Time to Clean Act Up – In More Ways than One
The review of the Enterprise Contract called for by the Northampton Borough Labour Group and initially resisted by the Conservatives has raised some important issues as to why the waste and recycling problems across Northampton continues 18 months after its implementation.
It is increasingly clear that the contract itself has flaws in not only the way it was negotiated and its content much of which can reasonably be put down to the haste in which it was carried out to have it signed off and in place before the May 2011 election in order that the Borough Council budget for 2007/2008 could be delivered.
So are the problems that the residents and taxpayers of Northampton have had to endure with missed collections and the deteriorating state of the Borough solely down to the Liberal Democrats as the Conservative Leader of the Council and his administration are now promoting?
It is a matter of fact that the Conservative administration inherited the new Enterprise contract but its importance was recognised after the election in May 2011 which is why Councillor Mackintosh was given direct responsibility for the implementation of the contract from the official launch of that took place in Daventry in June 2011 through to October 2011 when he became the Leader of the Council.
History shows that the contract got off to a shaky start in its first 3 months, a period during which the public through the Chronicle and Echo and BBC Northampton were constantly told that it was down to ‘teething problems’ and that they had now been sorted out.
It appears now that the PR performance didn’t match up with the problems as highlighted in the report, problems which continue through to today, but of course if they are to be believed it has nothing to do with the Conservative leadership and administration despite the fact that not a single target has been met.
The chaos over the Christmas and New Year period with missed collections and apparently the wrong collection schedules being sent out is another demonstration of a failure to manage and monitor the contract in way the residents of Northampton can reasonably expect, after all it is they who pay their taxes for what has to date been a sub-standard service.
What is an enduring concern is that the visible impact of increased rubbish on our streets continues to increase the perception of neglect and sadly results in people losing confidence and pride in the town which leads to increased in fly tipping as I have seen across the Eastern District having reported and had over 600 cases removed during 2012.
Of course it is a minority who spoil it for everyone else and fly tipping is a blight on the town and neighbourhoods but there is no doubt that where rubbish is left uncollected it encourages some people to think that it is alright to leave their rubbish out, safe in the knowledge that it will be collected anyway.
Residents who act responsibly and comply with the collection schedules quite rightly feel angry and frustrated.
So yes the Liberal Democrats were in control at the time the contract was negotiated but it has been the abject failure of the Borough Council Conservatives to manage, monitor and get a grip of the whole issue that has resulted in the mess that the people of Northampton are having to pay for with seeing an increasing neglect of their neighbourhoods.
It is time the Northampton Conservatives cleaned up their act – cleaned up the town and got a grip of their responsibilities to the Northampton residents rather than pursue what is their pet projects and personal objectives all funded by the taxpayer.