Isle of Wight Labour Party demands answers over ‘shambolic’ waste contract

The IW Labour Party accepts there will be teething problems at the beginning of a contract, but says the “shambolic start to this contract goes beyond what could be expected” and does not bode well for the future.

new black bins at steephill 640

Ed Gouge from the Isle of Wight Labour party shares this latest news. Ed

The IW Labour Party is demanding answers over the Island’s controversial and ‘shambolic’ new waste contract.

The new £225 million contract, which includes the hard-up IW Council handing contractor Amey £70 million to kick-start the project, has been dogged by problems since the new arrangements came into force earlier this month.

Labour is seeking more details about the contract and asking why when the council and Amey had almost a year to prepare for the new arrangement, the launch so quickly descended into chaos.

Councillor Geoff Lumley said:

“There are always going to be teething problems with a change of this nature but the shambolic start to this contract goes beyond what could be expected and does not bode well for the future. The council and Amey had months to plan for the launch but both have failed residents dismally.

“Residents have not been provided with the correct bins or sacks, some have received nothing at all and it seems a great many residents are even unaware of the changes. And those who try to contact the council to seek clarification simply cannot get through. There has been a lack of thorough planning and a failure to get to grips with the problem once the shortcomings became evident.”

Questions need answering
At Full Council on 25th May, Labour will call on portfolio holder Cllr Paul Fuller to answer a number of questions.

These include:

  • On what terms is the IW Council borrowing £70 million to find Amey’s start-up costs?
  • Why was Amey not required to have a designated call centre and why was the Isle of Wight Council unprepared for the volume of calls it received at the start of the contract?
  • Why, with so long to plan the launch the new arrangements, did so many properties not have the required bins and sacks?
  • Is the contract specification available for public scrutiny? If not why not?
  • What arrangements are in place to monitor and manage this contract?

Deb Gardiner, Island Labour’s Chair, said:

“This is a contract of high value and high importance as it affects us all as individuals and we should also be ensuring that the Island increases its recycling and reduces its landfill.

“But so far it has been a farcical exercise in poor planning and inadequate response. The IW Council needs to quickly demonstrate that it has the expertise and resources to run a contract of this nature. So far the signs are not promising.”

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75 Comments on "Isle of Wight Labour Party demands answers over ‘shambolic’ waste contract"

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Well said, Geoff and Deb. Given the total and shameful silence from Cllr Fuller and co on this one, you are right to raise the issues in this way.

andy walton

I live in a 1bed first floor flat,now have 5 bins,no space to put & when I put the green bin in the road the contractors threatened me with the police for littering! they told me for every bin they fail to deliver they are fined £20.stuff we dont want at big cost=corruption or madness


They have done everything right for me so far and the bin man have been brilliant as well

Diogenese's Barrel

Cllr. Lumley,
Who actually owns the new bins?
What did they each cost the IW Council?
Would it be ilegal for Council Tax payers to sell them on E Bay and use the money to buy some black and clear bags?
Which IW Council officer is responsible for this contract?


My bin was emptied this morning the dustman removed it from the bin and dropped it on the floor he then spent a few minuets picking up the rubbish that came out of the bag why have a bin?

the shadow

is there a renegotiation clause in the contract.are we guaranteed to keep our green collection and the black bin collection this needs to be kept 100%

Bristol council and another 2 have done this
black rubbish connection every 3 weeks green bin weekly

is this for us next

Island Monkey

It’s another indie omnishambles, a fiasco. The electorate will punish them next May for this latest incompetence.

They will also remember the authority with no money had the impertinence to challenge an Island parent in the high Court. Thankfully for him they lost, sadly for us, it wont be the idiotic big brother councillor’s who pay.

I wonder how many people have got the right bins and are having them emptied properly? It must be quite efficient as I don’t see mountains of rotting waste building up in the streets and rats the size of small dogs scurrying through the towns. I have a very strong suspicion that we’ve simply got a very vocal minority for whom it’s not gone well. Based on… Read more »
We actually don’t know the size of any problem because it hasn’t actually arisen yet. This is because Amey very responsibly are still continuing to collect all the black sacks and clear sacks exactly as when Biffa had the contract. As long as Amey carry on doing this it will generally be fine. Meanwhile it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Council is in a pickle. They… Read more »
PJ. If you were unhappy with the OJEU noticed you could have not published it at all or withdrew it at an early stage with very small risk to the council. You could than have rolled on the existing waste contract in the short term. Once again your are hiding behind the ‘blame the previous mob’ excuse and – just as in the High Court fiasco –… Read more »
Luisa Hillard
tyke, I was happy with the OJEU notice being published based on the agreed outcome specification. Out of approx 70,000 homes there are a couple of thousand who have requested a re-assessment to change from bin/sack and vice versa. Unfortunately I believe that most of these requests came once the bins started being delivered, even though it was possible to check in advance. Unfortunately I’m not overseeing… Read more »
My parents definitely knew what they we supposed to do and are all for recycling. They called the council months ago to request sacks rather than a bin, as they have steps which make it unsuitable for a wheelie bin. However, a wheelie bin was still delivered (despite challenging the people actually delivering the bins- it turned out they were still “on the list”). They have had… Read more »

Note for Luisa Hillard –
1. Not everybody has a computer or knows how to use one.
2. I, for one, will not pay out 95p for the County Press.
3. I still have not received my leaflet from the Council, explaining what receptacles I am to receive and how to use them.

phil jordan
tyke: It was NOT legally possible to extend the then existing contract. Any delay to the prepared tender document would have missed the date we needed to meet to achieve the date for commencing the new contract. Years spent on the procurement and tender document… we had days in office. In any event, what evidence have you that contract is not fit for purpose…..? Certainly the contractor… Read more »
Phil. Your mob came to power in 2013, the previous waste arrangements came to an end more than two years later. In that time you set the tender process rolling, you discarded bidders during that process and when it was complete, you spoke in glowing terms about the new contract with Amey. I would say that all makes it pretty clear this was your contract and moreover… Read more »
Black Dog

Is this a game of Heads I Win and Tails you lose being played by the council?

phil jordan
tyke: Perhaps you have misunderstood my position. The dates I gave you are correct, the dates for tender posting in June 2013, the numbers of years spent prior to June 2013 creating the procuerment/tender/contract process, the amount of time (in reality about 14/21 days) after we become elected and functional and the date of the posting of the tender notice. Once started, you cannot alter the tender… Read more »

So we now have an admission from Phil Jordan that the current administration failed to deal forcefully (or possibly at all) with contractual failures on the Highways PFI contract. That is where any problems originate rather than the contract itself.

phil jordan


no it isn’t.

The contract itself remains the problem…

Btw, we have dealt with numbers of contractual failings already…


Are you going to publish the Price Waterhouse report so we can see what they have to say?


So Jordan are you going to publish the Price Waterhouse report? You usually have plenty to say for yourself but you have not replied to my question. Could it possibly be that PW do not support the wild allegations you have been making?

Island Monkey


Luisa Hillard

Surely almost every question is ‘awkward’ and yet still Phil and I put in a lot of time trying to answer as many as possible, even though we end up having to repeat ourselves due to issues coming up again in the discussions of new articles.

I appreciate your time Phil but I just do not accept your premise. The original OJEU notice sets out only the broad parameters of what the contract will entail. How those parameters are met is part of the two-year long negotiation process your administration undertook. The detailed scheme we are seeing now – size and nature of bins, what is and isn’t collected and when etc etc… Read more »
Luisa Hillard
tyke, I believe that what Phil says is accurate. What we inherited was a list of requirements for an outcome-based procurement method. The Council had agreed what it wanted: higher recycling rates, reduced landfill etc. How these things were achieved were dependent on the bids submitted and then fine-tuned via competitive dialogue. One issue we have with this method is that to some extent we can only… Read more »

Wow. Thank Goodness for the Indies in all their tea-making, emancipating glory….

@ luisa “the council wanted higher re-cycling rates” A very noble idea. But this is not how to go about it. I would give larger black bins to anyone who requests one. They themselves know how much is going to go in them. I would encourage people to recycle but bear in mind not everyone reads the county press or goes online or reads the amount of… Read more »
Darren Irving
The future of recycling is education, trouble with that is most do not want to listen and are quite happy continuing their wasteful ways. I like the way Colin finishes the comment with the “grow up” comment, indeed people do need to grow up and take responsibility for their waste, the black bins are smaller for a distinct reason, still some think that black bin waste should… Read more »

Presumably if *no* black bins were provided then recycling would be mandatory?

What would happen to the “contaminated” detritus that could not be cleansed prior to disposal?

phil jordan
tyke: I think luisa has answered this now….. By the way, the executive responsible for the first year of the contract is no longer in our administration….go figure. Neither is the most senior officer overseeing it….long gone. However, having had the ‘privilege’ of trying to sort out this contract over two years I can tell you it wouldn’t have made much difference to the approach in year… Read more »
I’ve just been on a Sunday afternoon stroll in Ventnor which happened to incorporate St Catherine Street. Until recently this was a picturesque one-way street of tiny 19th century cottages overlooking Ventnor Bay with little gates, tiny front doors, some with strips of flower beds in front little bigger than a couple of window boxes. Many are probably holiday cottages. This street is now littered with superfluous… Read more »

The big boy did it and ran away….

Yes Phil, thankfully Luisa has indeed made the position clear as her following quote further emphasises: Isle of Wight Council Executive member for sustainability and organisational change, Councillor Luisa Hillard, said: “With complex contracts like this it was important that we had trustworthy legal advice and guidance throughout the negotiations. “As the Executive member responsible for the waste contract I am mindful that this will be one… Read more »
Luisa Hillard
tyke, the quotes you have posted just show how important it is for us to be involved in writing our own press releases. I always insisted that my quotes had to be personal in that they sound like me, and my actual opinion. I wouldn’t deny that there have been some teething troubles in the delivery of bins. Clearly it has taken longer than expected and some… Read more »

(Luisa) “bin delivery, which isn’t even being done by Council or Amey employees but by a subcontractor.”

Is it true that sub-contractor is based in the South-West?

Where are the new black bin manufactured?

Who pays the sub-contractor- Amey or the Council?

Luisa Hillard

As far as I’m aware it is an Island haulage company being used to deliver the bins, which are made in the UK. In either Hull or Rotherham. If you google the manufacturer (MPG) you can see where they are based.

Amey would be responsible for the sub-contractors that they choose to use, and would pay them.


Thanks for the reply Luisa.

phil jordan


glad we got there then….. of course, Luisa has far more in depth knowledge of the waste process in the same way I have far more in depth knowledge of the PFI than any other Councillor…that’s just how it works.


Perhaps Phil you could try and find out why IR leave the worst parts in the middle of roads they have resurfaced,thanks.

phil jordan


give me some actual places that I can identify…and I will get an answer for you….

we have
People have given you actual places in the past. again… Wilton Park Road, shanklin – 2 sections left for now 8 months. Bus stops between shanklin and lake left unsurfaced. Roads through Bembridge left whilst side roads are done. a section near the heights in sandown – new surfaces either side, but one section in the middle left. I’m sure you will say most of this is… Read more »
phil jordan
we have: And I hove told you in the past the problem lies in the way the contract is written and the way that the Island was split into six geographical areas each with four different grades of hierarchy…giving 24 different road type/areas that had to be brought up to a standard in equal measures. In addition, a standard length of re-surfacing amounts to about 165 metres.… Read more »
Thanks Luisa. As I believe I have said before I reserve judgement on the waste contract as it is early days. I do think Labour is right to ask the questions it has though. They all seem perfectly valid and reasonable points to me. Just a point of clarification from your last contribution though: if neither Amey’s nor the the council’s employees are currently collecting the waste,… Read more »
Luisa Hillard
tyke, to clarify: my comment was that it is a subcontractor delivering the new bins. I don’t deny that scrutiny can be worthwhile. Perhaps this is something that the Scrutiny Committee will choose to look into – if they do then it may clear up a lot of the misinformation and scaremongering. As it happens a representative of the Scrutiny Committee was on the Member Review Board… Read more »
Island Monkey

Contractors? Oh, you see what she did there, can’t blame the Tories, so blame the contractor. Priceless.

I do not believe it

Yak, yak, yak, yak, yak!!
We are STILL waiting for Amey/IWC to deliver either either a black bin and its accessories to our house, or a gull proof bag and its accessories.
We only live some 600yards away from the IWC citadel in Newport.
Is there anybody there?

Vix Lowthion

I’ve not bothered to ask for a new black bin because I assumed that eventually Amey would deliver.

Turns out that should have happened to all households a week ago now…. Where I live there are at least a dozen or more homes who don’t have any of the new equipment.

Oh well. We will just have to live in a 2014 time warp until they notice us.


In the meantime what do they (AMEY) propose we do with our rubbish if we don’t get any equipment by the end of the month i have no transport to take it to the tip ?
Phil,Carisbrooke road outside of the garage and Fairlee road on the west side of the twin road near the high school.

Vix Lowthion

I have no plans to go to the tip. I will put it out as usual and maybe then they will notice.

phil jordan


I’ll find out this coming week and post back here ….


I have been delivered 2 black bins and green bin liners. Contacted council to remove the additional bin etc but no response. Thursday bin men arrived, black bin was by the road but instead of connecting bin to lorry swing arm the men just took out the black bags and threw them into the lorry. What’s the point of the bins then?

Darren Irving

Might be that particular crew prefer to do it that way, I saw the crew do it round our way but 2 of the crew used the lifter mechanism as well!


The lifting arm is slower than manually throwing bags into the wagon.

But throwing heavier bags increases the risk of injury.

Perhaps when wheeling the bins to the wagon, the operator used their experience and professional judgement to decide which method was appropriate in that circumstance?

Your bin got emptied. Why are you getting bent out of shape about how that happened?


I am not getting bent out of shape. What a stupid comment to make! Just saying what a waste of money issuing 2 sets ot bins because the person delivering could not be bothered to look up to see that there is only 1 house on my property. If it’s quicker to take the bags out of the bin then why bother with the bins.


Why bother with bins?

Foxes, seagulls and rats don’t tear bins apart and spread filth up and down the street the way they do with black bags.

If the waste is heavy, it’s safer to move for home owner and contractor to use a bin.

Limiting volume of waste is a nudge in the right direction towards reducing landfill.

That’s three good reasons.

Highway to Hell
There will be a Method Statement and Risk Assessment for the emptying of bins. It will have a natty title along the lines of: Domestic Waste Transfer Operations (Revision 3) It is likely to be at least 30 pages long and all Domestic Waste Collection Operatives will have been on a course so as to understand the concept and contents of said document. They may even have… Read more »
Smaller bins is not the way to go. It will only lead to more fly tipping. The island is already awash with unemptied public litter bins and black sacks dumped by other bins. Making less provision for rubbish is totally wrong. There are many places on the Island that would benefit from large communal bins and the council should be looking at providing a greater capacity for… Read more »

As an Islander now living on the mainland, I would just say that smaller landfill bins and bigger recycling containers have worked wonders for recycling rates in Greater Manchester… though that said, some items which we can recycle up North remain on the “non-recyclable” list on the Island

Because you are commenting from the mainland David you are probably unaware that there are two types of conversation on this thread. One is by the armchair theorists like yourself talking about 1 the value of recycling which most people go along with, 2 councillors who know the workings of the contract and its process, 3 People in small households who are satisfied because they now have… Read more »
Luisa Hillard

Holiday cottages are businesses and should be paying for a commercial waste collection, not having a free domestic waste collection paid for by the Council. Just as ever other business is supposed to pay for the disposal of their rubbish. If they disposed of their business waste correctly they wouldn’t have ‘unsightly’ bins and would have all stars intact.


Interesting theory. Logically that means all short-term rented accommodation is now a “business”?
This is the sort of policy that generally leads to poor recycling rates at holiday cottages.

Self catering holiday cottages are not liable for the business rate if they are let for less than 105 days a year according to government legislation Luisa. And even if they’re let for more days a year, holiday cottages get 100% exemption for small business owners. And they can advertise how and from where they like. And they do. You, the Council are just ducking the issue… Read more »
Believe me, I am acutely are of the problems – not only following from afar but also because my parents have to live with the day-to-day problem (as you could see in my other comment on this article). The issue as I see it is not with the theory – it’s the execution. I don’t know to what extent that is down to the contract, the current… Read more »
Luisa Hillard

David, it’s not a case of ‘now’ these are considered to be a business. It’s a case of they have always been a business, it’s just that they may have previously got away with not disposing of their waste properly. It’s pre-existing government legislation that should have been applied and will be applied because the Council cannot afford to subsidise the profits of the owners.

Oldie “Self catering holiday cottages are not liable for the business rate if they are let for less than 105 days a year according to government legislation Luisa. And even if they’re let for more days a year, holiday cottages get 100% exemption for small business owners. ” A small business can get some relief against Business Rates depending on the rateable value of the property. Properties… Read more »

“Smaller bins is not the way to go.
It will only lead to more fly tipping.”

What utter nonsense!

If you’d rather risk prosecution under the EP Act 1990 and suffer the additional consequences that a conviction could bring than make a little effort to reduce your waste output, you need to take a long hard look at where your life has gone so very, very wrong.

Old Knobby

You’ve got to get caught first, and with ever reducing budgets, the irresponsible will undoubtably wager that there’s sadly very little chance of that.

Darren Irving
Anyone can gather evidence of fly tipping! If they wish to wager the chance of getting caught then that’s their downfall, there are laws for pretty much everything we do, are we now allowed to flout other laws? For instance would you mind if people were allowed to pee wherever they like? I’m sure anyone who saw someone else fly tipping near their house etc would probably… Read more »

Did you work for the Stasi in a previous life?


@ daveiow

You only have to look at the amount of bags on Ryde’s pavements to understand that it is not going to fit in the bins. It will be fly-tipped elsewhere.
Many people already fly-tip their bags into others communal bins.
Fly-tipping is not just in the countryside; it’s alive and kicking in the towns too.

Phil jordan
colin: we most certainly do have a problem in Ryde ( and Sandown amongst other places) …. and have done for many years. Lots to do with HMO ( houses with multiple occupation ) that when converted, no facilities within the properties were made ( and in contravention to Housing Act) and hence we now have s practical issue with tenants that have absolutely no where to… Read more »
@phil I agree Phil. The problem has been present for some time. And this is my point. The issue of gull bags and smaller bins is only going to make it worse as unscrupulous people fly tip in others bins and on others property. Another “tipping point” is the communal bins at the bottom of the Co-op car park in Ryde where residents are fed up of… Read more »
phil jordan
Colin: It’s an extremely difficult problem I have been involved in for three years now as the Ward Councillor for the town centre area in Ryde. *we* know about the ‘commercial waste’ at the bottom end of the car park, we know where it came from and hopefully have dealt directly with that specific issue – though still not the overall problem of waste in heavy HMO… Read more »

Fly tipping already can be seen at Watery Lane, Sandown PO36 in the layby. I suppose someone will blame overners for that.

phil jordan
IM: Here we go again….. You need to look at the years of pre tender work by the conservative administration that went into this tender/contract. We had about 14 days between being elected, getting organised and inducted, creating a cabinet and roles, setting up intial meetings with senior officers and then, only then, did we learn that if we stopped the progress of the tender with days… Read more »