HARLOW Council’s waste collection service is under threat after it was forced to look for a new company when the tender process collapsed.
The Labour-controlled council agreed in December 2018 to award a contract for rubbish collection to an unnamed organisation to start at the end of June.
However, at a recent meeting of the full council, some Conservative councillors were annoyed to learn that on December 8, last year, the process came to a standstill, with the chosen bidder pulling out of the deal.
Cllr Joel Charles, Cons, told the meeting he was concerned about time scales for the new rubbish-collecting project and was apprehensive about the continuity of the service. He said, it would take six months to get a new tender, mobilise operations and build bespoke vehicles.
Cllr Charles, asked Cllr Danny Purton, Lab, portfolio holder for the environment: ‘Do you take responsibility for advocating awarding to the successful bidder at the time?’
Cllr Purton, replied: ‘We had gone through to the stage two of the procurement. I have to confess that I was not as involved as I should have been. But, I was fully involved at the stage two level of the tendering procedure and was satisfied with the technical process.’
Cllr Charles accused the Labour Cllr of misleading the opposition members adding: ‘This is a mess. Will there be an independent investigation with another council acting as a reviewer?’
The meeting was advised that there would be a review at later date, and as there were legal issues in relation to the new tender, no further information could be given at this time.
Deputy Leader of the Labour Council, Emma Toal assured residents that their rubbish would be still be collected after June 30, 2018.