REGIONAL AM Suzy Davies has backed the Bridgend County Borough Council’s Welsh Conservative group’s call for scrutiny of the way in which the new refuse and recycling contract is being operated.

Mrs Davies, who is a Welsh Conservative AM, said she had received many complaints from all over Bridgend county borough about how the new contract is being operated.

Mrs Davies said: “People are complaining that their bags and recycling boxes are not being picked up on time. There’s confusion about which days people need to put their rubbish out as the new contractors decided to change traditional days. That was a recipe for disaster before we started but it doesn’t explain why rubbish isn’t being collected when it should. The special nappy bags have not yet been distributed to everyone who applied. Everything is confused and people are describing it as a shambles.

“I recognise that BCBC has certain obligations with regard to recycling and landfill disposal which can be costly in themselves sif not fulfilled. People can get used to change but only f that change is practicable and well-introduced.

“Collections may have worked properly on some streets but the level of complaint from those who aren’t satisfied suggest these aren’t simple teething troubles. Confidence has been further damaged by the poor performance of Kier’s information helpline.”

The 11-strong Conservative group tabled a motion, which was backed by all parties, calling for a scrutiny committee to look at the operation of the new contract in detail so that changes can be made to improve the situation.

She went on: “New brooms sweep clean. We are looking at a new era of active scrutiny and I’m very pleased that the new Conservative group has already stepped up to the plate.

“I gather the ruling Labour group signed the £11m contract a matter of days before the council elections and members have been told that it is not possible to reverse that decision. But contracts contain terms about performance and wholesale failure to deliver on those terms can be enough to bring a contract to an end.

“I’m not suggesting we’re in that territory yet but the council needs to be responsive to complaints. If something is obviously not working, then the council needs to enforce the company’s obligations. And if those obligations are not clear or strong enough, then there should be questions about who negotiated that contract and how.

“I am pleased that the scrutiny committee is to look at this contract in depth. This is without doubt one of the most contentious things that has taken place in recent years in Bridgend and it has provoked anger and frustration across the area. I hope that the new Conservative councillors on BCBC will be able to influence the minority Labour administration to make whatever changes are needed.”