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Decision details

Approval for decision to defer renewal process for the chargeable garden waste collection service

Decision Maker: Parvis Khansari (Director - Highways and Environment)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decision:

To approve the decision made at the COVID-19 Gold meeting on 24 March 2020 to defer until mid-June the process for renewal of chargeable garden waste kerbside collection contracts.

Reasons for the decision:

On 24 March 2020 a request was received from the Head of Customer Insight, Digital Access and Business Improvement to defer the process for renewal of chargeable garden waste kerbside collection contracts from early April until mid-June. There are approximately 80,000 households in receipt of the service which are invited to renew their contracts each year. Although in excess of 70% renew online, the process generates a significant number of calls into CSU. The deferral of the process was requested to move the number of calls anticipated to a later date.

At present CSU is receiving an increased number of calls due to changes in the system for collection of dry recyclable materials as well as calls related to COVID-19.

There is a risk that some households would choose not to renew and therefore a risk of non-payment as this change would result in residents continuing to receive collections when presenting their bins with the current year sticker. New stickers will be dispatched for use by 1 September. It is hoped that the majority of households would renew so they don’t experience a break in service from 1 September if they have decided not to renew.

The risk of non-payment needs to be balanced against protecting the welfare of staff in CSU and the need to maintain call handling capacity in CSU, given the current priorities.

In order to reduce the risk of loss of income, the date at which the charge reduces during the garden waste collection contract year will change. Until now, the charge has reduced in August, in November and in February on a pro rata basis to reflect the length of time remaining for households to benefit from the service during that contract year. Anyone who has signed up for the first time in April, May or June pays the full annual fee which ensures they receive a service until 30 June of the following calendar year.

From the date of this decision, charges will be reduced as set out in the table below.

Month you sign up Amount you will pay
April, May, June, July, August £50
September, October, November, December £30
January, February, March £12.50

Although the renewals process would be deferred by eight weeks, the date for commencement of the new contract year for garden waste collections would remain 1 July 2020. Payment of £50 would entitle households to fortnightly collections from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2021, except for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. Although the renewals process would be deferred those households which choose to renew would not experience a break in service.

I confirm that in making this decision I have considered the following in line with Wiltshire Council’s Constitution:

Key decision requirements:

Views of relevant cabinet member(s), committee chairman, area board(s): Yes the Cabinet member Highways, Transport and Waste has agreed the deferral.

Consultation with cabinet member(s), the Leader and Scrutiny (for Executive decisions taken under Emergency Powers): Yes the decision was made by the Gold cell so would have been discussed by CEOs with the Leader.

Consultation with local members (as appropriate): Not applicable as the service is delivered county-wide.

Consideration of the area boards and delegated decision checklist for officers on the issue of when and how to involve local councillors and area boards in decisions about local services: Not applicable as the service is delivered county-wide.

Implication of any council policy, initiative, strategy or procedure: Yes, there are no implications for policy or strategy as the service will be maintained. The waste management service are developing a revised procedure which will be shared with CSU in due course.

Consultation in accordance with requirements and expectations of consultation with the public: No. There is no need for consultation but all existing customers of the garden waste collection service have received an email or a letter to notify them of the deferral of the renewal process.

Range of options available:Yes.

Staffing, financial and legal implications:
Yes.

Evidence of due regard having been given to the Public Sector Equality Duty:
Yes.

Risk assessment: Yes. There is a risk of loss of income but this has to be balanced against the capacity and welfare of CSU staff.

Involvement of statutory officers and/or directors: Yes. The decision was made by the Gold cell so all statutory officers were involved.

Regional or national guidance from other bodies:Not applicable.

The council’s constitution: yes

This contract is suitable for execution under the e-signature process:Not applicable.

Alternative options considered:

To continue with the original renewals programme. This was rejected due to the need to ensure there is sufficient capacity within CSU to respond to COVID-19 related calls and ongoing calls in respect of the new collection service for recyclable materials as well as to protect the welfare of staff.

Conflict of Interest: Not applicable

Background: As the Director for Highways and Environment, I am responsible for any matters relating to Waste Management in the County of Wiltshire on behalf of Wiltshire Council. The power to make a decision in respect of this matter is delegated to me pursuant to Wiltshire Council’s Constitution.

Contact: Parvis Khansari, Director - Highways and Environment Email: parvis.khansari@wiltshire.gov.uk Tel: 01225 713340.

Publication date: 02/06/2020

Date of decision: 24/03/2020

Accompanying Documents:

 

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