WALTHAM FOREST: Street cleaning company forced to address poor service (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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WALTHAM FOREST: Street cleaning company forced to address poor service
NEARLY 300 notices to address substandard work have been issued to Kier since they took over the street cleaning contract in June.
Known as “rectification notices”, they are issued by the council when “work is not carried out to high enough standards” and give Kier a set period of time (usually 24 hours) to bring work up to scratch.
If they still fail to meet standards after the time period has elapsed, they are then issued with default notices, which carry a punitive deduction of £50.
A total of 66 such notices have been issued to Kier since the start of their contract, amounting to about ten every month and a total deduction of £3,300.
Cabinet member for environment Cllr Bob Belam said: "Rectification and default notices are standard features of most council contracts and are designed to ensure contractors meet the high standards expected of them.
“This is part of the council's intensive monitoring processes where the borough's roads are inspected every day.
“This type of monitoring and formal requirement to improve the quality of cleanliness is an improvement to the previous in house service that had no such requirements.”
But claims of an overall improvement to the service provided by Kier have been met with scepticism.
James McCauley, 39, of Lloyd Road, Walthamstow, whose street received a rectification notice, said: “Before I started complaining, street sweeping was intermittent at best.
“We asked a street cleaner why our service was so rustic and he said there were too many streets to do.”
And although his street has since been swept, he feels the problem is not being fully addressed.
“It’s not just my street - I’m just putting my head above the parapet,” he said.
“It’s all over the borough. I work outside Waltham Forest and it depresses me coming back.”
The council continues to urge people to report fly-tipping and unswept streets to Waltham Forest Direct.