Newly Tory-run Harlow Council is ramping up pressure on the town’s contracted waste manager.

The council yesterday issued a contract default notice to Veolia after claiming the company had missed bin collections this week, following an initial warning the service had to be improved by Wednesday.

Harlow Conservatives have made improvements to bin collections a priority since taking control of the council on May 6.

Veolia has been the town’s contracted waste manager for 19 years and signed a 10-year extension with the then Labour-run council in 2019.

After taking the mantle of leader of the council from ousted Labour leader Mark Ingall, Tory leader Andrew Johnson took aim at Veolia’s ‘failure to collect bins’ and blasted Labour for 'moaning' but not addressing the issue.

A rectification notice was issued to Veolia on Monday, and while the council says it recognises some improvements have been made to catch up with collections, it has now issued a contract default notice.

A council spokesperson said: “Residents rightly expect their bins to be collected on time. The council is sorry to residents for the delays they are currently experiencing. The council is taking all the steps it can and remains in close contact with Veolia to get normal service restored as soon as possible.

“The bin crews are working hard in what is a very demanding job and the council wants to continue to make it clear that the action it is taking is not to do with their efforts or work. The council's action is to do with how the overall contract is being resourced by Veolia.”

The default notice forms part of a non-compliance process which the council has activated this week, giving Veolia until 4pm on Friday, May 14 to “restore normal service”.

Failure to meet the notice could eventually lead to financial penalties being imposed on Veolia.

A Veolia spokesperson said "We are aware that some residents have been experiencing delays with their recycling and waste collections. This is being caused by some ongoing operational issues and we are working closely with Harlow Council to resolve them. In the meantime we are deploying additional resources to assist with completing the rounds.

"Where a collection is missed residents should leave their bin out and we will return to collect it as soon as possible. We ask that residents bear with us as we work hard to improve the service for all."

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