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Recovery Timescales

CA Purkis made this Freedom of Information request to Rother District Council

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Dear Rother District Council,

On the 6/09/2016, I sent you a FOI request regarding your stated '5 working days' projection for the recovery of missed bins.
Despite me asking you several times for written evidence of the agreement between yourselves and Kier, regarding the '5 day' issue (your words). You continued to claim that there was no written agreement or notes regarding this change to the multi-million pound contract you have with Kier, where it clearly states, they will collect within 48 hours.
I sent my request to the ICO, as I found it hard to believe that an organisation such as yourselves, would not have recorded information on such a major change to a contractual clause. Nevertheless, you told the ICO the same thing you told me.

'With regard to the '5 day' issue, the contract does not specify a time for completion of a working day. The contractor approached a number of the partners advising he proposed to work a shift arrangement to collect waste, thus extending the working day. Since this meant that crews would be working after offices had closed, not all residents would not be able to report any missed bins within the time previously envisaged. Accordingly, this further period was allowed for to enable receipt of report and transfer of information to the contractor and subsequent action."
(copied and pasted)

I had to insist that your response was re-considered and you then sent me further information at the request of the ICO regarding this 'issue'.

I would like to point out the following before I continue with my request.

While the contract does not specify a time for the completion of a working day, it does specify a time period. This being 48 hours. Your play on words are merely semantics and further confirms the theory that you are attempting to mislead the public in order to mask the incompetence of your major contractor, and your inability to do anything about it. Each day a disgruntled resident calls regarding a missed bin collection, your advisors claim that they will be recovered within 5 days. Actually Kier do not recover a number of the missed bins, and they are left until the following fortnightly collection. Whilst this is clearly environmentally and convience-wise, unacceptable, what is more unacceptable, is that you seem unable to get the problem sorted with Kier Plc.

Within the information the ICO requested you send me, there is a very clear and definitive reference to the missed bins being recovered within a 48hr period by Kier. This is confirmed by the Partnership Manager and the Lead Director. Nowhere in any of the notes, reports, contracts or memos, does it refer to a 5 day recovery timeframe (or a 120hr timeframe). So the question still begs - WHY ARE YOU TELLING THE RESIDENTS THAT KIER WILL COLLECT WITHIN 5 DAYS OR 120HRS?

Putting this aside, AND MAKING IT CLEAR THAT THE ABOVE IS NOT A FOI REQUEST -herewith follows my request;

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.
Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.
If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).
If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information.
If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.
Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section (Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of the Act.
If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.
I request that the response be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK.
The information should be immediately readable - and, as a freedom of Information request, not put in a PDF or any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.
I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
20 working days after you receive my request.

1. Please could you provide me with the number of missed bins reported in the Catsfield/Crowhurst area on Friday 13th October 2017.

2. On the Monday 16th October, via your Facebook messenger service, you informed me that you had instructed the contractors to return to collect the missed bins. Please could I see a copy of all the instructions to Kier regarding the missed bins in the Catsfield Crowhurst area for the Friday 13th collection of refuse. Please note I am not asking for personal information, I am asking for your procedural communications with Kier regarding the recovery of the missed bins. Should there be any personal information on this communication or information, please redact it and send on to me.

3. Presumably, once you have reported all missed bins to Kier, there is some kind of follow up procedure to check that the bins were collected within your contractual agreed timeframe? Please could you provide me with details of these procedures. I understand your customer advisors 'escalate' the complaint after 5 working days. Does this mean that you have no further information or communication with Kier after handing over the missed bin reports, or do you have further recorded contact with them before the 120hr (5 day) escalation? Please could you provide me with the details and all written records or information of all follow up procedures for the missed bins on Friday 13th October 2017 in the Catsfield/Crowhurst area.

4. Once you 'escalate' the missed bin report after '5 days' - as you claim, please could you provide me with the information regarding the procedures you take to follow up on this escalation?

5. On the 22nd August 2017, I reported a missed bin collection. Despite RDC promising me on a daily basis that Kier were coming, they never arrived. They merely emptied the bins on the following two weekly collection date. What procedures and communications do you have with Kier regarding the non recovery of a missed bin collection?. Please could you provide me with information as to how you communicate with Kier and follow through, once it has been reported that they have not recovered a missed bin collection as reported to RDC. How is this information recorded?

6. Please could you provide me with the number of missed bin recovery crews working on the days of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th October for the Partnership or for RDC that cover the area of Catsfield/Crowhurst.

I look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully,

CA Purkis

foi, Rother District Council

Dear Ms Purkis

ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004

Thank you for your request received on 17 October 2017 relating to information about recovery timescales for missed bins. We aim to respond to your request for information within 20 working days, in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations.

Freedom of Information Manager

Rother District Council
Town Hall
Bexhill on Sea TN39 3JX

T: 01424 787000
E: [Rother District Council request email]
W: www.rother.gov.uk

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Brenda Mason, Rother District Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Purkis,

 

On 17 October 2017 you asked:

 

1.  Please could you provide me with the number of missed bins reported in
the Catsfield/Crowhurst area on Friday 13th October 2017.

 

2.  On the Monday 16th October, via your Facebook messenger service, you
informed me that you had instructed the contractors to return to collect
the missed bins.  Please could I see a copy of all the instructions to
Kier regarding the missed bins in the Catsfield Crowhurst area for the
Friday 13th collection of refuse. Please note I am not  asking for
personal information, I am asking for your procedural communications with
Kier regarding the recovery of the missed bins. Should there be any
personal information on this communication or information, please redact
it and send on to me.

 

3.  Presumably, once you have reported all missed bins to Kier, there is
some kind of follow up procedure to check that the bins were collected
within your contractual agreed timeframe? Please could you provide me with
details of these procedures.  I understand your customer advisors
'escalate' the complaint after 5 working days. Does this mean that you
have no further information or communication with Kier after handing over
the missed bin reports, or do you have further recorded contact with them
before the 120hr (5 day) escalation? Please could you provide me with the
details and all written records or information of all follow up procedures
for the missed bins on Friday 13th October 2017 in the Catsfield/Crowhurst
area.

 

4.  Once you 'escalate' the missed bin report after '5 days' - as you
claim, please could you provide me with the information regarding the
procedures you take to follow up on this escalation?

 

5.   On the 22nd August 2017, I reported a missed bin collection. Despite
RDC promising me on a daily basis that Kier were coming, they never
arrived.  They merely emptied the bins on the following two weekly
collection date. What procedures and communications do you have with Kier
regarding the non recovery of a missed bin collection?.  Please could you
provide me with information as to how you communicate with Kier and follow
through, once it has been reported that they have not recovered a missed
bin collection as reported to RDC. How is this information recorded?

 

6.   Please could you provide me with the number of missed bin recovery
crews working on the days of  Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th October for
the Partnership or for RDC that cover the area of Catsfield/Crowhurst.

 

We hold the following information:

 

1.       18 waste collection bins were missed in the Catsfield/Crowhurst
area on Friday 13th October 2017. Table attached.

 

2.       18 computer-generated worksheets (rectification records) for each
of the missed collections are attached.

 

3.       The contractor is required under contract (Deed of Variation
copied to you under earlier correspondence) to return to collect missed
bins within 48 hours of receiving the rectification record. Rectification
records are closed (marked complete) by contractor staff when the return
collection is made. There are no other standard procedures for follow up
on missed bins as to do so would require a visual check on each missed
bin. If customers do not have their bins emptied 48 hours after reporting
it missed they are requested to contact the Council again. Waste contract
staff follow up these reports in daily emails and telephone calls with the
contractor. We have no written records of follow up activity for missed
bins in the Catsfield/Crowhurst area for Friday 13 October 2017.

 

4.       Daily scheduled work plus outstanding work from previous days is
the subject of daily telephone communications between council officers and
the contractor.

 

5.       From time to time depot staff mistakenly close worksheets
relating to missed collections that were not recovered.   Sometimes this
is due to staff administrative error and sometimes the collection crews
responsible for recovery are not familiar with all locations so mistakenly
believe they have collected the right bin.   In this instance, the Council
relies on residents to let them know when a missed bin has not been
recovered.  

 

6.       No missed bin recovery crews were working on Saturday 14 and
Sunday 15 October 2017 in the Catsfield/Crowhurst area.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of the request please contact
us within 60 days if you wish to request an internal review. 

 

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review you
have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner.  Their
details are:

 

                                         Information Commissioner’s Office

                                         Wycliffe House

                                         Water Lane

                                         Wilmslow

                                         Cheshire   SK9 5AF

                                         Tel. 01625 545700

                                         [1]www.ico.org.uk

 

Please note that the information provided by Rother District Council is
intended for your personal use.  If it is your intention to re-use the
information for commercial gain, you will need to apply to the Council for
a license to re-use it, under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information
Regulations 2005.

 

Regards,

 

Brenda Mason

Service Manager Community and Economy

Rother District Council

01424 787860

07740 082384

[2]www.rother.gov.uk

 

 

[3]Follow all news stories on Twitter

[4]Visit our Website

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4. Rother District Council
http://www.rother.gov.uk/

John Collins, Rother District Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Purkis

 

Please find attached the Internal Review of this FOI as requested

 

Yours sincerely

 

John Collins

Service Manager – Corporate Services & Human Resources

Rother District Council

'  01424 787862

8 [email address]

ü [1]www.rother.gov.uk

 

 

[2]Follow all news stories on Twitter

[3]Visit our Website

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http://www.rother.gov.uk/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are CA Purkis please sign in and let everyone know.