MORE than 250 complaints have been made to the borough council this year, with bin collections topping the list for the most frequent grievance by members of the public.

Of the 254 complaints made to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council between January and June this year, more than 100 were about the collection of refuse, recycling, or glass.

The information obtained through a freedom of information request by the Gazette details the numerous complaints made to the council.

Complaints about refuse collections include numerous missed collections; the behaviour of crews; damaged bins; and problems with assisted collections.

One complaint made in January was about a waste bin being emptied and then used by a recycling crew to store glass, which was left for more than four days.

Another member of the public complained in February that their bin had not been emptied for three weeks. One complainant did not have their recycling bin emptied for nine weeks during the summer.

Last month, the Gazette reported that Cllr Paul Harvey asked for a review of Serco’s bin collection contract, claiming that “Serco isn’t working”.

Statistics show that the number of people satisfied with their waste collections reached its lowest level since the firm took over the lucrative £88 million contract in 2018.

Seventy-four per cent of people in Basingstoke and Deane were satisfied with their black-bin waste collection in June 2020 – down from 86.7 per cent in February and a peak of 91 per cent in June 2019.

The company has been plagued with problems since taking over the contract, with hundreds of bins not collected during its first year of operation.

Cllr Harvey, an Independent councillor for Norden, told the Gazette: “If you can’t get the bins right, people have the right to say what am I paying my council tax for?

“The system needs to be right and it isn’t. Serco isn’t working.”

Other complaints made to the council this year include the conduct of council staff, including aggressive attitude, and one staff member accused of being abusive and physically attacking a parent outside school.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s head of HR, communications and policy Sarah Cragg said: “It is inappropriate to discuss employment matters about individual employees.

“We take complaints and allegations about the conduct of our staff very seriously and will take appropriate action, if required, once we have fully investigated complaints in line with council policies and procedures.

“As a council, we believe all customers and residents should always receive the highest standard of customer service. If an individual is unhappy with an interaction with the council, they can report it to us at for further investigation.”

Cabinet member for environment and enforcement Cllr Hayley Eachus added: “Delivering a high quality, value-for-money waste and recycling collection service is a top priority for the council and supports our residents’ views that it is the most important service the council provides. 

"This is why we take any complaints about the service seriously and work with our contractor Serco to rectify issues raised with us.

"Our crews collect 156,000 bins every single week and the independent surveys carried out on behalf of Serco tell us that over 84 per cent of residents are happy with the service provided.

"The most recent monthly survey showed this had risen to 87 per cent following a dip during the period where waste collections were reduced to fortnightly as part of our Covid-19 response during the pandemic.

"All of our waste and recycling services resumed in August and we are working hard to continue to deliver them for our residents throughout this second wave of the pandemic and the challenging winter months ahead.”