Waste collection – some collections nearly a week overdue

Council, staff were working over the weekend to reduce the accumulated waste collection backlog. An update report has not yet been published but it seems that there is still some waste on the streets of villages like Dunnington.

There one resident reported yesterday that recycling has been on the street since last Tuesday.

All in all, there seems to be something wrong with this, the most basic of public services, which cannot entirely be explained by social distancing and the COVID crisis. The Council’s web site https://www.york.gov.uk/WasteCollectionUpdates often quotes “capacity” issues and “vehicle breakdowns” as the major reasons for unreliability.  

So what has senior management been doing to address the problem? Apart from ordering 12 new refuse collection vehicles, there seems to have been little by way of reaction.

The Council’s “Head of Waste” is an official called Shaun Morley. He was appointed last November but has had a very low profile since then. He describes himself as “Interim Transformation Director/Head of Waste at City of York Council”. He is also a Director of a company, SRM Waste Management, which is based in the Shetland Isles. At Company’s House his occupation is listed as “a consultant”.

Senior appointments at the Council – whether permanent or temporary – have to be recorded. We can find nothing on any Council report which explains what the current waste management structure is much less who is supposed to be responsible for what (and at what cost).

Councillors need to satisfy themselves that there is a clear line of responsibility, that key performance indicators are being monitored and that there is a transparent exception reporting process.

It seems to us that workers in the Councils waste collection activity area have generally performed well particularly over the COVID lockdown period.

It increasingly appears that this may be despite, rather than because of, senior management decisions.

York Council management restructuring plans revealed

Hard on the heels of the retirement of the Chief Executive, the York Council has revealed how it hopes to recoup the costs of the early retirement exercise.

The post of Director of Finance and Investment will be deleted. This was the post traditionally styled as the City Treasurer. More junior staff will absorb this work.

The present Director has been acting as Chief Executive for over 9 months now and he will continue in that role.

More consultation with stakeholders is promised before any new structure is implemented.

The restructuring will save about £86,000 a year in salary costs

Details of the plans can be found by clicking here