WELSH Conservative councillors in Bridgend, backed by Regional AM Suzy Davies, are calling for action after discovering that more than a hundred elderly and disabled people are waiting to be assessed before they can get help with their rubbish and recycling collections.
Mrs Davies has been contacted by constituents concerned that many have waited months for waste contractors Kier to carry out assessments to see if they qualify for the assisted collections scheme. Some have been waiting since the end of last year – before Kier took over.
Mrs Davies has been in touch with Conservative group leader Coun Ken Watts who has discovered that the number of people waiting is now 114.
Mrs Davies said: “This is unacceptable. When I met Council leader Huw David just before the new waste contract came into effect, I was assured by him and the officers present that the assisted collections scheme would continue as previously because it was a crucial service for elderly and vulnerable people in the borough.
“To now hear that this is not the case is a massive cause for concern. I have written to Coun David and also to Kier calling for immediate action to deal with the backlog and to put in place proper procedures to deal with new applications as soon as they come in so that these delays can be avoided in future.”
Coun Watts said that he had been in touch with relevant officers urging them to ensure that Kier takes all necessary actions.
He said: “Kier have won an £85m contract to provide waste services to the council over the next seven years. Among the requirements was one that they should implement an assisted collections service. I am shocked that so little priority seems to have been given to carrying out assessments especially as a visit is needed to each applicant. This can be time-consuming so allowing a backlog to build up will have severe knock-on effects on the way that the service is being run.
“Kier has an obligation to ensure that this service runs efficiently as part of the contract and the Conservative Group, which is the official opposition on the council, will be monitoring the situation closely. If people are experiencing delays, they should contact their local councillors so that they can put pressure on the firm.”