Fifteen year North Northants household waste contract could see Corby tip site relocated
A lucrative 15-year contract to run North Northamptonshire’s four household waste recycling centres is up for renewal.
The council’s executive yesterday (Thursday, November 16) agreed to start working on finding a company to run the area’s waste centres after members were told that the contract outsourced to Urbaser for tips in Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby and Rushden ends on March 31 next year.
It was originally drawn up by Northamptonshire County Council back in 2010 and is worth about £2.69m every year, rising to £2.84m next year
Over the summer, the council employed an outside consultancy, SLR Consulting, to look at its options for the future of the contract.
Those consultants said that there was now not enough time to bring the contract back in-house, and in any case it would cost the authority an extra £140,000 each year.
They said that all the sites need ‘immediate attention’ to meet future demand – estimated to increase by 26 per cent by 2040, by which date they will not be fit for purpose.
It was also noted that Corby and Wellingborough’s household waste sites are both too small and need to be expanded. The authority does not own the Corby centre – which is in Kettering Road, Weldon – but rather leases it for £56,000 per year.
NNC is hoping to extend that lease for three years in order to properly assess its future and to look at options for buying land or using council land to build a new household waste centre for the expanding town.
Last year there were 458,566 visitors to the four sites. Rushden is the busiest, attracting more than 33 per cent of visitors. Best practice is that all residents should be within 30 minutes’ drive of a site.
Councillors at yesterday’s NNC executive meeting agreed to begin procurement for the new 15-year contract. They also agreed to delegate decisions on awarding the contract to the Executive Member for Assets Cllr Matt Binley (Con, Queensway) without the need to return to the executive.
Addressing the meeting, leader of the opposition Matt Keane (Lab, Corby West) said: “This is going to be a huge contract so I’d like to see a bit more scrutiny from it from members. I’d like to ask for an all-members briefing on the options going forward, particularly the decision of what we’re going to do on the Corby site. If we’re going to keep the one in Weldon then the access issues really need to be addressed.
“Anyone who comes down that road on a bank holiday Monday sees the traffic, and if we’re going to relocate it a lot of scrutiny needs to be carried out to make sure the location is right.”
Presenting the report, Cllr Binley said he would consult members with previous experience in waste and those on executive advisory panels, adding: “We recognise member engagement is absolutely vital.”
The contract will have to go through a formal tendering process before it is awarded.