WILTSHIRE Council has serious questions to answer about the recent decision to delay the commencement of the new county waste services contract from August 2016 to August 2017, and to extend the current contracts with Hills Waste Solutions (and FCC Environment in west Wiltshire) for a year:
* Why is this delay occurring when the council has been preparing for the August 2016 deadline for several years?
* Why were councillors, Cabinet, and the scrutiny waste task group previously repeatedly informed by council officers that 'there is no option for contract extension' (to the Hills contract)?
* What will the legal costs be to the council of extending the contracts?
* By how much will the two companies involved profit from this delay?
* What impacts will the delay have on landfill costs to the council, and on the council's target of reducing waste to landfill of 25 per cent or less by the end of this year?
Shockingly, 31 per cent of local authority collected waste in Wiltshire - nearly a third - is still going to landfill, at enormous cost to the council - over £8m in 2012-13.
This is equivalent to almost half of what the council spends annually on schools (central costs), and nearly a quarter of its yearly spend on children's services.
This latest debacle is further evidence that Green councillors are urgently needed on Wiltshire Council because existing controls over waste service delivery are so clearly not fit for purpose.
Alison Craig, Salisbury Green Party