Harlow could share bin services with several other councils
News / Fri 4th Nov 2022 at 05:23pm
AS many as eight local authorities across north Essex could share services including waste collection in a bid to save money in the face of tightening town hall budgets reports the Local Democracy Reporter.
Leaders and senior management from Epping Forest, Uttlesford, Chelmsford, Braintree, Harlow, Maldon, Colchester and Tendring met last week to agree which elements of second tier council services could be pooled.
Specifically they looked at planning services and even more lucratively waste collection responsibilities.
It comes amidst deteriorating finances for many councils – Chelmsford City Council has admitted having to face significant savings – including in its workforce – as it faces rocketing costs. The council’s cabinet heard on October 18 that its financial position has worsened since a July forecast, largely from prolonged levels of very high inflation and has warned its expenditure could exceed its income by £2.5m in the current year.
Its projected deficit for 2023/24 has now risen to £7.9m, from an estimate of £4.2m in the summer. The council has said it may have to look at its workforce which accounts for two thirds of its expenditure. Fees and charges – which could including parking – may have to rise as it seeks to balance a budget for next year.
Tendring District Council has said it is able to “weather the storm” short-term – and is “in a strong position” to respond to the longer-term economic situation.
But given some of the cost pressures faced by Tendring, including an estimated rise in energy costs of more than £250,000, contract inflations, reduced government funding and employee inflation costs, its chief executive has added “the financial position is concerning and there will be difficult decisions to make”.
Leader of Tendring Councillor Neil Stock said at cabinet on Friday: “We together represent a million people – that is a heck of a geography and a heck of a lot of population with Stansted in the west and Harwich International Port in the east and two cities Colchester and Chelmsford as well as many market towns and rural communities. You have the Central Line tube station at Epping Forest and a coast line in Tending.
“And we have agreed to work together to see what savings can be made in sharing services. Can we work together do do planning across either whole of that area or clusters within that north Essex area.”
Almost £1million has been earmarked to develop a new zero landfill waste strategy for Essex County Council. The authority, which is responsible for waste disposal, says its Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy is out of date and is now in the process of developing a new one
Councillor Stock added: “Lockdown has shown that local government can be delivered remotely. The biggest prize and one we spend the most money on is waste collection and disposal. In Essex there are 12 waste collection authorities and we all collect different things in different ways. And then we have one disposal authority which takes all the rubbish and gets rid of it.
“It is a vastly expensive thing to do to collect it and get rid of it. And undoubtedly savings can be made if we had some conformity across the county. People don’t see lines on the maps that we see.
“There is a strong willingness from the leaders to make progress on this. We have talked about shared services many times over many years. But now we are staring down the barrel of massive cutbacks or face massive problems if we don’t make some tough decisions.
“And at the back of our mind is the case of Thurrock and other authorities that are close to getting to that situation.”
Leader of the Tendring Council Councillor Ivan Henderson said: “Local knowledge plays a big part in local government and the further away you get the less local knowledge and contact and understanding of peoples’ areas you have.”
Veolia is a joke now can’t believe the sacked one of their hardest workers because he got attacked and payed them £20 for a months work. makes no sense. I hope they enjoy the court hearing got soo much evidence against that corrupt company
Veolia may be rubbish, but our collectors are brilliant. I prey this won't affect them or our service
Veolia have not pick up at Mercers so many times in the past years it's stupid. Then for some reason HTS come along and re-dump it on your windows, you ask HTS why, they say some one told them to clear the alleyway. But don't worry, they've called for it in to be removed. But it didn't get moved. And now they're building a bin shed on a living room window. Changing HTS eyesore dumping to official dump site. So bin men don't have to walk around block but rather treat it like some Tower block. with one easy pick up. Because big firm money trumps homes rent, rate payers homes looking like homes.
" £1million has been earmarked to develop a new zero landfill waste strategy for Essex County Council." Things like this are just wasting money on a grand scale. Our politicians are truly idiots
Has anyone noticed that Councillor Ivan Henderson is actually leader of the Labour Group on Tendring Council? Tendring is controlled by the Tories.
its all a load of rubbish