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Lib Dems deliver Petition on Serco waste contract

October 1, 2021 10:02 AM
By Peter Dobbs

Handing over Serco petition outside Town Hall Matlock (Peter Dobbs)

From left to right Claire Cadogan, Cllr Steve Flitter (Leader Derbyshire Dales Lib Dems) Peter Dobbs, Robert Court (Parliamentary spokesman) Cllr Sue Burfoot, Cllr Martin Burfoot, Cllr Paul Cruise

Petition for Serco enquiry presented to District Council

A petition organised by local Liberal Democrats but supported by members of other parties has been handed in to Derbyshire Dales District Council. It calls for an independent enquiry into the way in which Serco have carried out their 2020 waste collection contract and to identify the extent of non-compliance and whether any penalties are applicable.

Petition organiser Peter Dobbs, an Ashbourne resident, commented, "We started the petition shortly after the July 27th Full Council meeting. It seemed extraordinary to us that Serco were being given taxpayers money, earmarked for Covid recovery, whilst at the same time being allowed to stop collecting garden waste. The decision to divert food waste to landfill with the corresponding increase in greenhouse gases was the final straw. The scrutiny of an independent enquiry will allow an analysis of what went wrong, what options were available and why certain choices were made. Most importantly it will allow informed decisions to be made in order to ensure a long term sustainable solution to waste collection and recycling in the Dales.".

Claire Cadogan, Chair of Derbyshire Dales Lib Dems, who lives in Edensor added "I'm astonished that, given their answers to our questions to date, the Council does not seem to be assessing the huge impact of Serco's actions both on residents and on our environment. Residents in Derbyshire Dales have the right to know how and why the situation has become as serious as it has, and what lessons the Council needs to learn for its management of waste contracts in the future, particularly when outsourced to a company who made profits of c£120m in the first 6 months of 2021.".

The request for an independent enquiry was first made by Cllr Peter O'Brien at the July 5th Community and Environment Meeting but was rejected by the Conservative Chair who suggested that a number of steps had already been taken to solve the HGV driver shortage.

Cllr O'Brien comments "I think the residents of the Derbyshire Dales have every right to ask for this enquiry. Despite the Council agreeing reductions in the service, and offering to pay half the cost of a pay rise, serious disruptions are continuing. It's clear that residents have lost confidence in both Serco and the Council, and the only way this can be restored is through a full and independent investigation into exactly what's going on".

The petition will be presented to Full Council on October 14th when a motion calling for an independent enquiry will be debated.

If you would like to support the petition you can sign it here