Wealden Council says a recovery plan has been agreed with waste collection contractor Kier which should see collections return to regular schedules over the next week.
The measures include:
- Additional support vehicles and crews to remain in place until collections are back on track.
- Re-opening of a workshop at the Amberstone depot to support and maintain vehicle reliability during the summer, and maintain this until the end of the contract.
- Provision of a pool of agency staff to improve resilience.
The agreement follows a meeting between Cllr Roy Galley, the council’s cabinet member for waste management, and Kier’s managing director for housing maintenance and environmental services, David Mawson, on Wednesday, July 18.
Cllr Galley said: “I am very pleased that Kier has acknowledged the issues they are facing and developed a plan to address these.
“I was reassured by its commitment to maintain services through to the end of the contract. The measures Kier has put in place should mean our residents soon receive the standard of service they rightly expect. We must continue to keep a close eye on progress.”
Cllr Galley said, at the meeting, that the level of service experienced by Wealden residents over recent weeks had been unacceptable, and sought a range of measures to resolve the present situation.
Mr Mawson acknowledged the recent difficulties and apologised for the disruption and inconvenience caused.
He assured Cllr Galley that Kier remained committed to both improving and then maintaining the standard of service through to the end of the current contract in June 2019.
Kier said a shortage of qualified drivers was one of the main issues impacting collections. Measures were being put in place with the company’s agency suppliers to address this.
This week Kier successfully deployed additional vehicles according to the plan to respond to the delays experienced.
This plan will be kept under review and a further meeting to consider progress will be held in August.
The council says it is important residents continue to report any difficulties with their collections so Kier can respond to these as quickly as possible. This also enables the council to monitor Kier’s performance and seek further measures if needed. Missed bins can be reported on the council’s website.
Wealden is a member of a joint waste contract with Rother District, Hastings Borough Council, Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.