Welwyn Hatfield Council’s waste contractor pays and appoints its own surveyor

Borough councillor Kieran Thorpe

Borough councillor Kieran Thorpe - Credit: Archant

Welwyn Hatfield Council’s waste contractor appoints and pays for its own customer survey conductor, the Welwyn Hatfield Times has learnt.

A borough council spokeswoman confirmed that Serco, as part of its contract with the council, appointed and pays research agency Future Thinking to conduct its resident satisfaction surveys every three months.

The agency conducts Serco’s local authority environment surveys nationwide, and has done so in Welwyyn Hatfield since 2006.

Opposition councillor Kieran Thorpe said: “I see no reason why the council cant just survey people themselves and get to the bottom of this.

“Serco and the council say satisfaction is high but they can’t tell us who is being surveyed, what they’re being asked, or where they live. It raises questions over the point of having a survey and further, how much this seemingly pointless exercise has cost.”

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Councillor Helen Bromley, executive member for the environment, said: “Kieran has been on the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee (EOSC) and this committee has seen the questions on the survey and had input into them.

“All members know it is an independent survey and look at the figures quarterly. I would question that if the council carried out the survey, whether people would see that as independent.”

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