No green waste collection refund without subscription renewal, confirms Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
BASINGSTOKE and Deane residents who don’t continue with their garden waste collection subscription will be unable to reclaim the missed collections, the borough council has confirmed.
Brown bin collections for the borough’s residents were suspended from October 4, until at least November as the council’s waste contractor Serco deals with a backlog and a shortage of HGV drivers.
Serco has been gradually completing the collection scheduled for the week beginning September 6, and most of the collection was completed last week.
However, if the suspension continues until November, it means residents will potentially miss three collections – in addition to further missed collections in July at the height of the ‘pingdemic.’
Borough residents have now received a letter saying they are only entitled to reclaim the missed collections if they extend their subscription, as they will be added to the end of their subscriptions, with their renewal date moved forward.
The subscription is currently £60 per year per brown bin.
A council spokesperson said: “Collections that have been missed for reasons outside of our control are not refundable on cancellation, under the terms and conditions of the scheme.
“Extensions can only be applied to active garden waste subscriptions, which is why it is important for customers to renew their subscriptions when they receive a reminder.”
There is no guarantee meanwhile that the situation will be resolved in November.
The council said Serco continues to suffer a shortage of HGV drivers, and that the council recognises “it may take some time before we can be confident in resuming a reliable service”.
It said: “Serco has made every effort to recruit drivers in a competitive market by offering increased salaries and enhanced benefits packages.
“Although some applicants are currently going through the recruitment and training process, there are still driver vacancies which are not yet filled and agencies, who are also affected by this shortage in a fast-moving market, are unable to provide staff to fill gaps.
“We will review the situation regularly and hope that our work to attract HGV drivers means availability improves so that we are able to resume the service.”
At an East Woodhay Parish Council meeting on Monday, councillors expressed their frustration that the problems with collections coincided with a £7 fee introduced in August for North Hampshire residents to use the Newtown Road tip.
The move has forced around 5,000 North Hampshire households to either pay to use the West Berkshire tip or undertake a 20-mile round trip to the household waste recycling centres in Basingstoke or Andover.
Councillors also voiced their concerns that there was a “loss of confidence” among their residents over the borough council’s ability to successfully collect increased rubbish and garden waste over the Christmas period.
Paul Hurst said: “What is going to be the service over Christmas?
“There’s a degree of risk of those collections not being fulfilled.”