Gloucester waste contract: Ubico set to take over

image captionThe new contract will cover waste collection and recycling

Gloucester City Council is likely to have a new waste contractor next year.

The authority wants local firm Ubico to deliver services such as waste, recycling and street cleaning from April 2022.

A final decision will be made next month, giving councillors a chance to scrutinise the plan.

Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB), which took over the existing Amey contract in January and runs the Javelin Park waste incinerator, was also in the running.

Council documents say both UBB and Ubico submitted "robust service plans" which were both "fit for purpose", according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionGloucestershire-based Ubico operates in much of the county

However, independent auditors KPMG, brought in by the city council, found Ubico's proposals would "likely be more commercially beneficial".

If the proposal was approved, Ubico would provide waste services in every district in Gloucestershire.

The company is jointly owned by councils in Gloucestershire, and is used by Tewkesbury Borough, Stroud District and Forest of Dean District councils.

Members of Gloucester City Council's overview and scrutiny committee will have a chance to challenge the proposal to contract Ubico on 3 March before it goes for final cabinet approval.

Controversial moments

The council's report recommending Ubico said the conclusion came from "a detailed options appraisal, an independent financial appraisal, and an assessment by officers".

The authority's cabinet is expected to place on record "its thanks to Amey and its staff for the way that they have sustained essential public services during the pandemic" and the "positive and constructive way" it has engaged with the council.

The relationship between the company and the council has not been free of controversy.

In 2018, Amey was accused by the city council of "losing" 2,000 tonnes of rubbish, costing the authority £245,059

Amey continuously insisted the firm "could account for the recycled material".

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