Bins boss ordered to brush up

Furious: MP Rosie Cooper
Furious: MP Rosie Cooper

A council manager has been given a formal warning and ordered to take a refresher course after an investigation into an authority’s refuse service.

Now furious West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has demanded the district council makes a public apology for wasting taxpayers’ money hiring lawyers to defend the complaint before a public inquiry.

The Traffic Commissioner criticised the council after hearing it had no specific process in place for monitoring if drivers exceed their statutory hours.

“From beginning to end this fiasco has been an unmitigated disaster,” said Mrs Cooper.

“Yet the only people paying the price are the residents of West Lancashire. As well as explaining their failure to West Lancashire residents, the borough council needs to offer an unreserved apology.”

The inquiry heard the Vehicle and Operators Service Agency (VOSA) investigated the council’s Street Scene Department refuse operation.

As a result VOSA demanded the local authority make improvements to the monitoring of drivers and ruled the transport manager should attend a refresher course.

The council will be audited again in April with a focus on compliance with the Working Time Directive and the overloading of refuse vehicles.

Mrs Cooper said the Traffic Commissioner’s decision should be a sobering lesson to the council, but expressed anger at the authority spending money defending its own “incompetence.”

“The Traffic Commissioner’s decision to issue a formal warning puts paid to the borough council’s initial denials there were no issues with the Street Scene Department.

“It is a disgrace it required three inspection visits from VOSA and a public inquiry for the council to get their house in order.

“It highlights serious questions about the competency of the council in managing residents’ services and their staff effectively.”