Agenda item

Recycling, waste collection and street cleansing services contract


In introducing the report Councillor Claire Holland, Deputy Leader of the Council (Sustainable Transport, Environment and Clear Air) highlighted the following points:

·         Lambeth was a place people want to live, work, and invest and this contract award would support the Borough plan’s sub-objectives:

o Town centres – manage our neighbourhoods, estates and town centres so they feel safe and welcoming.

o Environmental impact – invest in the circular economy, cut down carbon emissions, significantly cut waste, encourage reuse by residents and businesses.

·         That this contract would deliver substantial savings, £2m each year, by minimising non-direct delivery costs including overheads, profits and making the operation more efficient and greener.

·         The contract would deliver more recycling with expanding collections to small electrical and electronic waste, expansion of the food waste collections on our estates with an additional 3,000 waste collections from homes at no additional cost, and recycling batteries and textiles.

·         There was an emphasis on giving staff some certainty about their future, ensuring enough resources were available, that there was full trade union recognition and a reduction in agency staff.

·         Rates of pay would be set at London Living Wage or market rate, whichever was the higher, and that there would be an integrated and extensive social value component ensuring that Lambeth residents, young people, and priority groups were fully involved in the contract.


Councillor Jonathan Bartley addressed Cabinet and advised that:

·         The report demonstrated great benefits.

·         Clarity was needed on how the Council reconciled its Responsible Procurement Policy.

·         Involvement of Serco in other areas such as Test and Trace, and HS2 should have been considered when awarding the contract as many of those issues were subject of Motions agreed at Council and the entire Council should have been against the award.



In response to some of the questions from Cabinet, Venetia Baptiste-Reid, Director of Environment and Streetscene advised that: 

·         The process was competitive, took place over 2 years and achieved quality and value. 

·         The different stages of the procurement process were explained and were set out in paragraph 2.4 of the report.

·         There would be access to employment opportunities and a strong training offer for local residents including our young people and those who would benefit from preemployment training access.

·         The contract did include flexibility to make some changes and to future proof against future legislation etc.

·         From the apprenticeships programme – 15% would be earmarked for care leavers in addition to other priority groups.

·         The correct and proper process was followed and if no contract was awarded there would be huge risk to the council if challenged.

·         Robust contract management and performance monitoring would be in place to ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract were being met.

·         A Community Partnership Board would be established, including residents, voluntary sector and councillors to support the monitoring of the social and community benefits aspects of the contract including the annual Community Benefits Plan.

·         As set out in the report Serco Ltd scored higher in both the finance and quality parts of the tender and in accordance with the published award criteria it was recommended Serco Ltd be approved as the successful bidder.




Members of Cabinet made the following observations and comments:

·         There needed and would be a strong client and commissioning approach to ensure the performance was being achieved and that Serco continued to achieve the performance targets set by the Council.

·         Despite 10 years of austerity the Council was still able to deliver a good, value-for-money service, and this contract delivered on savings that could be deployed to other areas of severe central government underfunding, such as Adult Social Care. 

·         A fully electric fleet back under Council control and wider recycling was welcomed and helped achieve the Council’s climate emergency ambitions.

·         The contract reflected the needs of residents and improvements for the environment as well as delivering substantial savings year on year.

·         The offer to young people and other local benefits was positive and would make a huge difference to the local area and local residents. 

·         GMB Trade Union was supportive of the contract.

·         The Equalities Impact Assessment Panel reviewed the report in great detail and was satisfied that the procurement met the equalities and social value aims.

·         It was a thorough process lasting 2 years with a lot of time and thought and this was the best option for our service users and local residents.





1)    To award the Recycling, Waste and Cleansing contract to Serco Limited for the initial term of six years with the option to extend for up to a further eight years depending on contract performance. The eight years in the extension can be any combination of additional years meaning the authority can choose to terminate or have an earlier break clause within that 8 years extension. The new service has a total maximum contract value of £118.7m over the six years, amounting to an average of £19.8m per annum and a maximum total value of approximately £277m over the total of 14 years.


2)    To note the statutory standstill period and leaseholder consultation processes that must be followed before the contracts may be formally awarded.

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