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Monday, 1 August 2016

The Lord Loves a Sinner Come to his Understanding

Martin Francis quotes a local resident on Brent's bulky waste service.  It turns out to be none other than former Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Lorber, who is dissatisified with the way the service now works. 

This is ironic as Paul Lorber, when Leader of the Council, introduced charging for what had up to then been a free service.  This was despite their promising prior to the 2006 elections that they would keep the service free.  This was one of a large number of broken Liberal Democrat promises.  After they introduced fees in 2007, the rate of collections fell through the floor.  When Labour came to power in 2010, the free service was restored.  Neither Martin or Paul found time to mention this history.

However, I welcome the interest in how the Public Realm Contract is put together.  I always argued that the time to concentrate on specification was before the contract was awarded, when the bidders were under maximum pressure to give the Council the best possible deal.  Unfortunately, Martin and others were too busy whipping up noise about Israel to pay attention to what the contract was actually about

Still it is good that they have become interested now.

Monitoring
Martin appears to be objecting to the practice of self monitoring, although this is common in such contracts.   The argument is that getting the contractor to sort out the problems as a first resort is the quickest way to sort things out, and I think that is true.  Martin may not be aware that modern technology allows a much greater degree of tracking that previously.  Provided that the Council is diligently practising open book accounting for the contract, it should have at least as much control as previously. 

Enforcement
He, and his commentator, also seems to be a bit confused about the enforcement against litter.  This has ben awarded to a separate company to Veolia, so it doesn't seem to be particularly sensible to bundle them together.  I am not sure if the proposed, punitive, approach will work.  I suspect at this point it is too early to say. 


1 comment:

  1. Hi James. I did look at what was in the contract itself on Wembley Matters several times. Here's one link: http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/will-veolia-as-sole-bidder-represent.html

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