Question 23/16

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Question 23/16

Q. I notice that there have been several issues raised about the poor performance of the contractors Kier, over the past 2 years, who are responsible for delivering the East Sussex Joint Waste Partnership 10-year contract awarded in 2012.

I am served in the Rother district which started in April 2014 as part of a phased approach to implementation.

I am also dissatisfied with the quality of service provided by Kier in the collection of refuse, garden waste, and recycling bins. Over the past 6-8 weeks scheduled collection dates have been repeatedly missed. This has now come to a head with the last recycling collection for 25/08/2016 not collected at all, until the next scheduled date today (08/09/2016).

How much longer are we expected to tolerate such poor quality of service given the contract runs until 2022/3, and God forbid with the opportunity for a further 10-year extension!? Are the estimated £30m partnership savings at the expense of service quality?

Vehicle breakdowns, staff sickness etc are merely excuses, in my opinion, for a company that fail to deliver what they promised. I assume that this non-compliance with the contract performance levels have been communicated to Kier along with the consequential penalties that may be invoked, and ultimately contract termination if Kier are unable to fulfil their contractual obligations.

I look forward to hearing what action will be taken to ensure we receive improvements in the level of customer service that meets our expectations as council tax payers, and assurances about the future of the contract. (08/09/2016)

A. Thank you  for your email and I share your frustration at the contractor's performance. To put this in context they collect 99.8% of bins correctly each week, but the 0.22% missed collections means that somewhere around 200 bin collections can be missed each week in the Rother area, 45,000 households. This has generally (but not exclusively) been in difficult to reach or complicated collection areas. When we receive a complaint of a missed bin these are immediately forwarded to the contractor for return for collection under the terms of the waste and recycling contract. The contract has clear and robust arrangements and timescales for dealing with missed collections and Council staff have been stringent in applying these terms since contract start. While the majority of these are corrected we are aware that the contractor does not always complete their collections. We will apply a default to the contractor in line with the conditions of the contract. We would, of course, rather they provided a regular service.  There is no doubt that the contractor is working under severe financial pressures caused by broader market conditions but the needs of residents are paramount in our negotiations and we continue to press that point. (12/09/2016)

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