Lib Dems 'hypocritical' in Bristol firm row ; HULL: Labour politician defends bin promotion contract [Hull Daily Mail (England)]
(Hull Daily Mail (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) InShort A Bristol marketing firm being used to tell people in Hull how to use their wheelie bins has been hired twice before by the city council.
A DECISION to award a Bristol marketing company a Pounds 62,000 council contract to tell people in Hull how to empty their bins has been defended by a senior Labour politician.
Opposition Liberal Democrats at the Guildhall have labelled the move "insulting".
Deputy Lib Dem leader Councillor Mike Ross also questioned why the work could not be done by the authority's own staff. But Councillor Martin Mancey, cabinet portfolio holder for the environment, said the same company had twice been awarded contracts by the previous Lib Dem administration to carry out similar promotional campaigns involving recycling issues. He also claimed the current contract with waste management consultants Resources Future Ltd would create temporary jobs for local people.
Cllr Mancey said: "It really is very hypocritical for the Liberal Democrats to be criticising this contract when they spent a total of Pounds 260,000 on using the same company for two separate campaigns when they were in charge of the council."
The current contract has been awarded to coincide with the run- up to April when main household bin collections in Hull are due to switch from weekly to fortnightly.
The firm is expected to employ about 20 people to visit about 50,000 households over a six-week period.
They will give people advice and information about different recycling options. Cllr Mancey said: "They will be targeting areas of the city with low recycling rates, knocking on doors to educate, inform and encourage people to ensure they do recycle as much as possible to limit the amount of waste going into the black bin.
"The cost of that is Pounds 62,000 but if it results in just a 5 per cent increase in recycling across the city, we will have saved Pounds 300,000 in landfill tax in a year.
"I see it as a good investment that will hopefully produce a good return."
Cllr Mancey said the decision to use the same firm again was also a reflection of its particular skills in running waste-related publicity campaigns.
"A number of firms were involved in the tendering process but this particular company was chosen on the basis of both price and quality.
"They have the resources to draw on to send out a team of 20 people to knock on doors. They can also provide full training on things such as health and safety and communication skills because some of them will be going into potentially hostile situations.
"The reality of the situation is that, as a council, we simply don't have those resources to draw on both in terms of expertise or numbers."
Speaking at a council scrutiny meeting, Cllr Mancey said he could not yet give a figure for the number of expected job losses in the council's waste department as a result of the switch to fortnightly collections. The council expects to save Pounds 1m a year from the move.
Follow Angus on Twitter @Angus_Young61 First hired in 2009 RESOURCES Future Ltd was first hired by Hull City Council in July 2009.
The firm won a Pounds 201,000 contract from the authority to organise a promotional campaign linked to the citywide roll-out of blue and brown household recycling bins.
The 18-month contract covered the cost of two managers from the firm, a programme of face-to-face visits to 97,800 homes and the production and distribution of 23,000 postcards. The company subsequently won a Pounds 59,000 contract from the council in February 2010 to analyse the contents of 250 bins.
The Lib Dems spent Pounds 260,000 on using the same company Councillor Martin Mancey
(c) 2013 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]