As rubbish piles up in a neighbouring borough, Lambeth Council has defended awarding more than £100 million in bin contracts to a troubled firm.

The council is set to dish out £118.7 million to outsourcing firm Serco for a six-year waste contract starting in October. 

Lambeth tax payers could pay a total bill of £277 million, if an option to extend for another eight years is approved.

Residents in neighbouring Bexley have been enduring weeks of delays to their bin collections as Serco workers continue to strike over pay and treatment.

Bexley has now ditched Serco but a new contract with Countrystyle Recycling doesn’t start until October.  

Workers union Unite has promised a “summer of stink” unless Serco gives into demands.  



Asked whether the council is concerned about strikes coming to Lambeth, a spokesman said the local authority is “confident we have secured a good deal on behalf of residents”.  

He said: “Our new recycling, waste collection and street cleansing contract with Serco starts on October 1, and we are confident that we have secured a good deal on behalf of our residents.  

“That includes prioritising jobs for local people, extra recycling and annual savings worth £2million.

“We have worked closely with our trade union representatives on this contract to secure strong commitments on workers’ pay and conditions.” 

It also emerged recently that Derbyshire Dales District Council voted to”bailout” Serco to increase pay for bin lorry drivers, pledging to hand over up to £150,000. 

The spokesman added they will look into the issues raised, but that the council has “worked hard on getting the Lambeth contract right for our borough”.  

A Serco spokeswoman said: “It is always our intention to work in partnership with trade unions, so we are disappointed the decision was taken by Unite in Bexley to take further strike while conciliation discussions with ACAS are ongoing.  

“The majority of frontline teams are still working and are currently collecting 90 per cent of the revised scheduled collections on a weekly basis in an effort to minimise disruption to residents.”

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