No outsource plan for bins

News story
News story

WIGAN Council bosses are ready to buck a trend set by fellow town halls in the region by choosing not to privatise their environmental services.

Public bodies across Greater Manchester are considering outsourcing parts of their services , including waste disposal and street cleaning.

The plan, led by the region’s only Tory council in Trafford, could be worth up to £5bn, according to reports.

But Wigan Council officers distanced themselves from the proposals having already overhauled many of the borough’s environmental services now based at the super-depot in Ince.

Terry Dunn, director of environment, told the Evening Post: “We’re constantly looking for ways to improve but this joint approach is not an option we’re currently considering.

“Our environmental services have gone through big changes over the last few years to ensure they are high-quality and value for money.

“So we’re certainly not looking to become involved in this scheme.”

Wigan super-depot, opened last year, is home to 100 staff with more than 1,000 employees working remotely from the site.

It combines the borough’s waste collection and recycling, highways maintenance, signage and drainage and gritting services among others.

Council bosses in Trafford are currently advertising for private firms to takeover some services, leading to privatisation by as early as next year.

Leader Sean Anstee suggested cuts to the authority’s budget had prompted the decision to turn to the private sector.

Individually, the contract could be worth £1bn, rising to £5bn if the 10 Greater Manchester authorities followed.

Wigan Council is relying on residents to help it cope with dwindling budgets by improving recycling rates, making it increasingly unlikely that this part of their environmental services would be out-sourced.

As part of the Deal, the cash-strapped town hall is hoping to improve on its 48.5 per cent recycling rate to cut down on landfill costs and unlock Government grants.