Liverpool waste collection could move back into council control

Bin collections and cleaning up of the city could be brought back in house by Liverpool Council.

Since 2016, frontline services to tidy up Liverpool have been delivered by the city council’s owned company Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd (LSSL). The local authority is now considering ending the outsourcing of this vital operation in a bid to improve recycling rates and in conjunction with the adoption of the new neighbourhood model.

Proposals to bring the bins back in house as well as the 600 LSSL staff are subject to a new working group that will help form full proposals for cabinet to consider early next year.

The new neighbourhood model – which has created 13 new areas in which elements like waste collection will be managed by council officials – will bring streetscene services closer together with other local authority provided elements to ensure communities are safe, clean, and green. An insourcing arrangement would also enable stronger enforcement against environmental crime and anti-social behaviour.

If the proposal to insource staff is agreed, and subject to consultation, all LSSL staff would transfer to Liverpool Council as their new employer. Households would also not see any change to their waste collection service.  

Councillor Liam Robinson, leader of Liverpool Council, said, “The time is now right to consider the future arrangements for delivering our street scene and waste collection services. As we face a whole raft of new challenges, chief among them climate change, is the need to find new and innovative ways to improve recycling performance.

”Our overarching concern is to provide the very best services for our residents and businesses and deliver best value. I am confident that insourcing the service would give the council more control over front line delivery and help achieve our promise to make our streets cleaner, tackle fly tipping, and reduce litter.

“I look forward to seeing how these proposals will be developed by the joint working group to help us achieve that.”

Cllr Laura Robertson-Collins, cabinet member for communities, neighbourhoods and streetscene, added, “Transferring these core services into the council would provide new opportunities for improvement, innovation and efficiency, bringing direct benefits to our residents and businesses. If agreed, the proposal would also help deliver improvements in our frontline services in neighbourhoods, according to the needs of each community. 

“Such a flexible approach would also ensure a more proactive way of working and help us improve the overall cleanliness of the city.”

Responding to the proposal, Cllr Carl Cashman, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group, said while the move was welcomed, more work needed to be done to tighten up persistent offenders. He said, “This is a good move from the administration to bring streetscene services back in house.

“Hopefully greater direct oversight means that they can deliver the best services possible for residents. There has been a feeling that the current structure has not been working effectively with the neighbourhood model.

“Hopefully, once back in house Liverpool Council can get tougher tackling enforcement problems and issue more than one fixed penalty notice out over 19,000 cases of fly-tipping. Labour will shy away from it, but the Liberal Democrats are shinning the spotlight on the poor state they’ve let the public realm become.”

Image: Liverpool City Council

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