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Blackpool councillors concerns over £4.8m bin lorries

17 refuse lorries need replacing.
17 refuse lorries need replacing.

Blackpool councillors have raised their concerns about the authority’s decision to bring its waste services in house.

The council plans to save £760,000 annually by not renewing its contract with Veolia Enviromental Services and setting up a local authority trading company (LATCo).

It also plans to borrow £4.8m to purchase new refuse lorries.

During a council meeting, Coun Maxine Callow of Norbreck ward, said she had worries about the plans.

She said: “ Is there any risk in this because the amount we are hoping to save won’t even cover us for the first four years and then we will have interest on this £4.8m.

“I have spoken about this before and I think most people in Blackpool are happy with the system we have got and the people who operate it.”

The council’s director of resources, Steve Thompson, responded to Coun Callow’s comments and said: “The existing contract with Veolia is coming to an end next year, so too is the useful life of the vehicles so in the contract price you are quoting will be a sum to cover the replacement cost of that.

“Either way, the vehicles still need replacing, of which there are 17 of them.

“We feel the option to buy them is the cheapest option available to us.”

Coun Kim Critchley of Hawes Side ward says the current system needs changing.

She said: “I get lots of complaints about waste in my ward, such as bins not being collected in alleys.

“I hope if we take it in-house things will start to get rectified and it will be a big change from what happens at the moment.”

It currently costs Blackpool Council £3.85m annually to use Veolia’s services and it is hoped it can save £760,000 a year by setting up the LATCo.