Redbridge Council ends its rubbish relationship
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:31 13 August 2019
Redbridge Council has ended a 12-year contact with a private waste management company.
The local authority announced it has taken back control by cutting ties with contactor Amey.
It said the separation will cut out the "middle man" enabling rubbish collections to be conducted "in house" which will reduce costs, improve working conditions for staff and upgrade the overall service.
Cabinet member for civic pride, Councillor John Howard joined forces with staff at Ley Street Depot to launch the initiative.
He said ending the contract means the council now has complete control over waste and recycling collections, rather than relying on a private contractor.
"We promised our residents to bring bin collections back under our control and we have delivered on that pledge," he said.
"This is a huge step for our residents, staff and the council, and helps ensure our streets are kept clean and green.
"Not only are we ending our reliance on the private sector, we're now able to improve the service by direct control of how it's run and managed.
"I'd like to thank all the staff involved who managed a smooth transfer of the service and I'm looking forward to seeing the huge difference this is going to make for the borough."
Redbridge Council said it worked closely with unions while separating from Amey and all former staff members have been kept on the books.
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Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal said: "Breaking free of our old contract with a private company is a huge achievement for the council.
"Bringing our waste management back into public sector control will hugely improve our service while guaranteeing better working conditions and pay for our staff and reducing costs for the taxpayer.
"It is a win for everyone involved and I am so pleased to be able to deliver this result for residents and staff."
However Cllr Paul Canal, the former Conservative leader, criticized the move, calling it a "rubbish decision".
"Across the country outsourced services have proved to be more efficient, offering councils greater flexibility and substantial cost savings.
"This is a blatantly political move that not only increases the risk to the council, but it will massively increases it's pensions bill, leaving residents hit by the double whammy of a poorer service with higher costs". An Amey spokesman told the Recorder the company was proud to have worked with the council for two decades to deliver key services to the community.
He added: "During this period we have successfully implemented new recycling services including garden waste schemes which increased recycling rates and improved services for local residents.
"We are pleased to have worked in partnership with the council to deliver a smooth transition period for all staff and residents as the service goes back in-house.
"We would like to thank our employees, many of who have been long serving, for their hard work, as well as our colleagues at Redbridge Council for their support over the years."