Joint waste contract plan to be reviewed

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PLANS to share waste collections between four councils in East Sussex have suffered a setback.

Hastings councillors agreed to give the go-ahead for one contractor, believed to be Kier, to take on bin collections and recycling from July 2013.

But Wealden councillor Andy Long secured enough support from fellow Tories and LibDems to have the plan looked at again under scrutiny, which could delay the start of the joint waste contract.

The plan is to share waste services between Hastings, Wealden, Eastbourne and Rother councils and designed to save costs.

It is expected to save Hastings £5.8 million over 10 years.

Kevin Boorman, spokesman for Hastings Borough Council, said: “There has been no calling in at Hastings and we are past the deadline for that.

“The council has committed itself to working with other partners to deliver a great joint waste contract so that we get a better service for less money.

“If Wealden decides not to proceed then we will consider that position, but until then we are committed to delivering this project.”

Tony Leonard, Rother District Council’s director of services, said: “A contractor has yet to be appointed and we are still not at liberty to reveal the preferred choice of those councils who have completed their own selection processes due to EU procurement law. Therefore any information about a contractor or what they may or may not do if they are selected is a matter of commercial confidentiality at this time.

“Rother’s own decision on a contractor will not be re-examined at this point, but each partner to the Joint Waste Contract has to go through its own democratic process and Wealden members are quite entitled to ‘call in’ this matter for further scrutiny. If the decision is upheld, we would only expect a delay of a few days. It is difficult to say how long an alternative recommendation would set back the process without knowing the detail of what Wealden members might resolve.”