West Northamptonshire Council goes out-of-county with £300,000 contract to keep bin trucks on the road

Daventry firm’s contract ended over ‘service and reliability’ issues

By Kevin Nicholls
Monday, 28th March 2022, 2:34 pm

Councillors have binned a contract with a Northamptonshire firm to service waste collection trucks and handed a deal which could be worth more than £1.5 million to a neighbouring local authority.

Cherwell District Council, in Oxfordshire, will look after a fleet of 22 lorries, one road sweeper and ten smaller vehicles all owned by West Northamptonshire Council for up to the next five years.

The move comes after a deal with West Northamptonshire Norse, which provides waste collections in the former Daventry council area, was not renewed.

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The contract ended over ‘service and reliability’ issues.

A report to the council's Cabinet revealed: "The vehicle maintenance service provided by Norse since February 2021 has not proved to be satisfactory for reasons of service quality and reliability.

"Despite frequent communication with Norse to overcome the issues, it has not been possible to reach a mutually agreeable solution."

Councillor Phil Larratt, portfolio holder for environmental services, said the new deal with Cherwell "offered the best value for money,” adding "it will ensure great level of service provided in this area is maintained by keeping our vehicles on the road.”

The deal covers vehicles which provide the waste and recycling collections for around 41,250 households and 600 businesses in Towcester, Brackley and 109 surrounding villages.

Last year, the council paid Norse £260,000 after a previous deal between Cherwell and the old South Northamptonshire council ended following the local government shake-up.

First-year costs of the new agreement — for an initial three years with the option of another two — is estimated at £305,000, although the report states this is still "considerably less" than alternative bids and is an "all inclusive price."

A council spokesman said: "The length of the contract means it will be up for renewal at the same time as the Daventry area deal with West Northamptonshire Norse.

"This will allow an opportunity to look at the future provision of services in the Daventry and South Northants areas at that stage.

"A wider West Northamptonshire contract can only be looked at when the Veolia contract in Northampton comes up for renewal in 2027/28."

A spokesman for West Northamptonshire Norse said: “Norse Group terminated the shared services agreement with West Northamptonshire Council relating to vehicle maintenance services and there were no redundancies.”