Uttlesford waste collection could be hit by cuts

UTTLESFORD District Council is looking into establishing a waste collection partnership with Braintree in order to “save money” ahead of further Government cuts.

Garbage trucks based at two depots in the north and south of the district could be relocated as part of a shake-up which could even see Braintree’s trucks patrolling the streets of Uttlesford.

It is not currently known whether a partnership would mean job losses, for bin men or for office staff, but the council is adamant that residents will still get the “best available service”.

A council spokesman said: “The council has just commissioned a consultant to conduct a feasibility study into the possibility of working in partnership with Braintree District Council for waste collection.

“It’s expected that the council will be in a position to decide whether this partnership proposal is a viable option by April next year.”

Uttlesford has already shed its sole responsibility for looking after off-street parking in the district after agreeing to fall under a parking partnership administered in Colchester.

This has caused anger amongst some residents who fear that services are not now controlled locally enough.

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However, the council insist that partnerships are needed if the district is it to cut costs severely enough to meet the shortfall in central government funding.

A council spokesman added: “Partnership working is a key element of the council’s plans to meet the financial shortfall it is projecting in the coming years. All councils will need to make significant savings because of the expected cuts in public sector funding from central government.

“Our medium term financial strategy currently assumes a cut of up to 25 per cent from the revenue support grant – the money all councils receive from central government.

“Well over a year ago, the council established a work programme to deliver the savings that will be needed and partnership working is one part of that programme.”

The Reporter first learned of the cuts after a job for an LGV driver was posted on the council’s website. In the job description it said that anyone applying “should be aware that the service may relocate at a later date”.

ARE you worried about services not being local enough? E-mail us at editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk