Monday 15 July 2024
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West Bridgford recycling centre booking system cost council £200,000

The booking system used to limit numbers at West Bridgford recycling centre during the pandemic cost Nottinghamshire County Council hundreds of thousands of pounds to implement and operate.

Committee papers have revealed the authority’s waste department is forecasting an overspend of £556,000 in the current financial year.

Its private finance initiative (PFI) contract with operator Veolia makes up the majority of this overspend at £319,000.

Documents show this is partly the result of £200,000 in “additional contractual costs” with Veolia to implement the booking system at the West Bridgford site.

Peter Robinson was captured dumping the items outside West Bridgford Recycling Centre 1392x928 1

This is higher than the £150,000 figure previously reported by the council in August.

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The booking system was brought in last year to reduce the number of people using the centre at one time, with traffic and congestion problems marring the Rugby Road site.

The council implemented traffic management at all countywide recycling centres but opted to only introduce the booking system in West Bridgford.

Documents show £60,000 was spent on the extra traffic measures at all other recycling centres.

WEST BRIDGFORD recycling centre

However, in October the authority confirmed it was stopping the booking system as of November 1, with many council services returning to “near normal”.

Visitors can now use the Rushcliffe site without booking an appointment, with all county recycling centres currently operating under winter opening times.

The transport and environment committee will be presented with the figures when it meets in January.

Commenting in October, Councillor Neil Clarke, chairman of transport and environment committee, previously said: “The online booking system for West Bridgford was introduced as a temporary measure to ensure the safety of residents and staff onsite during the pandemic.

“The system allowed us to manage the number of people on-site at any one time and the queues of traffic that generated on the highway.

“I would encourage residents to continue to use the site responsibly; visit during quieter times if possible – weekends tend to be busiest – and not to queue on the highway and block access to adjoining roads for other road users and pedestrians.”

The meeting on January 5 will hear, however, that the overall committee budget is forecast to be underspent by £331,000.

Other departments, including highways and transport, have forecasted respective underspends of £451,000 and £582,000 in their budgets.

The conservation team is forecast to overspend by £146,000 due to “increased planned maintenance” to keep the authority’s sites safe and accessible, documents add.

The underspend in the highways team relates to £250,000 in additional income and a further £201,000 in savings on employee costs.

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