Pay out by council for not collecting Welwyn Hatfield woman’s bins 14 times in a year

PUBLISHED: 15:59 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:21 23 September 2020

Serco was the rubbish contractor in Welwyn Hatfield until Urbaser took over. Picture: WHBC.

Serco was the rubbish contractor in Welwyn Hatfield until Urbaser took over. Picture: WHBC.

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A Welwyn Hatfield woman, who had her complaint upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman, had to air her grievance 14 times to the council due to missed bins.

Serco was the rubbish contractor in Welwyn Hatfield until Urbaser took over. Picture: Nina MorganSerco was the rubbish contractor in Welwyn Hatfield until Urbaser took over. Picture: Nina Morgan

The body – which investigates local government – had said there was fault on the part of the council, who agreed and offered to pay Ms B £50, which was increased to £150 in line with the guidelines.

Ms B made her first report on 28 December 2017 that she did not have a collection – of refuse bins for her and neighbouring properties in their single communal store – from December 8 to 25 by the council’s old contractor Serco.

Serco was then told to “clear all the rubbish that had accumulated in the store”, according to a Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council standards committee report on Wednesday, September 16, but “it took the contractor until January 19 to do this properly”.

But her bins continued not to be collected 14 times, council records reveal, and then three more times in the next year. This means that over 27 per cent of her rubbish was not reportedly collected.

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The Ombudsman concluded: “The council has acknowledged that it was at fault because it did not establish which bin store had not been emptied. I recognise that the mistake was genuine and I can see how this unusual situation meant that the correct bin store was not identified for some time.

“However, this has caused a problem for Ms B, not only due to the uncollected waste, but also as she had to report it to the council several times, when it could have been resolved after the first contact. This is likely to have caused Ms B inconvenience and put her to time and trouble.”

Another complaint which was upheld by the ombudsman also conclude that WHBC was at fault as it did not send council tax bills to a Mr and Mrs X’s forwarding address.

And instead, the married couple were wrongly charged court costs and contacted by enforcement agents.

“The council has agreed to remedy Mr and Mrs X’s distress and avoidable,” the report reveals.

A total of three complaints were upheld, which was not a big change on previous years, and the local government watchdog thinks WHBC “successfully implemented” 100 per cent of its recommendations.

You can make a complaint to WHBC welhat.gov.uk/article/8198/Making-a-compliment-comment-or-complaint or the ombudsman here lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint.


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