To receive a presentation from Mr. James Duggin, Contracts Manager giving an overview of the working arrangements and performance management processes in respect of the waste contract.
The Committee welcomed Mr. James Duggin, Contracts Manager, who attended the meeting to give an update on the Environmental Services Contract. Mr. Duggin outlined the procurement process for letting the contract, which had commenced in 2015 and was awarded to SERCO in 2017.
The Committee was apprised of the different elements of the contract, which included, grounds maintenance, street cleansing and waste management. The street cleansing element had changed most significantly, the service had gone back to a basic approach with manual operatives cleansing the streets. The Borough had been divided into thirteen zones with an operative allocated to each zone. Operatives had a barrow and tools to carry out the majority of the work and were supported by mobile teams and mechanical sweepers when necessary. The waste management service had been enhanced, with the service also being provided on certain bank holidays, small WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) collections, a bulky waste scheme and on-board technology providing real time information on the vehicles. Other elements included commercial services to help subsidise the cost of the household service and social value through the employment of apprentices, work with voluntary groups and community champions. Added value through the contract was also highlighted, with SERCO offering extra weed control services, edging up on grassed areas, awareness raising on recyclable materials and a commitment to keep costs in the lower quartile.
Through the on-board technology, realtime information could be viewed for each vehicle. Vehicles could be tracked at all times to assess progress of rounds and an electronic tool was available to log exceptions, such as missed bins by address and road blocks. Vehicles were also fitted with cameras to help keep operatives safe. The data collected from this realtime information was used to monitor performance. Key performance indicators were identified within the contract, these included: the number of missed bins; street cleansing inspection targets; grounds maintenance compliance with specification targets; and, public satisfaction targets. Since the contract had begun a number of inspections had been carried out, missed bin data had been collated and customer satisfaction surveys had taken place – all showed that the SERCO contract had been mobilised effectively and overall standards were good.
The Committee discussed the presentation and raised a number of issues around littering, it was noted that SERCO were keen to engage with schools and colleges but to date had been unsuccessful in engaging with the Sixth Form College where there was reported to be a particular issue with littering. It was suggested that contact could be made with fast food outlets to help address the littering issue from waste fast food packaging across the Borough. In response to a query regarding the community champions, it was advised that there was at least one from each ward and in some cases two. A list of champions would be circulated to Members in September. The monitoring of recyclable waste was raised, this was identified as a Hampshire County Council and Rushmoor Borough Council issue and was not compared within environmental services contracts, all benchmarking was carried out against other similar local authorities.
It was suggested that a task and finish group could be established to consider, in more detail, certain elements of the contract. This would be discussed further at the next meeting of the Progress Group.