WALTHAM FOREST: Street cleaning company forced to address poor service

First published in News by

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.

Comments (5)

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12:22am Wed 3 Dec 08

simoncornwell says...

Councillor Johar Khan (High Street ward) on his blog July 23rd, 2008
"Waltham Forest will be cleaner than ever before with contractor Kier Street Services introducing new technology and techniques to keep the borough tidy.

The new contract has saved the Council £600,000 which will be used to fund new schemes to help make Waltham Forest the greenest borough in London.

Kier’s performance will be measured by how clean the streets are kept.

Since the contract started in June there have been some handover problems which have meant disruption to cleaning services in some areas of the borough.

Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment,Cllr Bob Belam, told wfm: “I’d like to apologise to residents for the glitches we’ve had since the new contract started. Roads are now getting cleaner and residents will start noticing the difference soon. Residents told us that they want cleaner streets and the new contract with Kier will mean teams working all hours to keep our borough tidy.”
Well, it is now December. Anyone noticed the difference yet or does Cllr. Belam have a different understanding of the meaning of the word 'soon' to the rest of us? While he is checking the dictionary he might also look up the word 'glitches' which usually suggests a short-lived problem. Are councillors ever to be held accountable for their promises? Or am I being ridiculously naive?
Councillor Johar Khan (High Street ward) on his blog July 23rd, 2008 "Waltham Forest will be cleaner than ever before with contractor Kier Street Services introducing new technology and techniques to keep the borough tidy. The new contract has saved the Council £600,000 which will be used to fund new schemes to help make Waltham Forest the greenest borough in London. Kier’s performance will be measured by how clean the streets are kept. Since the contract started in June there have been some handover problems which have meant disruption to cleaning services in some areas of the borough. Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment,Cllr Bob Belam, told wfm: “I’d like to apologise to residents for the glitches we’ve had since the new contract started. Roads are now getting cleaner and residents will start noticing the difference soon. Residents told us that they want cleaner streets and the new contract with Kier will mean teams working all hours to keep our borough tidy.” Well, it is now December. Anyone noticed the difference yet or does Cllr. Belam have a different understanding of the meaning of the word 'soon' to the rest of us? While he is checking the dictionary he might also look up the word 'glitches' which usually suggests a short-lived problem. Are councillors ever to be held accountable for their promises? Or am I being ridiculously naive? simoncornwell
  • Score: 0

9:21am Wed 3 Dec 08

Technomist says...

Mr Khan does not apparently live in his ward or visit it very regularly, so he may not think it fair to criticize him for making a prediction like that which turned out to be so wrong. Also, I understand he doesn't do very many of his own blogs, so these may be words put into his mouth by the kind person who has been covering for him. Maybe he would like to clarify the situation and what his views are now.
Mr Khan does not apparently live in his ward or visit it very regularly, so he may not think it fair to criticize him for making a prediction like that which turned out to be so wrong. Also, I understand he doesn't do very many of his own blogs, so these may be words put into his mouth by the kind person who has been covering for him. Maybe he would like to clarify the situation and what his views are now. Technomist
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Wed 3 Dec 08

techiebabe says...

If Kier would like to collect the bags of leaves that are cluttering the pavements, that would be a start!
If Kier would like to collect the bags of leaves that are cluttering the pavements, that would be a start! techiebabe
  • Score: 0

10:45am Thu 4 Dec 08

jrp says...

The councils own website states 'Keirs performance will be measured not by how often the streets are swept but by clean the borough is'

I emailed the council on the 24th Nov asking what indicators are being used to ascertain how clean the borough is, if they are NOT looking at the frequency of road sweeping.....I am STILL awaiting a reply, I won't be holding my breath waiting for it.
The councils own website states 'Keirs performance will be measured not by how often the streets are swept but by clean the borough is' I emailed the council on the 24th Nov asking what indicators are being used to ascertain how clean the borough is, if they are NOT looking at the frequency of road sweeping.....I am STILL awaiting a reply, I won't be holding my breath waiting for it. jrp
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Thu 4 Dec 08

Technomist says...

If there was a council contract for the sweeping aside of questions from the public, I bet every target would be met.
If there was a council contract for the sweeping aside of questions from the public, I bet every target would be met. Technomist
  • Score: 0
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