Blackpool latest council to bring waste services back in-house
Blackpool Borough Council is the latest local authority to announce that it will be bringing its domestic waste service back in-house, once its current contract with waste management company Veolia ends in April 2019.
In a Cabinet Member Report compiled by Cllr Fred Jackson, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Highways, and John Blackledge, Director of Community and Environmental Services, bringing the service back under the control of Blackpool Borough Council was recommended in order to ‘achieve significant savings and give the Council increased control and oversight of a key service’.
The report also portrays the move as an opportunity for the council to be ‘more flexible’ in its service delivery in the event that circumstances or legislation governing domestic waste services change.
The current contract with Veolia began in 2005 (Veolia was then known as Onyx) and was extended in 2010, with a yearly cost to the council of £3.8 million. It is estimated that the initial level of savings for the first few years will be in excess of six figures, although the exact figure will depend on the preferred delivery model, which is yet to be decided on.
The council currently runs a fortnightly kerbside residual waste collection and a fortnightly two stream dry recycling collection, with both running on alternate weeks, while a subscription-based garden waste recycling service is also available. When contacted by Resource, a council spokesperson said that the council does not expect to make any changes to the current collections and all existing contract staff will transfer to the council.
Cllr Jackson told the Blackpool Gazette: “With the financial situation we are in, we are looking to make savings where we can. “We are looking for efficiency savings while ensuring the service is even better than it is now, and it may be that we can do it better by bringing the service in-house.”
Blackpool’s decision to bring its domestic waste service back in-house makes it the latest council to make such a move in a bid to drive down costs, following the example set by authorities such as those in Slough, Powys and Bristol.