I’m afraid Deen City Farm is by no means alone in recently suffering problems with Merton’s commercial waste service (‘Urban farm’s bin saga burns hole in budget’, 11 May 2017). Since the Council outsourced commercial waste to Veolia at the beginning of April, Conservative councillors have received numerous requests for assistance with missed collections.
In fact the Council’s own figures show that, of the 1,200 businesses who currently buy into the service, there were a massive 219 missed commercial waste collections in April alone. Yet prior to the handover, complaints to councillors were rare.
Many local businesses and charities, such as Deen City Farm and a Wimbledon GP surgery, work to tight margins and simply cannot afford to pay twice to have their uncollected rubbish removed. It seems only right that they should therefore be refunded by Veolia for any losses.
Businesses do at least have the option to shop around for another commercial waste provider if unhappy with Merton Council’s service. Residents don’t have that choice.
Worryingly, missed collections of domestic waste were also up by 57% in the first month after Veolia took over the refuse service. This doesn’t bode well for residents when it comes to implementation of Merton Labour’s fortnightly rubbish collections and multiple wheelie bins in October 2018.
You only have to look to the recent chaos in neighbouring Sutton, which made national headlines, to see Veolia’s record on introducing major changes. No wonder Merton Labour have refused to consult residents about their own new waste collection proposals.
Conservatives, however, are keen to hear your views and we still welcome responses to our survey on retaining the weekly bin collection. If you haven’t already done so, please do complete it at the link below:
Councillor Daniel Holden