money.”

Ubico was jointly created by Cotswold and Cheltenham councils in 2012 to carry out waste collections, grounds maintenance, street cleansing and fleet management on behalf of the authorities.

The partnership has so far saved the councils combined savings of over £1 million per year, with Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire district councils also considering to join the group (see letsrecycle.com story).

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