Council signs up to waste contract merger

WASTE and recycling collections in Eastbourne are set to merge with the town’s three neighbouring councils.

On Wednesday night (December 15) Eastbourne Borough Council cabinet members agreed to sign the first part of the contract which will show their commitment and seriousness for the joint waste contract to potential contractors.

Cllr Gill Mattock told councillors it was the ‘point of no return’ but explained the scheme would have benefits for the people of Eastbourne.

The town’s council will be signing up with Hastings, Wealden and Rother.

It will tie them in and show they are committed to have a joint refuse and recycling collection and beach cleaning service which will be provided by a private contractor.

Cllr Mattock said, “I am pleased and proud we have got to this inter-authority agreement where other local authorities, elsewhere in the country, have failed to get this far.”

The Inter-authority agreement which was agreed on Wednesday night (December 15) will create a binding legal relationship between the four authorities and there will be financial penalty if any of the councils want to leave the agreement.

However, a report by Jefferson Collard, senior head of development and environment at Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “The risk (of leaving the agreement) is very small as this authority has been clear in its intention that it wants joint procurement of its waste collection service so as to maximise its opportunities to save cost.”

The Herald understands the joint scheme will then be put out to tender and a private company appointed to run the service for all four councils.

Currently, Eastbourne contracts SITA to carry out a once-a-week waste collection but neighbouring Wealden, Hastings and Rother currently have fortnightly collections.

The new scheme will start in 2013.