Cheltenham Borough Council needs to be more involved in Ubico decisions
DEMANDS have been made for more council influence over bin collections in Cheltenham.
A report, compiled in the wake of the cancellation of collections after the snow in January, has called for the authority to be more involved in decision-making at waste provider Ubico.
The authority's decision to cancel collections for a week at the start of year, and to reject Ubico's offer of carrying out partial collections during the cold snap, has drawn criticism from angry members of the public as rubbish piled up in streets apparently free from hazards. Members of the council's task group, which wrote the improvement blueprint, have said the authority must improve its communications to ensure residents are more aware of what is happening.
They have also suggested more waste and recycling literature is handed out, including collection dates, to keep people better informed. Councillor Andrew Chard (C, Leckhampton), who chaired the group which put the recommendations together, said a lot of lessons have been learned as a result of the investigation.
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"The response to the bad weather a few weeks ago showed us what needed to be changed," he added.
"Overall the service is working well. Where we must improve is in communicating details of the service to residents and businesses in Cheltenham and we need the council more involved with the overall strategic management, so that our local taxpayers are getting the service they want and deserve."
The task group has said it was satisfied that the Service Level Agreement between the partners was being met, that performance was good and issues were being dealt with quickly.
Councillor Roger Whyborn (LD, Up Hatherley), cabinet member for sustainability, added: "The scrutiny group should be commended for not being afraid to lift all the stones and ask the difficult questions. Some of the recommendations are quite far reaching and deserve thorough examination.
"I do agree, however, that getting the message right and clearly communicating it to residents and businesses are real keys to getting it all right, especially during times of bad weather or times of change."