"Suez Crisis" Continues In Mid Kent

"Suez Crisis" Continues In Mid Kent

What has been knicknamed "The Suez Crisis" continues, six weeks after Swale Borough Council's new multi-million-pound household waste collection contract with Suez.

Suez Recycling and Recovery UK took on the contract from Monday 25th March, worth £152 million over eight years, from the previous contractor Biffa across the Mid Kent Waste Partnership of Swale, Maidstone and Ashford Borough Councils covering some 460,000 residents. It's believed that Swale's contribution will be £61 million, or £6.7 million per year until 2032.

All three councils promised that the new provider would “improve reliability, reduce the environmental impact and provide a more efficient service”. However, some people have been resorting to paying for their rubbish to be collected by private contractors in both the Kemsley and Minster-on-Sea areas, with major problems being report across all three boroughs.

Swale Borough Council has told SFM News that while the service “is still not exactly where we would like it to be” it has “seen consistent improvements in collection rates” since the beginning of April.

It's understood that Suez will not face any repercussions currently, as the contract includes a three-month grace period which ends on Tuesday 25th June. This is understood to be an industry standard nationwide, allowing  for new working practices to bed in and for staff to learn new rounds and understand the most efficient use of vehicles.

Leader of the Conservative Group at Swale Borough Council, Cllr Lloyd Bowen (Teynham and Lynsted), alongside four other Tory councillors (Cllrs Mark Tucker, Tara Noe, James Hunt and Julien Speed) have  called for an Extraordinary Council Meeting to discuss the issues, which is set to take place on Monday 17th June, which will be open to members of the public, were they hope to get answers from the Labour-led coalition which agreed the new contract.

People can submit their own questions to Swale Democratic Services by emailing: democraticservices@swale.gov.uk or by calling 01795 417 330 - the closing date for submissions is by 4.30pm on Monday 3rd June.



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