At the recent 10th October Cabinet meeting, Labour councillors finally bowed to the inevitable and agreed to terminate the waste collection contract with Veolia.
Since the agreement to partner with Veolia came into operation, residents in Merton and the other boroughs of the South London Waste Partnership, have had to endure years of misery as Veolia consistently failed to keep the streets clean and collect the rubbish.
Due to the glaring errors in the contract, which local Conservatives repeatedly pointed out before Labour blundered into bed with Veolia, Merton became Mucky Merton overnight as Veolia failed to keep Merton clean.
Because of the haste and lack of concern from Labour, residents had to endure the unpopular and unnecessary wheelie bin roll out, Veolia help lines that didn’t help, street cleaning and rubbish collections targets that were routinely missed and ignored and local improvement plans that made neighbourhoods worse; all presided over by an incompetent Labour administration that was left floundering in a mess of its own making.
Merton Conservatives have spent much of the last few years standing up for residents and calling for Labour bosses to get a grip and ensure our streets are clean.
We led the campaign to return to weekly bin collections in September 2018, we put forward two motions calling for a new oversight panel to work with Veolia to drive up standards, we asked 18 specific questions on Veolia since May 2018, and in February 2019 we called an extraordinary council meeting to push Labour to break away from the Veolia contract at the earliest opportunity.
Thankfully the current contract will come to an end in 2025, with the council now assessing a range of options.
Labour claim to be ‘a listening council’ it’s just such a shame for residents that it took them four years to listen to reason and bin Veolia.