COLLECTING waste is the one task you expect the Borough Council to be competent at.

After all people pay their taxes and the waste collection contract is the biggest single contract the council awards.

We were promised that the new service awarded to Serco in October 2018 would address the problems of the old contract.

Instead, since October, under the new waste contract, things have gone from bad to worse.

It’s not the fault of the workforce, who do what they can with the regime they are given to operate, with the resources made available to them.

Serco are clearly not up to the job — they’re failing.

The council is scrambling around trying to plug holes of the mess they’ve created by awarding a contract that clearly wasn’t fit for purpose in the first place.

Basingstoke & Deane’s recycling rate is rock bottom of the league and this scandal over our bins is not helping address that problem.

Whole streets are being left for days, sometimes weeks, hoping that a waste truck will turn up. When it finally does, not all the bins are collected.

People who need help with assisted bin collections are being forgotten time and again, over months in some cases.

We’ve had several pieces of casework where flat bin cupboards are seeing waste piling up and uncollected for up to nine weeks.

Ten months into the contract and some bins are taking nine weeks to empty — we are long past teething troubles — this can’t be right!

The borough council, in awarding the contract to Serco, agreed to loan them £5million to pay for a new fleet of waste trucks that are not environmentally friendly.

At the end of the day the buck stops with the council administration that awarded the contract that has gone so badly wrong. Despite months of trying to sort it out the reality is that things have not improved.

This needs proper and open scrutiny because millions of tax-payers pounds are at stake and much has gone wrong.

We are calling for a full inquiry and a clear action plan on how the borough’s waste contract can be restored to a service we can all rely on, even if that means Serco forfeiting the contract because they are just not up to the job.

Cllr Paul Harvey — on behalf of Labour Group

GAZETTE COMMENT: Rubbish start for new bin collection

FOR most, the local council has one job: to collect the bins on time. Over the past few weeks, it has been impossible to escape the stories of wilting recycling left waiting for Basingstoke council’s new refuge collectors to arrive. Private firm Serco won the £88million contract in October and will be collecting our waste for the next eight years. A council spokesman said they were still getting used to the routes. Let’s hope it doesn’t take them eight years.

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