Friday 6 January 2023

BREAKING: Veolia to be awarded new integrated Brent Council Public Realm contract worth £137m over 8 years

 The first Brent Council Cabinet of 2023 will be requested to award the new  Integrated Easte Waste Collections and Winter Maintenance contract to Veolia:

[Approve] the award of the Integrated Contract to Veolia Environmental Services UK Ltd for an initial contract period of eight (8) years, with an option to extend for a further eight (8) year contract period in the estimated sum of £17.13m for 2023/24, circa £137m over the initial 8-year term of the contract or circa £274m over the full 16-year contract period.

The new contract introduces a twin stream recycling system of paper and card recycling in bags one week and remaining blue bin recycling in the next week.  There will also be a new small items collection service. Education and Communication on waste services will be provided in-house.

Frequency of street cleaning on a rota basis will be ended and instead there will be an 'intelligence led' response by a Task Force to respond to litter hot-spots.

The webcast of the Public Ream Scrutiny Committee meeting  that considered the issue can be viewed HERE.

The Committee had been concerned about the discrepancy  between the on-line consultation rejection of the changes and the acceptance of the changes in the much smaller face-to-face consultations. An officer had admitted that the street cleansing changes would not produce a better outcome but were made necessary by financial constraints. 

The Cabinet Report states

A report on the Integrated Contract procurement programme was considered by Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 13 December 2022. The Committee's recommendations are included below and these will be taken forward by officers in early 2023.

i) Produce a diagram/flowchart detailing all milestones from May 2019 when the Redefining Local Services (RLS) programme was first initiated.
ii) Review household bulky waste collection charges, including consideration of a sliding scale of charges linked to the number of items to be collected, rather than the current fixed rate of £35 for up to five items.
iii) Undertake a feasibility study on the potential for introducing a mixed approach to paper/card recycling collections, to explore whether any recycling collection rounds in the borough would be more suited to the use of bins rather than sacks.
iv) Arrange a session with ward councillors and Neighbourhood Managers to inform the design and development of the new recycling engagement and communication plan that will accompany the roll out of the new recycling service. 
v) Liaise with the West London Waste Authority to ensure access is reinstated for pedestrians and cyclists at the Abbey Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre.
vi) Improve collaboration between in-house enforcement teams and collection operatives in identifying fly tipping hot spots and collating evidence, to remove the burden from residents. 

You can judge for yourselves whether the final report to Cabinet takes the recommendations into account.

 I have embedded the full report below. Service changes can be found in 7.4 onwards (Twin Stream Recycling) and in 7.15 onwards ( Intelligence-led Street Cleansing).



Anonymous said...

Thanks Martin for this information. It is 17.3 million every year over 8 years, so 137 million in total - right? What a joke. Veolia are the cause of some nuisances relating to waste. They leave rubbish strewn across the road after bin collection, throw green compost bins on to pathways (after emptying them) braking them, leave bins on pavements and/or pathways blocking access into flats and often get mine mixed up with others (after bin collection). I could go on. We actually pay for this! I thought I had seen a slight improvement in the last month by them - I now know why. They sometimes do a good job at collecting fly-tipped items but there is no joint up approach with the Council to identity repeat fly-tippers (which only benefits Veolia), so the current situation will never improve. Instead Veolia are given even more money by Brent than the last contract (millions more), but doing less. They are certainly making fools of Brent Council and its residents. And looks like things will only become worse then. Brent Council do no listen or learn.

Anonymous said...

This is a cut to service. Recycling will no longer be weekly and we are paying extra for the privilege. Litter will increase.

Anonymous said...

If street cleansing is to be done on intelligence led basis it means that only those who complain the most will get their roads swept so make sure you complain!

Martin Francis said...

Yes, I have pointed that out. Those areas where people's working or retirement patterns give them the time to make complaints (and they have the digital equipment needed) will get a better service.

dis0rg said...

Labour policy to outsource essential public services to a French owned private sector multinational corporation whilst simultaneously claiming that there's not enough funding to run proper enforcement for repeat flytippers or even to continue regular street cleaning. Has anyone at the council considered that the profit margin that Veolia will skim out of this contract could have been used to improve the service. Sad fact is Brent are so inept that there is no way they could have brought this back in house and made a success of it. Sad to see such low levels of ambition and professionalism. Areas with more middle class people will get a better service due to the greater likelihood of them actually complaining about rubbish.

Anonymous said...

It's also a case of those that can be bothered to report things who haven't been worn down by Brent Council's lack of action!!! We have rubbish dumped in the same place place everyday and gave begged Brent Council for cctv - we even managed to record the dumpers in action, the footage showed them going back into their house yet Brent Council didn't even write to them with a warning.

Paul Lorber said...

The new contract was developed in discussions with existing contractor and this is what was presented for the so called consultation. There were no real alternatives and what was agreed in those initial secret meetings is exactly what will now be imposed.

I am sure that everyone will be surprised to know that there was ONLY one bidder. How totally unpredictable!

When asked at Scrutiny by a Lib Dem Councillor whether Brent streets will be dirtier as a result of the new "intelligence" led street cleaning service the officer's answers was "YES".

A classic case of paying more for a worse service.