Lib Dems demand action over bins fiasco in Gloucester
Gloucester Liberal Democrats are demanding the Conservative-run city council takes action over persistent poor performance by waste collection contractors Amey.
Lib Dem councillors have tabled a motion for debate at a meeting of the city council on July 12, which calls on the Conservative cabinet to sort out the recent problems that have hit Amey.
Around 2,000 tonnes of recycled waste - collected from outside residents' homes - has disappeared amid allegations from a whistleblower that some has been sent to landfill.
The Lib Dems have previously described both Amey and the Conservative cabinet as "utterly useless" in their management of the waste collection service.
Councillor Richard Cook, the cabinet member for the environment, recently told the scrutiny committee that just over 2,000 tonnes of recyclable waste had gone missing with a market value of £246,000.
The controversy comes just months after a string of cancelled collections over the Christmas and New Year break.
Households saw recycling build up for days over the end-of-year period when civic chiefs and Amey decided the icy road conditions with snow were too risky for crews.
Lib Dem group leader Councillor Jeremy Hilton, who represents Kingsholm & Wotton, is moving the motion.
"The council has a multi-million pound streetcare contract with Amey PLC," he said.
"It is unbelievable that 2,000 tonnes of household waste has just disappeared. The contractor Amey and the cabinet who oversee the contract need to sort out this problem.
"We are demanding that the cabinet member ups his game. He should be meeting Amey once a month rather than quarterly."
Lib Dem deputy group leader Councillor Declan Wilson, who will second the motion, added:
"The loss of £246,000, which is the value of the lost 2,000 tonnes of recyclable waste, will have a negative impact on the council's balance sheet.
"There is so much we could do to improve council services with a quarter of a million pounds. The Tory cabinet must do better."
Motion for debate
"This council records its dissatisfaction with the household waste collection services operated by the council's contractor Amey PLC.
This council notes that 2,000 tonnes of recyclable waste is unaccounted for with a market value of £246,000 and that there are stories of recyclable household waste being inappropriately sent to landfill.
This council also raises concerns about the quality of the client side management of the streetcare contract overseen by the cabinet.
This council, therefore, calls upon the cabinet member for the environment to up his game and increase the frequency of meetings he holds with Amey PLC from current quarterly meetings to monthly meetings until the matter of poor performance by Amey PLC is resolved."
Proposed by Jeremy Hilton
Seconded by Declan Wilson