As we moved into June 2021, the issue of bins not being collected by Veolia, due to a “route optimisation project” began. Reported across social media and complaints to District Cllrs were plentiful, and colourful, from residents around all four compass points of the district.
It was the beginning of the £40m Veolia Contract Fiasco. A contract whose ink had barely dried. This fiasco spills forth from the Draft Statement of Accounts 2021/22, like digital litter across the world wide web, proclaiming to one and all:
The Council and Dover District Council are seeking to claim additional costs and contract penalties from Veolia related to service failures in the joint Waste Management and Recycling Contract arising from the route optimisation project in 2022. The claim comprises of additional staffing costs, postage and printing costs, deferred contract costs during the
suspension of the garden waste collection, garden waste subscription rebate costs and contract penalties. The estimated total is £450k. The claim is disputed by Veolia and legal options are being considered including a negotiated settlement.
Now for those of you who are not aware, we subscribe to the Mrs Angry’s school of local government.
“perhaps the most important quality to have is an instinct for misinformation, and a deep seated suspicion of the way in which local authorities operate. Always assume the worst: you will almost always be right.”
Residents of the highest paying council tax in Kent, became high disgruntled with the lack of bin service, so much so, that a blizzard of emails choked Cllrs email boxes, leaving them unable to respond. It was left to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to discover the matter perplexing them both; which was bins in plain sight, and obviously full, not getting emptied.
The upshot of all this blabbery by the Overview & Scrutiny’s Committee was, to set up a task group, which would meet to discuss the issues behind closed doors.
It was nine cllrs, all who sat on the Cabinet on the 22 July 2020; who signed of the £40m Waste Contract Fiasco contract – 5 Conservatives, 2 Independents; 1 Lib Dem and 1 Green
And let’s not forget, those on the Overview & Scrutiny task group, could not possibly have given the contract any scrutiny whatsoever, as they never got to see it, even behind closed doors.
Oh and they offered you a rebate of £9.70 on your garden waste due to its suspension. The cost was calculated at £29,605 per two-week cycle. Estimated over ten weeks, or the equivalent of five missed collections, the rebate per customer was £9.70 and £147,390 in total.
The Council lay claim to £450,000, which is twice what they estimated in Report Number C/21/38 from Veolia
So how do you think it’s going to end?
Will the Council –
A) get additional costs and contract penalties to the value of £450,000?
B) Go full blown legal?
C) Go for a negotiated settlement?
As we said earlier we subscribe to the Mrs Angry school of local government motto:
“The way in which local authorities operate. Always assume the worst: you will almost always be right.”
The Shepway Vox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime