NORTH Devon District Council will fast-track a review of its own decision to bring the kerbside dry recycling service in-house. Councillors voted to call-in a decision to cut ties with South Molton Recycle and deliver the important front-line service it
NORTH Devon District Council will "fast-track" a review of its own decision to bring the kerbside dry recycling service in-house.Councillors voted to call-in a decision to cut ties with South Molton Recycle and deliver the important front-line service itself.The council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet again next Wednesday to start a detailed examination of the decision made by the Executive last month.John Billingham, a director of South Molton Recycle, called the move a victory for common sense."It is such an important front-line service and we are very pleased that it is being looked at closely and seriously," he told the Gazette."Commercially, if the council really believes that it can provide a cheaper service in-house, then we can fully understand that."But as a not-for-profit company, we work on such a minimum margin that we just don't see how they could do it any cheaper."A council spokesperson said that the decision had been called in on three grounds."The full cost implications to the council of bringing the service in-house were not considered by the Executive," she said."There are serious differences between the figures considered by the Executive and those South Molton Recycle claim to have submitted."Furthermore, the decision by the executive carries considerable risk to the council and therefore it is not only sensible, but also desirable that it receives a complete review and scrutiny before implementation."She added that the council had decided to fast-track the discussions to make sure the issues were considered urgently. The committee also voted to summon waste and recycling portfolio holder Cllr Rodney Cann, as well as the chief financial officer and legal office, to the January 16 meeting.Cllr Cann said the move to call in the decision was "good for the transparency of democracy".He said: "I welcome this opportunity to explain to members reasons why we took the decision to bring this service in-house. It is a major decision for the council and thoroughly important for everyone to understand why the decision was made."It will give us the opportunity to clarify the mystery behind the difference in the figures provided to me by council officers and those presented by South Molton Recycle.