On April 1st last year Enterprise took over the responsibility of collecting our rubbish and our recyclables.
Almost all of us have experienced a poorer service with an inconsistent approach as to what can be re-cycled, increased spillage and missed collections. In addition road sweeping has been haphazard. To add insult to injury trying to report problems has been more difficult and the response to complaints has been unsatisfactory.
Some recent year on year stats show that the number of flytips is double that of the year before, the number of missed collections is triple the previous year.
Despite some recent performance improvements, after nine months the Labour administration have finally accepted that Enterprise should indeed be fined, a suggestion I made way back in the middle of 2012. However we still await details about how much compensation Ealing will receive. Ealing Liberal Democrats think that fines should be used to encourage more residents to recycle. This would save Ealing Council money as it would have less black bag waste to land fill and would obviously help the environment.
This week at a Council meeting that I attended, it became obvious that Enterprise is only one of a number of contractors that have not performed to the standard required.
Two that spring to mind are the housing repair contacts held by Kiers and Morrison. Labour have saved money but residents are getting a poorer service. Ultimately Ealing Council are making false economies as they have to deal with more phone calls from unhappy residents. In addition, staff time is being wasted resolving the issues. Contracts need to be let, but not by reducing the emphasis on the quality of service delivery.
Liberal Democrats want to see Ealing Council:
Have break clauses in all medium or long length contacts so the Council can ditch a poor performing contactor
Have tough targets that need to be met by contractors – or they will be fined.
Ensure that contractors’ tenders are measured with a greater level of service delivery than the price they will charge to provide the service.
Should look to bring contracts ‘in-house’ which would save the Council money and allow a better management of the contact performance.
Expect contractors to attend public meetings where residents and service users can give feedback to the Council’s contactors.
So we look forward to the fines to roll in from Enterprise. But how many other contracts exist that have been poorly managed? What is the true cost to the Council and to the people of Ealing?
Councillor Gary Malcolm,
Leader, Ealing Liberal Democrat Group