Councillors insist ‘we should have been told’ as committee discusses Fenland’s possible street cleaning privatisation

Nothing much to report: portfolio holder Peter Murphy

Nothing much to report: portfolio holder Peter Murphy - Credit: Archant

Councillors demanded to know why they were not told about plans to privatise Fenland’s street scene and cleaning service when they discussed a grass cutting contract in December.

It was revealed last week that Fenland District Council had paid consultants £26,000 to look at privatising its street cleaning service which upset members of the overview and scrutiny committee.

Councillor Peter Tunley wanted to know why the committee was not told about the consultation when members discussed the council’s £655,000 grass cutting contract with The Landscape Group last month.

A month ago councillors were praising officers for the in-depth report produced on the grass contract but on Monday they wanted to know why that report made no mention of plans for the future of the area’s street cleaning.

Cllr Tunley said it would have been nice to have been informed the process had begun and wanted to know who had decided to spend the money on consultants.

He said: “To incur the council that level of cost there must have been a view that it was reasonable to go down that road.

“On that basis I would have thought it would have been reasonable to alert overview and scrutiny to that at the time we were discussing renewing the contract for grass maintenance.”

Most Read

But portfolio holder Councillor Peter Murphy said there was nothing to tell and that nothing had been decided.

Committee chairman Councillor Jan French agreed “it would have been nice to have been told”.

A council statement released last week said a full report on the options for street cleaning will go to cabinet next month and will be considered by full council the same day.