20th Jul, 2019

Missed bin collections spark concern over contractor hired by Solihull Council for £10m

Felix Nobes 30th Oct, 2018 Updated: 30th Oct, 2018

MISSED wheelie bin collections have sparked concerns over the performance of a private contractor hired by Solihull council for £10million of taxpayers’ money.

Infrastructure support company Amey collects bins and rubbish for over 88,000 properties across the borough.

A leaked report shows the service is rated by the council as ‘amber’ for its performance over the last six months.

It includes Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which judge the standard of provision being delivered by public contracts.

Targets for black bin (refuse) and assisted collections (for people with mobility problems) were badly missed over this period.

So too were targets for brown recycling and green bins for garden waste which are provided every fortnight.

For assisted collections there is a target of no more than 30 bins to be missed per week.

But there has been an average of 78 bins missed per week over the last six months. In May, there was an average of 121 bins not collected.

For missed green bins the average is double the target and for missed black and recycling bins targets were missed by nearly a third on average.

Solihull council says the ‘strategic environment contract’ with Amey is in place for a further three years.

As well as providing environmental and waste services, it also maintains streets and parks.

Green councillor Tim Hodgson said: “The missed targets indicate a failure of the contractor to meet their obligations to the council, and indeed our residents which is unacceptable.

“Solihull council is paying Amey over £10million a year to deliver the environment contract (waste, recycling, street care) and these figures are really disappointing to see.

“It isn’t good value for money and the vulnerable people have suffered most in the persistently high number of missed assisted collections.

“It is another example of privatisation failing and I have asked for all options to be looked at going forward.”

Amey’s website states its teams make in excess of 1.2million domestic waste and recycling collections every month in Solihull.

A spokesperson from the company said: “KPIs are an integral part of public contracts, there to ensure that taxpayers get the value they deserve and that we, as a responsible company, are committed to providing.

“Together with the council, we have agreed on an improvement plan and we are working closely with them to bring this contract back up to the agreed standard.”

A Solihull council spokesperson said: “We have local key performance indicators (KPIs) that we have set, which are far below historical national benchmark figures.

“These challenging targets have been set as a consequence of the excellent contractual performance of Amey over the last 10 years.

“The contract is currently amber rated as there are specific trigger points within our contract governance process.

“These highlight potential issues and allow us to address them before they become a wider problem.”

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