SERCO has retained the £40 million contract to empty the bins of
Whitstable, Herne Bay and Canterbury. The city council announced the
decision on Tuesday.
It followed a controversial three-way pitch where councillors were forbidden to know which firm was bidding. Among them was Veolia which attracted many protests because of its connections with Israel. The new contract starts on April 1.
Councillors made the decision based on price and quality but
could not release details until a ten-day “standstill” period to allow
failed bidders the chance to appeal.
The new contract will include fortnightly doorstep collections
of glass for the first time and a return to weekly collections of food
Serco was Bidder 2 and came in with the lowest price of
£39,289,911. The most expensive was almost £45.5 million. Decisions on
the type and size of wheelie bins or boxes will now take place.
Head of Neighbourhood Services Larissa Laing said:
companies put in very competent bids. We would like to thank the two
unsuccessful companies for their interest. This is one of our most high profile contracts
providing essential services to residents. The tender process has
allowed us to create a high quality service while achieving excellent
value for money for taxpayers. We now have a lot of work to do on
getting the new waste collection system ready.”
Council spokesman Rob Davies said:
“The tender was based on a
price to quality ratio of 60 per cent/40 per cent. While we understand
the concerns that were raised, we have been clear throughout this
process that allegations about Veolia’s activities in Palestine could
not be a factor in determining who won the contract.”
Other contracts still to be awarded include grounds maintenance,
public toilets, building maintenance and office cleaning. Serco
continues to hold the contract for these until the end of March. But
councillors have taken the decision to split them into four smaller
contracts from April 1.