City bins service ‘still catastrophic’ after strike ended Council overspends as it misses its targets
BIRMINGHAM’S bins and recycling service remains in a ‘catastrophic’ state months after the strike ended, it has been claimed.
A string of performance figures presented to the city’s Labour cabinet showed a series of missed targets and that the service had overspent its annual budget by 22 per cent. Other figures revealed: The city’s recycling rate remains a low 23 per cent, against a 31 per cent target, in part blamed on a suspension of recycling during the strike.
15 per cent of waste is sent to landfill due to problems with the Tyseley incinerator – the council had been aiming to cut this to 10 per cent.
Even after the strike ended the city has averaged 79 missed bin collections per 100,000 against a target of 52. Severe disruption due to snow in December was blamed on the problem.
The cabinet was also told the budget was overspent by £12.3 million, in part due to an increase in landfill tax, catchup waste collections, delays in bringing in savings, as well as the £6.6 million cost of the dispute reported late last year.
Lib Dem group leader Jon Hunt said: “We had a huge problem last autumn when there was neither a bin strike nor heavy snow. Recycling rates stayed low, missed collections were still high and the level of waste going to landfill stayed high.
“We have a catastrophic under performance in the service.”
He said that with a major overhaul of the service due in April he was wondering whether residents would see an improvement.
Labour’s Ian Ward, who took over as council leader in the midst of the bins dispute, responded: “There have been issues with the waste collection service over the last 12 months but there are now proposals to improve the performance and indeed to improve recycling rates and it is very much the expectation of this cabinet that those plans will come to fruition.”
Labour Council deputy leader Brigid Jones added that 71 per cent of performance targets across the full range of council services are being met despite funding cuts from Government.
> Lib Dem group leader Councillor Jon Hunt criticised the service