30th Mar, 2020

Private bin collections may balance the books

Malvern Editorial 25th Jul, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A TOTAL of £500,000 of taxpayers’ money could be saved if councillors in Malvern back plans to allow bin collections to be run by a private company.

Malvern Hills District is set to join forces with Worcester City and Wychavon District councils to offer companies the opportunity to bid for a joint contract to provide refuse and recycling collections for the three areas.

Each council would still retain control and responsibility of its own services but offering them collectively as one contract is believed to result in ‘significant savings’.

A meeting will be held in Malvern on Tuesday, 28 July where district councillors will consider the proposals.

If the plan is approved, companies will be invited to bid over the next 12 to 18 months with a recommendation expected to be put to councillors to look at in late 2016 or early 2017 for introduction in September 2017.

About 40 staff working for Malvern Hills District Council would also be transferred to the new provider once the successful applicant has been named.

If any of the three councils decide not to proceed they can still do it alone or as a pair but the savings would be reduced.

Malvern Hills and Wychavon are also considering joint agreements for services such as street cleaning and maintenance of public toilets.

These currently cost the three councils £10.5million to provide, but maintaining the level and quality of service is becoming challenging given the scale of government cutbacks.

Malvern Hills District Council has seen its Government funding reduce by £1.4million since 2010, with further cuts expected.

And Ivor Pumfrey, head of community services at the council, said: “One of our priorities is to ensure we sustain high quality, good value services but that is becoming increasingly challenging as the financial pressure we face continues to mount.

“This proposal could help us save money so we can balance the books while keeping council tax down and maintaining the quality of the service residents receive.”

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