Fenland Council move to privatise street scene and cleaning services to be unveiled at special briefing for councillors

Street cleaning - and removal of graffiti- could be privatised by Fenland Council.

Street cleaning - and removal of graffiti- could be privatised by Fenland Council. - Credit: Archant

A statement released by Fenland Council suggests privatising its street scene and cleaning service is moving ahead faster than had previously been suggested.

The council said a report outlining options will go to cabinet as early as February 26 and be considered at a full council meeting later the same day.

“It is intended to prepare a report highlighting the options going forward and only after a decision by cabinet and council would the issue of tender documents to partners of suitable quality take place,” said a spokesman.

A briefing to all councillors takes place on January 29 in the council chamber when officers will outline their thinking.

“Grounds maintenance works in Fenland have been successfully managed by an external contractor for many years,” said the spokesman. With the contract due to expire on October 31 this year the council is using the opportunity to review both services.

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The spokesman said many other councils combine both the grounds maintenance and cleansing services through a combined contract “as this provides efficiencies because much of the work is related.

“Therefore the inclusion of the cleansing service into a future contract at Fenland is being investigated.”

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The spokesman insisted no invitation to tender has yet been issued but “potential partners” were being looked at in coming weeks.

News of the possible privatisation of street cleaning was broken on Facebook by one of the workers whose job could be affected.

“Some of us have been with Fenland District Council for a long time and won’t be given a chance of redundancy,” he said. “We will be told to sign a new contract with whoever takes us over or become unemployed. So much for protecting front line services!”

He added: “The funny part is they keep on about lack of money but they paid a consultation company £29,000 for a feasibility study and then ignored them when they came back and said it would not be financially beneficial at this time to tender is out.”

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