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Council blaming residents for litter-ridden bin collections instead of Veola!

Review of Place Scrutiny Committee 5th June

A community group in Westcliff asked a question concerning the littering left by Veola after bin collection day. Unfortunately, the written response given by the Portfolio Holder was a bit off. 

She did point out that conversations were had with Senior Management regarding this issue and disciplinary proceedings that may follow.  However, she then went on to effectively blame the residents for putting their bin bags out the night before allowing animals to split the bags and cause the litter.

This is very true, and is one of the reasons I tend to do it on the day.  Having said, from as long as I can remember the general rule of thumb is indeed to put the bags out the night before.

Though some may see it as common sense, I do not recall reading any literature from the council stating residents must only put bin bags on the day.

On this, I must point out a procedural issue I have with pre-written answers presumably written by council officers.  The councillor in question has always come across well, but blaming residents is never a good idea when you want their votes - and to confirm, they most definitely do!

I have been watching the webcasts of all council meetings for a while, and there is a consistent theme of defending the indefensible.  With the change in local government in Southend, I can see immediately that the same voices are behind the words.

Blaming residents is not what we are after. 

The litter is bad after bin day - everyone knows this. Certainly advise residents if we can help with the situation and I am sure many will respond.

There are, of course, good reason people put out their rubbish early - namely, they do not want to live around waste!  Hence, why this will always be a problem for some residents regardless of the messaging.

Workers of Veola

For anyone who has seen them in action, nearly all of them are seriously hardworking and try their best to get the job done quickly and efficiently.  That is no easy task no matter however much you pay them.  Most of us would not like to do that job and so those that do ought to have our upmost respect.

I agree, it is odd that the roads and pathways are not swept after the pick-ups and this should be part of the contract.  What is comical, is Veola are writing to and visiting residents to remind them of their collection day.  Perhaps that money could be better spent investing in 2 more people per van to sweep the roads! Trouble is, it is always a matter of money and 2 people extra per van per week could break their budget.  The question is whether it should already be in there in the first place, and they are not fulfilling their contractual obligations?

It was noted that anyone who wishes to speak to Veola, personally, can do so on

20th June at the Civic Centre, 12pm to 2pm, in Committee Room Six.

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Tris Bee
Tris Bee
Jun 07, 2023

People do seem to forget a cople of points regarding Veolia.

When the contract switched from Cory Environmental, they had next to no staffing increase despite their working week was reduced from 5 days to 4, they are on the same minimum wage as ever, yet doing 20% more work for the privallage.

Approx 5 years ago, all street signs were fitted with metal signs telling residents which day of the week their bin collection was, sadly these all vanished with the new collections, it may be a very good idea to place them back.

Tris Bee, Westcliff-on-Sea

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