The Council set up an Overview and Scrutiny Waste contract Task and Finish Group to investigate the Veolia Waste Contract Fiasco, which led to thousands of homes NOT having their waste collected from the kerbside
The Terms of Reference and Rules for the task group are as follows:
1. To review the operation of the new Waste and Street Cleansing Contract with a focus on the route optimisation project (new collection routes started on 10/5/21).
2. To invite Veolia Senior Management to the task & finish group meeting to be set up during July 2021.
3. For Veolia to present detailed plans to recover service levels to the contracted standards for –
a. Refuse/Recycling/Food Collections
b. Assisted Collections
c. Communal Bin Collections
d. Garden Waste Collections
e. Street Cleansing
f. health and safety
g. environmental risks
4. To consider the council response in terms of a. contract management, b. customer services response c. complaints handling.
The Task Group is made up of the following Cllrs:
Each of them made clear they want the investigation to take place in the open for the sake of transparency and openness. However, both the Chief Exec & Head of Paid Service for Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Dr Susan Priest and Amandeep Khroud, the Council’s solicitor have both said this cannot happen.
They say this is due to the constitution and kicked back very hard to prevent any investigation into the Veolia Waste Contract Fiasco from being held in public. However, the Council’s constitution has been changed 45 times between May 2015 and June 2021.
So what are the next steps which could be taken?
The Committee members could along with their parties – Greens, Lib Dems and Labour call an extraordinary meeting of the Council and change the constitution to allow the investigation to be held in public.
If they fail to take up this option, they cannot absolve themselves of any responsibility of hiding the investigation from being held behind closed doors.
As such they’ll be as complicit as Dr Priest & Amandeep Khroud in hiding, how and why, the £40, million Veolia Waste Contract Fiasco happened.
Will their actions cause more reputational damage to our Council? We’ll leave you to ponder that.
The Shepway Vox Team
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