Any post-mortem on how Lichfield and Burntwood residents ended up with recycling bags smaller than they should be must not be held behind closed doors, a councillor has said.

One of the new recycling bags
One of the new recycling bags

Lichfield District Council has moved to a new dual stream recycling system which will see residents separate out paper and card from their existing blue bins.

The local authority has now admitted that the new blue bags ordered as part of the scheme are a third smaller than anticipated.

Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group has confirmed that a task group is expected to reconvene to try to get to the bottom of how the wrong size bags came to be delivered and distributed to residents.

But he told Lichfield Live any such session should not be held away from the eyes of the public.

Cllr Steve Norman
Cllr Steve Norman

“Cllr Tim Matthews, chair of the task group that looked at the communications plan for residents for the new system, has suggested we reconvene because of the issues.

“I have agreed, but emphasised the need for it be in public so we might not be able to ask some questions that could affect any legal claims over the order which, we have been told, was wrong from the supplier.

“We could go into private for those questions but I am sure that it would only add to the suspicions of residents.”

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council

The local authority was the lead in a multi-council procurement deal for the new bags, leading to some concerns that scrutinising what went wrong could be delayed due to other councils involved in the mix-up taking part in local elections next month.

But Cllr Norman said local households deserved an explanation sooner rather than later.

“It’s awkward with Tamworth and Cannock Chase having elections next month, but I am a Lichfield District Council member and am only interested in how this fiasco affects our residents.”

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council

While the formal post-mortem into the blue bag deal is still to take place, some councillors have already called for action to be taken

Cllr Derick Cross, Conservative member for Alrewas and Fradley ward, said those responsible for the deal should “resign or be sacked”, while Cllr Joanne Grange, independent member for Chadsmead, has urged the cabinet member responsible for recycling to step aside.

Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, said discussions were taking place with the supplier.

“Our specification document – which I have seen – states that the bags should be 81 litres with dimensions of 45cm by 45cm by 40cm with a 450g weighted base.

“The bags delivered have anywhere between 60 and 75 litre capacity.

“We are currently in discussions with the supplier. They are disputing that the bags delivered are the wrong size so this might take some time.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

Join the Conversation


Our volunteers moderated 1262 comments in the last 30 days. Say thanks with a coffee.

  1. I suggest a Post Mortem should be held on all members of LDC to find out where their brains are, as they do not appear to have any.
    Again another total B#$$S up. Sack the Lot of them I say and start anew….

  2. Could LDC please state the life expectancy of the blue bags because they seem to be dying very quickly. As to hold a Post Mortem ( After Death)!

  3. As a retired procurement professional (not a council one, I hasten to add) I’d like to know: a) what actually was written on the purchase order, and; b) what checking was done on receipt of the goods to ensure they were as ordered, i.e. before they were distributed to thousands of households.

  4. This council is an utter, utter disgrace. It is incompetence personified. Pullen, Eadie and the rest of them should hand back some of the money they’re paid for their role because, we are not getting value for money. Simple as that.

    I’m even considering moving area so I don’t have to live under this pathetic council.

  5. “Task Group”
    Really? This is a standard supply issue encountered by companies across the region regularly. Something was oredered and not supplied. LDC should be embarrassed beyond belief for needing outside help to decide if “bagx<bagy" in the first place let alone requiring a "Task Group" to convene to decide if they messed up or the supplier messed up.

  6. @Bella. I totally agree.

    I was so optimistic when Doug Pullen became leader. Sadly, under his control the council seems to go from disaster to disaster and no one is ever to blame.

  7. Why did the council accept delivery? If the items delivered were not as ordered, basic procedures should have meant that the deliveries should have been rejected. The bags should have been checked using the ‘goods received note’ to the actual order and invoice. At that point they should have been identified as not in line with the order. No money should ever have been pre-paid so when rejected the supplier would have to rectify. In short how could the council, with any procedures, end up in this position? I speak with some 30 years experience in public sector external and internal audit. This is a basic failure of internal control.

  8. Perhaps the ones in procurement were working from home and only saw pictures/photos of the bags and
    therefore thought suitable for the proles

  9. What difference does it make if someone sees pictures in an office or when working from home?

Leave a comment
Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy before posting.

Your email address will not be published.