Outsourcing will save ‘£400K’

The council has made changes to waste services in the borough.
The council has made changes to waste services in the borough.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has said jobs will be secured following a decision to outsource some of the waste collection services in the borough.

Commenting on the decision, a spokesperson for the local authority said: “Following a comprehensive review of the waste collection service and a lengthy consultation with the Trade Unions, during which their opposition to outsourcing was restated, the council has decided to proceed with some changes to its waste collection services across the borough.

“Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council approved a proposal, which will both ensure continued high standards of service and further efficiency savings, estimated to be over £400K per annum.

“Customers will continue to receive a quality service and will benefit from the savings. Understandably, there have been some questions about these changes, which includes whether bin collection days will be affected and if there will be future charging for bin collection services.

“Our customers are reassured that there will be no change to the bin collection days and no additional charges will apply. (A FAQ sheet is available on our website).”

The council spokesperson added: “Following the merger of the two councils, significant managerial savings have already been made and this decision will allow waste staff who have requested severance to leave the organisation.

“The decision will also secure the jobs of the remaining waste staff and at the same time deliver more operational savings for ratepayers.

“These savings will help mitigate the significant £1M rates refund, which the council is liable to pay following a recent Lands Tribunal decision, which was totally outside of the control of the council.

“The council has taken the opportunity to again reiterate its commitment to no compulsory redundancies and no Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) transfers to the private sector. This commitment has the support of all the political parties.

“For more than five years, a third of waste collection services in the borough have been successfully outsourced. The new service provider, when appointed, will be contractually obliged to deliver a high quality service to our residents. Following this decision, a suitable service provider will be sought via the normal procurement procedures.”