A review has recommended Lichfield District Council continues to keep waste collection services in house.

Bin collections in Lichfield and Burntwood are currently delivered through a partnership with Tamworth Borough Council.

But a review of how the service should operate in future was launched after the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy went out for consultation earlier this year.

That document saw recommendations for a consistent policy of refuse collections across the country.

A number of options were considered by the Lichfield District Council review, including outsourcing the entire service.

But a report by Cllr Liz Little to a meeting of the leisure, parks and waste management overview and scrutiny committee found that no real benefits would be achieved by changing the approach.

“The councils identified four service delivery options to be considered by the review – in-house, Local Authority Trading Company, Local Authority Trading Company Joint Venture and outsourcing,” she said. “The criteria used to assess the options were flexibility, control and cost.

“As the existing service was deemed to be efficient, the review didn’t identify any significant savings that could be made in its delivery.

“With the uncertainty surrounding the Government’s waste strategy proposals, plus there being no clear winner from the service delivery options assessment, it is considered prudent to continue delivering the service using the current in house arrangements for the short to medium term.”

“Over reliant on agency staff”

Although the in-house option is set to be recommended, Cllr Little admitted the current service is not without issues.

“The exercise highlighted that the service was over reliant on agency staff particularly because of difficulties in retaining and recruiting HGV drivers,” she said.

“The service will face a number of cost pressures over the next few years irrespective of whether the proposals in the Government’s waste strategy have to be adopted.

“The pressures will result from new housing developments, higher gate fees for the cost of disposing of dry recyclate when the current contract expires in 2022, and resolving the difficulties in attracting and retaining HGV drivers.”

The report will be heard at a meeting on 18th November.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

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