Look for new way to col­lect waste

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Townhallview -

This week the coun­cil and its part­ner Amey have an­nounced their in­ten­tion to end the waste and re­cy­cling con­tract and es­tab­lish a new way of pro­vid­ing ser­vices.

It’s one of a num­ber of bud­get pro­pos­als for 2017/18 an­nounced to­mor­row( Fri­day) which, in­clud­ing mea­sures agreed at the end of last year, look to save around £28mil­lion to al­low us to de­liver a bal­anced bud­get in times of in­creas­ing de­mands for ser­vices and ever re­duc­ing gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

It’s too early to say how waste and re­cy­cling ser­vices will be pro­vided in the fu­ture, but it is likely to be a joint ven­ture part­ner­ship with a pri­vate or­gan­i­sa­tion. What’s im­por­tant is that any new ar­range­ment will al­low the coun­cil more con­trol over how ser­vices are pro­vided and en­sure that a per­cent­age of com­mer­cial in­come gen­er­ate­dis re­turned to us to pro­vide ser­vices for res­i­dents.

We’re not the first coun­cil in the coun­try to take this ap­proach; col­leagues in Sh­effield agreed last week to ter­mi­nate their con­tract with Veo li a and pro­vide waste ser­vices in a dif­fer­ent way and in 2015 Liverpool City Coun­cil ended its con­tract with Amey and set up a new com­pany to de­liver ser­vices.

The rea­son, I sus­pect, is the un­prece­dented fi­nan­cial po­si­tion lo­cal au­thor­i­ties find them­selves in, and the con­stant need to en­sure that ev­ery penny we spend is achiev­ing value for money and­of­fer­ing the best pos­si­ble ser­vices for our res­i­dents.

Al­though I’d like to thank Amey for its com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing ser­vices for the res­i­dents of Peterborough dur­ing the past five years, it is clear that the con­tract is no longer meet­ing both our needs and we now have the op­por­tu­nity to move for­ward to meet the chang­ing needs of our city.

There area num­ber of ways we be­lieve we could make sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings if we had more con­trol over the way ser­vices are pro­vided.

Take re­cy­cling - it costs us more to treat waste in the city’ s en­ergy re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity than it does to re­cy­cle. So, If we can en­cour­age more peo­ple to re­cy­cle then we would not have to pay so much in treat­ment costs, gen­er­at­ing a sav­ing for the coun­cil to spend on ser­vices for res­i­dents.

We’ll also look to in­crease thet in­come we gen­er­ate from c com­mer­cial ser­vices and agree terms which al­low us to keep a greater share of this in­come - cur­rently all this in­come goes to Amey. This­could in­clude pro­vid­ing trade waste f for more busi­nesses and of­fer­ing clean­ing ser­vices to pri­vate landown­ers. There are many ways we can make money by sell­ing the ser­vices that Amey cur­rently pro­vides andwewill be look­ing to max­imise these.

Re­gard­less of the de­ci­sion that is made, waste and street clean­ing ser­vices will con­tin­ueto be­op­er­ated byAmeyun­til a new ser­vice provider is in place.

We also know this will be an un­cer­tain time for Amey’s staff and we are com­mit­ted to con­sult­ing with them on any pro­posed changes if Cabi­net and Coun­cil ap­proves the mu­tual ter­mi­na­tion of the ex­ist­ing con­tract.

I’ll be able to tell you more about the wider phase two bud­get pro­pos­als in next week’s col­umn.

If you’d like to read about them be­fore then, all the pro­pos­als will be pub­lished on our web­site at 5pm to­mor­row (Fri­day 27 Jan­uary 2017). At the same time we will be launch­ing an on­line con­sul­ta­tion for peo­ple to tell us what they think. To take part visit:

www.peterborough.gov. uk/bud­get.

Hard copies of the bud­get pro­pos­als doc­u­ment and ques­tion­naire will be avail­able on Town Hall and Ba­yard Place re­cep­tion sand in each of the city li­braries bythe­for­mal launch of the con­sul­ta­tion on Mon­day 6 Fe­bru­ary 2017.

If you know of a com­mu­nity group or pro­ject in need of fund­ing, point them in the di­rec­tion of Viri­dor which has this week launched a new com­mu­nity fund.

Viri­dor runs our en­ergy re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity (ERF) at Fen­gate, which saves the city £1mil­lion a year by treat­ing our non-re­cy­clable waste as op­posed to send­ing it to land­fill.

You can find out more about the Viri­dor in Peterborough Fund by vis­it­ing www. viri­dor.co.uk.

It’s cer­tainly worth­while find­ing out more as it of­fers fund­ing of £20,000 a year for wor­thy causes.

In ad­di­tion, Viri­dor will be putting in an ad­di­tional top-up of £1 for ev­ery tonne of waste brought to the ERF which is not part of the coun­cil con­tract.

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