No compensation over missed bin collections in Derbyshire

A Derbyshire council leader has rejected the idea of compensating residents who are “dissatisfied” after a year in which there were thousands of missed bin collections.

By Eddie Bisknell
Saturday, 29th January 2022, 2:17 pm

Hundreds of thousands of bins in the Derbyshire Dales were not collected on time last year by private contractor Serco.

Derbyshire Dales District Council, which pays Serco £3.1 million a year for the duties, was far from happy with the situation itself.

The situation became so dire that the authority had called on the fire service and army to help it carry out bin collections.

A Derbyshire council leader has rejected the idea of compensating residents who are “dissatisfied” after a year in which there were thousands of missed bin collections.

The authority has commissioned an independent investigation into Serco’s “failed” management of its contract, which is due to be revealed and debated imminently.

Coun Peter O’Brien, who represents the Hathersage and Eyam ward, asked council leader Coun Garry Purdy: “As leader of the council you will, like all members, be aware of the unsatisfactory refuse collection service that our residents have endured over the past months, and that officers have recently acknowledged that the service provided by the contractor has been poor and financial penalties issued.

“In the light of this, will you support a scheme for an appropriate level of compensation for residents, and work with group leaders and the chief executive to agree the details of a proposal, for consideration by the council?”

Residents have been calling for compensation in response to last year’s significant bin collection issues.

Responding, Coun Purdy said: “In short, my answer is no.

“Any consideration of compensation for residents would be something for members to consider at a future council meeting when other facts are known, perhaps at or after the extraordinary council meeting that is to consider the outcome of the independent waste review.

“In addition, members should be aware that such a compensation scheme could be time-consuming to devise and implement at a time when officer resources are already stretched to capacity.

“The council has not previously given council tax refunds where residents are dissatisfied with the standard of service that they have received.

“The main reason for this is that council tax is a tax, much like income tax and VAT, and not a charge for different services.

“I think we know of two simple common facts in life, death and you pay your taxes.”