Labour councillors are calling for an inquiry into ongoing missed bin collections caused by problems at Barnet Council's Oakleigh Depot following further complaints from residents.
Missed bin collections have been reported in at least four roads in East Finchley in the last three weeks - Benedict Way, The Causeway, Fortis Green and Manor Park Road - with reports of other missed collections in Woodhouse, Colindale and Coppetts wards. Residents in The Causeway have complained about missed black bin collections and no green bin collection for two months. Residents in Benedict Way were apparently told by the Council that they will only collect waste in black/grey bins.
The Council has said the missed collections are due to "operational issues" but maintain these "are localised one-offs" and that they are being done weekly "though not necessarily on scheduled days".
In April the Council admitted vital works were taking place to repair the concrete floor at the Oakleigh Depot resulting in widespread missed bin collections across all three constituencies in Barnet. The works were supposed to be completed by 23 April, but councillors have received continued reports of missed bin collections after this date.
Labour's Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman has submitted a Member's Item to the June 5 Environment Committee calling for an inquiry to investigate the cause of the problems and whether compensation is owed to the Council.
Cllr Schneiderman said: “This bin fiasco has been going on for weeks now, and residents deserve to know the truth about what has happened. We were told the problems at Oakleigh Depot had been fixed, but now we learn there are still issues.
"The Barnet Conservatives presided over the disastrous relocation of the council's waste depot to Oakleigh Road, South. They paid £9 million more for the site than it was worth, and they appointed Capita to procure and oversee the construction works at the site. The works were carried out by Wilmott Dixon but have been completely mismanaged and apparently are still not rectified.
"The Barnet Conservatives made weekly bin collections a central pillar of their local election campaign, but they are already failing on this pledge and it has only been a couple of weeks since the election.
"They cannot get anything right."
1. A copy of Cllr Schneiderman's member's item and email to Barnet Council:
I request that the Environment Committee commissions an inquiry into the ongoing problems at the Oakleigh Depot that have resulted in missed bin collections across the Borough.
The inquiry should investigate the cause of the problems at the Depot and whether compensation should be paid to the Council.
Email to Chief Executive, John Hooton and Strategic Director for Environment, Jamie Blake:
Dear John and Jamie
We continue to receive complaints and reports from residents about missed bin collections despite being reassured that the problem at the Oakleigh Depot has been rectified.
We have now heard that there may be an underlying issue with the land at the depot which makes the ground unstable and unsuitable for use by so many heavy vehicles; and we understand that the concrete floor has broken up again.
Members have not been kept up to date with the situation, and so cannot fully answer residents’ questions as to why there is still a problem with refuse collections.
We have been told by officers that it is because of “operational issues” which is stating the obvious, but not at all informative.
I am therefore calling for an inquiry into what is happening at the Oakleigh Depot and its impact on refuse collections. The inquiry should also look into the cause of the depot problems and whether compensation should be paid to the council.
I have submitted a member’s item to the next Environment Committee on 5 June calling for this, but in the meantime ask that members are provided with an update on the situation.
Cllr Alan Schneiderman
Labour Environment Spokesperson
2. For more on this issue:
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568
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