Serco staff get bonus as Dales residents see more delays to waste collections

Derbyshire Dales District Council as its waste contractor Serco have issued a further update on the ongoing crisis with household bin collections, although it appears to have done little to clear up residents’ frustrations.

By Ed Dingwall
Thursday, 16th September 2021, 5:10 pm
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 7:57 am

On Wednesday, September 17, the council issued a statement acknowledging more delays in waste and recycling and advising people to leave out any missed bins until collection teams can reach them.

A spokesman said: “We are conscious many other areas across the country are also experiencing bin disruptions caused by new Covid absences and the nationwide shortage of HGV drivers. These issues are now affecting many aspects of our daily lives.

“However, we do expect Serco to deliver on the agreed contract here in the Derbyshire Dales.”

Derbyshire Dales residents have been left waiting for waste collections for much of this year, despite huge extra payouts to contractor Serco.

In a heated council meeting in July, a decision was taken to handover tens of thousands of pounds to the company to help it clear a backlog of collections and recruit and retain drivers amid intense demand for their skills.

Moves have already begun to achieve that, but it may bring households little comfort in the meantime.

Andrew Smith, Serco's senior contract manager, said: “Our waste and recycling crews are doing all that they can to minimise the disruption, including working additional hours. I would like to thank both them and the residents of Derbyshire Dales for their continued support at this difficult time.

“We are doing all we can to fill our vacant roles, advertising through a number of channels, offering an enhanced annual salary package including bonuses and other benefits. To thank and support our existing drivers a retention bonus will be paid to them from September 1."

He added: “We are also offering career development opportunities to grow and develop drivers from within the team – currently four of our loaders are enrolled on our driver training programme and will be offered roles as soon as they are qualified.

“Locally and nationally we are also working with organisations who support the long term unemployed back to work. In addition, flexible hours and job sharing are also on offer, opening up opportunities to those who may not traditionally consider a career in this industry.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Andrew Wakefield, editor.