Tandridge Council first to adopt regional waste framework
Tandridge District Council has become the first local authority to commit to a framework that aims to save council waste departments collective costs of up to £85m.
Designed to make the procurement of outsourced waste contracts more efficient, it is hoped that by joint procurement the waste market's £1.7bn spending leverage can be used to cut costs.
The waste management services framework is led by the Improvement & Efficiency Social Enterprise (iESE) and is available to 141 councils across Southern England, London and the West Midlands.
The framework is currently based on a four year programme, but the iESE will consider extending the scheme to meet demand.
iESE Chairman Cllr Paul Bettison, welcomed the news explaining that as more councils signed up, the greater their market leverage would be.
He explained that the framework would, "save both time and council taxpayers' money," and reduce the bureaucracy that councils currently face. He also indicated that suppliers would benefit from a faster and more consistent tender process.
However the framework, which was launched at the Local Government Association conference last month, has been met with controversy as some major waste contractors who chose not to join the scheme.
These companies explained that the framework did not allow for enough competitiveness within the market and that a contract of less than 10 years was unacceptable.
Despite this, Councillor Tony Elias, Chairman of Tandridge District Council's Community Services Committee, remained upbeat.
"This was the best procurement route for our council and an exciting opportunity to be part of this innovative solution. This framework has made us appreciate the potential benefits of using frameworks for other services, whether those frameworks are delivered by iESE or elsewhere," he said.
The scheme is funded by DEFRA through the wider iESE National Waste Support Programme and has been supported during its development by Keep Britain Tidy and WRAP.