From: Brian Rockell, Ochiltree Road, Hastings
We learn from the Observer last week that the East Sussex Joint Waste Partnership which provides the bin emptying service with the contractor, Kier, is to end three years earlier than contracted, in 2019.
It seems that Kier cannot make enough money selling the plastic waste for recycling, despite an extra 1,500 tonnes a year from improvements in recycling by residents.
The partnership has agreed a ‘mutual exit’ from the contract. It is not explained how this exit, and the costs which will accrue, will benefit the council taxpayers.
Kier presumably has a contractual obligation to provide the service until the end of the contract, in 2022, so any early termination should result in a payment to the partnership for the benefit of taxpayers. We should be told what plans are in place.
Kier tells us they have been proud of their service to 200,000 properties across East Sussex. They also tell us they are proud of the satisfaction rate of 95 per cent. They are more shy in telling us how many complaints they receive, via the local authorities.
I have never been polled on my satisfaction and the complaints I have made on unemptied bins, and bins not returned after emptying, not only demonstrates my own dissatisfaction, in recent years, but should feature in Kier’s statistics.
My own regular complaints reached significant magnitude, such that Hastings Borough Council has been checking by, physically visiting each week after the bins should have been emptied to ensure they were, and to check that bins were returned.
This week, our grey bin was returned 200 yards away, not a great demonstration of the satisfaction expressed, seemingly, according to Kier’s figures, by so many others.
The report focuses on the partnership saying how recycling has increased and their focus remains on the standard of services being provided for residents. I hope that focus begins soon.
Kier, in turn, tells us they will be working closely to provide a high quality service to residents, so this suggests we can expect improvements, despite them backing out early.
As residents we need early assurance from our local authorities, which form the partnership, that they recognise their statutory responsibility to provide continuity of service, when the contract ends, while providing the quality service that we, as residents, have every right to expect.
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