Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s £40 million pound waste contract fiasco

It’s a £40 million pound fiasco.

For the second time in less than six weeks Folkestone & Hythe District Council have been forced to apologise for the poor service in waste collection across the district. What this demonstrates is they are rubbish at managing contracts. And once again they demonstrate the Peter Principle is alive and well at the Council.

The estimated annual value of the contract is £4,976,510, or £13,634 for every day of the year. The previous contract between the Council and Veolia [2011 – 2021] was £32 million.

On the 17th August 2020 the Council announced that Veolia had retained their contract, making it clear it was a better deal, not just financially, but for the environment as well:

It [new contract] will also see the introduction of a number of initiatives to help the district councils achieve their objectives of being carbon net zero by 2030, including a new green fleet of vehicles and electric sweepers, and redesigned collection routes to minimise travel times and the environmental impact of the service.

Many of these initiatives were driven by the Climate & Ecological Emergency Working Group, which meets behind closed doors.

The £40 million pound waste contract with Veolia is for the collection of recycling of certain waste streams and street cleansing.

The Cabinet Member responsible for Waste is Cllr Stuart Peall (Con) who received in excess of £16,000 in allowances in 2019/20.  Email stuart.peall@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

The Council’s lead director for this waste contract is Amandeep Khroud – Assistant Director – Governance, Law and Regulatory Services at Folkestone & Hythe District Council. Email amandeep.khroud@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

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And the man who overseas the contract at the Council is Andrew Rush, Regulatory Services & Corporate Contracts Lead – Email: andrew.rush@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk.

As for the near £40 million pound Council contract with Veolia, this was discussed behind closed doors in Oct 2020, (quelle suprise) and all the documents were restricted – so not for your eyes.

The Councillors who elected to restrict access to the documents and bar the public from the meeting, who ended up voting unanimously in favour of the contract were: Tim Prater (Lib Dem), Lesley Whybrow (Green), David Wimble (Ind),  Ray Field (Ind), John Collier (Con), Jenny Hollingsbee (Con), David Monk (Con) , David Godfrey (Con)  and Stuart Peall (Con), voted to keep the detail secret.

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The Council published an apology for this Waste fiasco yesterday 3/06/20 on their Facebook Page. By 10:30 pm their apology had received 143 comments. The comments make it clear much of the district has been affected by the changes implement to become “greener”.

We’d question the “greener” element given the letters sent out to residents, and signed by Veolia and the Council, were NOT on recycled paper. The devil is in the detail.

The Council  who’ve admitted the levels of service across the district “just isn’t good enough” with collections “taking longer than expected” obviously can’t organise an annual £5 million pound rubbish collection round, nor could we expect them to be able to organise the proverbial p*ss up in a brewery.

It’s clear many in our Council are truly affected by the Dunning Kruger effect and many have been promoted to their maximum level of utter incompetence, and for this, we all have to suffer.

The Shepway Vox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful

About shepwayvox (1333 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

4 Comments on Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s £40 million pound waste contract fiasco

  1. Contract performance is indeed shambolic, particularly in rural areas. However, I find it difficult to understand the outrage at the negotiations being confidential. Having spent most of my life negotiating contracts on behalf of the Govt, the last thing you need is all and sundry sticking their oar in. It is difficult enough to get them done with Ministers representing their special interests challenging everything, without the general public as well.

    • @ N W

      “the last thing you need is all and sundry sticking their oar in”

      And therein lies the problem!

      • Meldrew // June 4, 2021 at 22:20 //

        @ BB

        Yes and after said and done it was the ‘public’ who voted in the best councillors £16,000 can buy.

  2. Plain Jane // June 4, 2021 at 09:05 // Reply

    @ N W I don’t see what needs to be commercially confidential about worker numbers at weekends, frequency streets will be cleaned, where the waste will go and days and areas where collections of various waste will happen. Please enlighten me and the rest of the residents of the district.

    Somewhere in that contract will be clauses which will say something like:

    The parties agree that the provisions of this Contract and each Project Document or Ancillary Document shall, subject to FoI and not be treated as Confidential Information and may be disclosed without restriction.

    The above shall not apply to provisions of this Contract or a Project Document or Ancillary Document designated as Commercially Sensitive Information in Schedule… (Commercially Sensitive Contract Provisions)

    These types of clauses are very very common in Govt Contracts. So the one between Veolia and FHDC did not all need to be hidden behind closed doors.

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