Daventry District Council (DDC) and Northampton Borough Council (NBC) are to impose penalties on contractor Enterprise Managed Services (EMS) Ltd following continued concerns about the company’s performance over recent months.
The contract for EMS to provide environmental services for both councils began on June 6, 2011.
NBC has agreed that it would undertake a review after 12 months, which will begin shortly. The review will be carried out by independent experts and will look at how the contract is operating in Northampton, the quality of service being provided to local people and how this is being managed and monitored. Issues and opportunities for improvement identified by the review will be addressed and implemented.
However, ahead of the review, both councils have decided to implement payment penalties for the months of April and May after continuing complaints from the public and poor performance in areas such as missed bins and boxes, and dealing with fly tipping and graffiti.
Both councils have also told EMS that they expect performance to improve immediately.
DDC leader Cllr Chris Millar said: “Quality of service is of great importance to us and at the 12-month stage of the contract it is clear from the feedback we continue to receive from residents that standards are falling short of the level of service we expect.
“If agreed performance targets are not being met by the contractor, it is in the interests of our residents that we seek to redress this using the methods available to us within the contract.
“Any financial deductions made as part of this contract will be used by the council to assist with the future provision of services while maintaining our low level of Council tax.”
NBC leader Cllr David Mackintosh said: “When the contract began last year it marked a major change. We expected teething problems and were prepared to be tolerant. We believe that the contract represents good value for money when it is performing well.
“But one year on, we are still hearing far too many complaints from local people and we have made it clear that we cannot put up with this poor performance.
“The priority is that current problems are dealt with but we want to review the way the contract is operating and ensure that we see the long-term improvements that people have a right to expect.”
Both councils will continue to monitor the contract and impose further penalties if required.