Cabinet to take key decision following review of waste and recycling service contract

8 January 2019

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet will make a key decision next week on the future of the borough’s household waste and recycling collection service.  

The report, which will go before Cabinet next Wednesday (January 16), follows a decision by the Council’s waste collection provider, Kier, to exit the waste industry.

The report informs Councillors of the work that has been done to evaluate Kier’s request and recommends that the Council agrees to an early exit of the contract.  

As part of the proposed arrangements with Kier the council will receive a financial settlement, together with the transfer of vehicles and other assets to enable the existing service to be maintained without any negative impact on residents or employees.  

The report recommends that the best option is to bring the service back into local authority control through a Local Authority Trading Organisation (LATO).  Subject to Cabinet approval, and the completion of negotiations, the handover would take place in April 2020.
The proposal will ensure that residents experience no change or disruption to the current service and that all necessary steps are taken for a seamless transition. 

Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore, said: “Kier approached the council with a proposal to end the current contract and we have considered all options before bringing this report before Cabinet.

“Our waste collection and recycling service is incredibly successful and one of the highest performing in the country, which is in no small part down to the dedicated workforce and our residents’ commitment to recycling. Any decision taken will prioritise sustaining the high quality of service that residents are used to and ensure continuity for the staff that delivers it.

“If approved by Cabinet the transfer from Kier would not take place until April 2020, giving us plenty of time to ensure a smooth and seamless handover. Our plans ensure that residents would see no change or disruption to their service, which will be delivered by the same staff, collecting the same things, using the same vehicles, boxes and bins.” The exact form and operating model of the Local Authority Trading Organisation will be finalised over the coming months.  The precise arrangements would be considered by Cabinet in June 2019, with the opportunity to deliver the service under cooperative principles, with the close involvement of residents and employees.

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