Cheshire East Council’s bin collections are bucking the national trend and delivering a top-notch service for residents.
Nationally, councils in England are ‘getting it wrong too often’ when it comes to waste collection complaints, says the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Its new report shows the Ombudsman upheld 81 per cent of its complaint investigations into council waste and recycling services last year. This has shot up from 59 per cent the year before, with outsourcing blamed, in part, for this sharp rise.
But in Cheshire East it is a different story – with zero complaints referred to the Ombudsmen about its waste collection service, which has a 90 per cent approval rating with local residents.
Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for waste and environmental services, said he is proud to ‘lift the lid’ on this real success story for Cheshire East.
Cllr Stockton said: “Cheshire East is proving its commitment to delivering excellent services that are both responsive to people’s needs and provide value for money for residents. This is also about strong leadership, accountability and putting things right quickly if they go wrong – which is what we strive to do.
“When things go wrong, it’s how councils put them right that really matters. We know how vital this is – and that’s why we listen to residents and greatly value their feedback.”
Chairman of Ansa, Councillor John Hammond, said: “With many councils outsourcing waste services, one of the common issues the Ombudsman has identified is insufficient council oversight.
“That is not the case here at Cheshire East, where our residents benefit from a highly-rated service run by the council’s own innovative arms-length company Ansa – which is wholly-owned by the authority and overseen by elected members.
“This enables the authority to get the benefit of both worlds: retaining the expertise of experienced and highly-dedicated staff – but also the freedom to operate in a more innovative and commercially-minded way to deliver high-quality services and real value for money for local people.”
Waste collection facts:
● 90 per cent waste collection service satisfaction – up from 75 per cent in 2014;
● A recycling rate of more than 55 per cent – which puts Cheshire East in the top 10 of all unitary authorities – thanks to your efforts!;
● Cheshire East Council empties around 13 million bins per year (more than 500,000 per fortnight); and
● No complaints about waste collection received by the Ombudsman.
Cllr Hammond added: “We always strive to get it right first time – but no service is perfect. If you have a problem with your bin collection or our waste and recycling service, you should report it to the council as soon as possible. You can do this via our website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/recycling or by phoning the waste collection team on: 0300 123 5011.”