Agenda Item No______11______
SIX MONTHLY REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES CONTRACT
Summary: Conclusions: The report outlines the key findings of the review of the performance of the contract between Kier and the council over the previous six months and explains some of the ongoing work to improve services deliver value and reduce costs associated with the contract. The functions of the contract are being delivered to the benefit of the council and residents by Kier. Kier and the council are aware of shortcomings in design, delivery, monitoring and performance reporting associated with the service. Both parties are seeking to agree improvements in all areas over the next six months. Recommendations: It is requested that Overview and Scrutiny note the report and provide objective comments which may be beneficial in developing the service further. Cabinet Member(s) Councillor John Lee Ward(s) affected Contact Officer, telephone number and email:
In 2010/11 the council negotiated and let a new contract for a range of Environmental Services and appointed Kier Service to undertake the works for a period of 10 years, commencing April 2011. The services covered include: • Waste • Street • Grounds • Bring sites, litter bins and dog waste bin emptying.
The services commenced in April 2011 with significant changes not introduced until late 2011, including the restructuring of collection rounds to deliver efficiency within the contract.
Current Situation Whilst the transition process to new collection rounds has been completed, full functionality of intelligent reporting from collection rounds to the operations base at Aylsham has not been delivered. It is expected this will be fully achieved during the summer of 2012. Waste Collections Some problems associated with round restructuring have been identified which meant not all households have received the standard of service expected by Kier or the council. Contract management practices, including use of rectifications and defaults to manage service failures have been successful in minimising continuing problems. The householder has therefore faced issues of missed collections and collections on irregular days whilst the problems have been resolved. Householders have been directed to contact Kier directly using the 0300 number. When a complaint or request for service is received by Kier, it is recorded on a computer database. Call centre operators are empowered to resolve many requests from residents. A very simple enquiry regarding collection days is available within moments of entering an address or post code. Call centre operators are also able to issue instructions for missed collections to be rectified. Works tickets are generated and passed to the appropriate crew by a supervisor. Completed work tickets need to be returned by crews to administrators to ensure tasks are completed. The council’s officers are able to obtain reports on any complaint and have provided a weekly report on missed collections. Cleansing Cleansing performance has remained high on officially monitored measures. The total amount of land which is litter free is 99%. The official measure does not however, always reflect the council’s requirements. Significant additional monitoring has been applied to cleansing activities to ensure the outcomes of the contract are delivered effectively and consistently. Defaults and improvement proposals have led to a more consistent and acceptable outcome. Cleansing of public conveniences has delivered much greater public satisfaction with reduced complaints and a far more consistent and pleasant environment within these facilities, despite the age and construction of many of the facilities concerned. Bring Sites Bring sites (bottle, paper and textiles) were changed to being under the control of Kier and containers have changed and been well used by the public. The council, as part of a consortium with all councils in Norfolk, are negotiating a new contract for the sorting of materials within the recycling bin and the future of Bring Sites as they are currently operated may change because of this contract. It is not expected any new sites will be developed until these negotiations are concluded, around March 2013.
Textile Collections The contract with Kier introduced a new service proposal of kerbside textile collections. The arrangements for these were that Kier would work with a charity partner, the Salvation Army, to deliver both recycling of clothing in a sustainable manner and a new, no cost, service to residents. At the time of negotiation of the contract, kerbside charity collections were rare. Such collections on a semi commercial basis are now common. The changes have impacted on the service operated by Kier. The service was therefore delivered in a changed environment which meant it was far less successful than intended. This was exacerbated by an under estimation of the need for collection resources with collections being unable to be fully completed each day by two collection teams. This meant that not all collections were completed within the day. Subsequently, the number of non collections reported was higher than anticipated and resulted in adverse comments from residents and Councillors. The position was made worse as not all households placed sacks out for collection on the designated week. Changes were implemented to deal with the collection arrangements for the second collection. The collections did cause 20 tonnes of textiles to be recycled and over 80% of material collected will be used as clothing by the Salvation Army. The council have put forward proposals for change within the contract to provide community bring events using the skills of the council, Kier and the Salvation Army to maximise textile recycling for residents.
There are arrangements under the contract for the reporting of performance. Significantly the range of performance indicators being measured by the council has reduced. The operating environment and outcomes are reflected in indicator measures. This indicator was missed mainly due to the failure to reorganise rounds at an early stage in the contract and doubts of the data from the previous contractor. This has now been resolved for the future. A major computer system failure, failed to allow effective round management and reporting. This has led to a stringent target not being met. c. Cleansing of Council Land Independent monitoring showed this target was met with 99% of land being litter free. Detritus (decomposing leaves, silt etc.) was higher but acceptable in a mainly rural district. As the Committee has previously discussed, the recycling rate has reduced overall, however, this is not a matter under the control of Kier. The generation of waste and that part of waste that can be recycled, is a
function of the economy. Waste is falling and the amount of recyclables is falling even faster. The biggest reduction being in the newspaper component as the amount of newsprint used reduces. Relatively buoyant markets for materials have reduced the financial effect of reduced tonnages. It is expected this trend will continue.
Proposals for improvement in terms of the contract and service delivery are currently being negotiated with Kier by officers. • This will include the removal of third party monitoring of cleansing activities. This will save £15,000 pa and will not affect service outcomes. • Clearer cleansing performance outcomes so that certainly with regard to standards which may not be derogated from in terms of timing and action thresholds are embedded in the contract. It is easier to enforce a contract when expectations are clear. • Changes to trade waste arrangements to better share risk and rewards between the council and Kier.
5. Conclusion 6.
The contract has not been stabilised to the extent required by the council or expected by Kier. Stabilisation occurs at an expected 6 months from commencement. Full stabilisation is expected within the next 6 months.
Implications and Risks 7.
There are no implications from proposals currently being negotiated.
Financial Implications and Risks
Savings of £15,000 pa can be achieved in the cleansing budget with no effect on service.
8. Sustainability 9.
There are no sustainability risks associated with this report.
Equality and Diversity 10.
There are no effects on equity or diversity outcomes within this report.
Section 17 Crime and Disorder considerations
There are no effects of Crime and Disorder issues within this paper.