LIVERPOOL is the fifth worst fly-tipping hotspot in England, new figures reveal. Data compiled by the GMB union showed there had been more than 54,000 incidents in the last two years – equivalent to 74 every day.
Those of us who live in Liverpool will not be surprised at this yet the Labour council’s reaction to this problem is dreadful. Don’t forget that this time last year they were actively seeking to end the Bulky Bob’s contract which would have made things worse.
Don’t forget that when they took control of the council in 2010 they pledged to run a grot spots campaign and promised to clean up the city. The reality was they invented grot spots and then pretended to clear them. Two in my ward had been reported by us for minor problems with litter and had been promoted to grot spot to make the numbers up.
But the worst and most deep seated problem is the failure of the administration to deal with the re-letting of the contract to Liverpool Enterprise. This was a contract which started well and functioned well for its first few years but after 10 years urgently needed to be renewed. In September last year the council decided that its current market testing revealed that it needed to look afresh at its tendering activity for this work.
Under a provision of ‘urgency’ it broke its own standing orders and extended a publicly procured contract. Some urgency! A decision in September was ‘urgently’ followed up some 11 months later with a report to the cabinet. This report came suspiciously quickly after I stated nosing around after receiving information from a whistle blower.
Despite having 11 months to deal with the problem and sort out its tendering process the report was circulated at 18.03 last Thursday for the cabinet meeting the following day. Moreover as an exempt item I could not access it without giving up two meetings and returning to the council offices. This council has more than whiff of panic about it at the moment.
Major regeneration programmes running behind schedule. Bid applications talked up in March and then not submitted 6 months later and in the meantime the streets are getting dirtier and holier!
Of course the cry will go out that this is all the fault of the dastardly government but as Molesworth would say any fule kno the real fault is with the council not getting to grips with basics and allowing contracts which are no longer fit for purpose to roll on.
Nor is the end in sight. It may well be another year until the procurement process is completed and a new contract put in place to deal with Liverpool’s street scene requirements. So expect grot spots, potholes and litter for many, many months to come
No wonder Liverpool has earned the title in the local media – “Calamity Council”.