Contractors to pay £75,000 compensation

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After a shambolic start to new waste and recycling services in the Dales last Autumn, contractors Serco have pledged £75,000 to cover the costs incurred.

After a series of negotiations with Derbyshire Dales District Council, Serco agreed to the settlement figure to cover the additional costs the authority had to pay to assist with delivering new containers and committing extra resources to answer the large volume of complaints from local people.

Announcing the settlement at a meeting on last night (Thursday), Chairman of the District Council’s Environment Committee, Cllr Steve Bull said he welcomed Serco’s willingness to “sort this out” without the need for litigation.

He said :“Many people, principally our residents, but also councillors, officers and Serco’s own staff, felt the pain of problems encountered at the start of the new waste and recycling contract.

“We expected teething problems; what was unacceptable to us and the people of the Derbyshire Dales was the length of time it took Serco to get it right.

“The new service itself was always a good decision by the district council and is now coming into its own in terms of value for money and household recycling rates, which have increased by six per cent in just a few months and continue to rise.

“So the time has come for both the council and Serco to move forward in partnership for the remaining life of the contract and together improve standards of service even further to our residents by increasing our already impressive recycling and composting rate, which is already one of the best in Derbyshire.”

Mr Bull added that the new contract is “now working well” and, in addition to saving Dales Council Tax payers £385,000, has increased recycling rates to almost 50 per cent.