Agenda and draft minutes

Additional meeting, Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 4th October, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA

Contact: Aimee Wittams-Smith - Committee Services Officer  Tel: 020 8770 4990 Email:

Link: Audio Recording

No. Item


Apologies for absence and notifications of substitutes


Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Patrick McManus.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 232 KB


This item was deferred to the next meeting.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Report of the task and finish group on the waste contract pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Report of the Task and Finish Group’s work to look at the preparations for and the initial implementation of the new waste collection service introduced across Sutton in April 2017.

Additional documents:


Councillor Ali welcomed those present to the meeting and explained that the purpose of the meeting was for Scrutiny Committee to receive the report of the task and finish group on the work it has undertaken to look at how the Council, South London Waste Partnership and its partner Veolia prepared for and introduced the new recycling and rubbish collection service and the response to the initial service problems.


Councillors Fivey and Hicks were invited to comment on the work of the task and finish group as they were co-opted members that did not sit on Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Fivey commented that there had been issues with the ICT systems which other boroughs could learn from ahead of introducing a similar service, she added that they had worked very hard and undertaken a lot of evidence-gathering exercises in order to be thorough with the report. Councillor Hicks commented that he had been astonished by how unprepared the Council had been, as members felt they had not been briefed ahead of implementation that it was likely that there would be teething problems. He believed that the Council had made no attempt to prepare the public for the potential issues with such a major change in service.


Councillor Ali reminded the committee that the recommendations arising from the meeting would be submitted to Environment and Neighbourhood Committee to consider. Councillor Joyce introduced the report, and invited questions from the Committee following discussion on each of the four aims.


The first aim was to explore the preparations made for the introduction of the new service. Councillor Burstow raised concerns that it appeared that a number of the issues upon implementation would have been foreseen in the weeks leading up to the implementation date. She asked why the systems were not in place in the contact centre, why more staff weren’t hired, and why, in her view, members had not been briefed in more detail on some of the issues relating to the service change. Councillor Williams, referring to the paragraph at the top of page 18, suggested that a recommendation going forward would be to be more rigorous in challenging a contractor’s ability to deliver a service change successfully, even if the contractor is experienced and has a good industry reputation. The Committee agreed that this should be added to Strategic Recommendation (iii) and that Officers should agree the precise revised wording with the Committee outside of the meeting.


Councillor McManus raised concerns that with Veolia’s experience they would have known that the introduction of the service was likely to be chaotic and he believed that they had requested the 13 week grace period without fines for poor service because of this. He wished for his view to be recorded. Councillor Hicks added that Veolia had not responded quickly enough to assumptions that they had initially made about the needs of the borough, and that the borough had not prepared sufficiently for such a major change in terms of arranging for additional staff  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Any urgent business

Brought forward at the discretion of the Chair.


There was no urgent business brought forward.