THE three-month row to decide who would pick up recyclables from North Devon doorsteps came to an abrupt end on Monday as district councillors reconfirmed their former decision to take on the service themselves. A special meeting of the Executive committe
THE three-month row to decide who would pick up recyclables from North Devon doorsteps came to an abrupt end on Monday as district councillors reconfirmed their former decision to take on the service themselves.A special meeting of the Executive committee saw the end of a battle of wills between the council and South Molton Recycle over who would run the Kerbside Dry recycling service from May this year.The company terminated its interim contact in November because to felt the council had taken too long to award it a new contract.Councillors voted six in favour - with two abstentions - for a second time to take the front line service "in house."The council must now throw all hands to the pump and be ready to roll out its own service in 10 weeks time.The hot potato was thrown back to them for another bite by the Overview and Scrutiny committee because it felt the ruling Tory group had not had all the facts before them the first time.After the decision a disgusted John Billingham, director of South Molton Recycle, said: "I don't think it was addressed any further. I think it was a foregone conclusion before we all started.He said they would now be seeking to get the decision scrutinised independently by the Audit Commission.After the meeting, Councillor Rodney Cann, Executive portfolio holder for waste and recycling, said the decision meant projected savings on the service of more than £200,000 in the first year."I think now it's full steam ahead," he said."I am concerned at the loss of time and we will aim for a smooth transition, but obviously that can't be guaranteed."Once that period is over we will be in a position to examine a more extensive facility for the people of North Devon and better value for money."Examples included a weekly household food waste collection and composting card waste, he said.Leader Mike Harrison said afterwards: "We have employed SMR for many years now and personally I was sorry it ended like this, but they sent us the letter terminating the contract, which made us seek alternative arrangements."Now we have 10 weeks, it's a big risk but we are well aware of that.