Council: 'No problem with waste service's finances'


Staff reporter

COUNCIL chiefs and contractors are playing down continuing speculation over the financial health of the borough’s new waste collection service.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) completed the roll out of the ‘recycling first’ collection service earlier this week.

May Gurney won the £125 million contract to deliver the new kerbside-sort service for the next 14 years.

But the firm issued a profits warning last month blaming ‘serious operational issues’ with its contracts with CWaC and Bristol City Council.

There has been speculation the company underestimated the amount of rubbish it would be collecting and now wants to renegotiate the two problem contracts.

But CWAC maintains the financial performance of the contract has been ‘wrongly brought into question’.

Cllr Lynn Riley, executive member for community and environment, said: “Despite recent media speculation the long term financial performance of Cheshire West and Chester’s core contract with May Gurney remains strong.

“The new contract will provide savings of more than £50m over the 14-year life of the contract, almost double the target set by members at the beginning of the procurement process and May Gurney, working in partnership with the council, remain committed to this goal.”

With the new service roll out complete, the next steps for May Gurney and the council will be to introduce changes for residents living in flats.

Many households have seen collection day changes as part of May Gurney’s strategy to streamline the service and make it as cost effective as possible.

May Gurney’s regional director Nigel Dyer said: “As a company we are committed to delivering the best possible service to residents, a commitment that can be underlined by the significant investment of over £15 million we have already made on vehicles, plant and containers.”

Prior to the introduction of the new service the borough’s recycling rate was 49 per cent. The council estimates the service will raise this to at least 63 percent.

Since the first phase of the new service began in early June, the council says 70 per cent of all household waste collected has been sent for recycling.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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