For the public interest, this is the latest briefing on Dumfries & Galloway’s position around the change of opening hours at HWRCs at short notice from 1st April:
“Members will recall that the Planning, Housing and Environment Services Committee agreed new opening hours for our Council’s HWRCs on 14 February 2013.
The requirement to consider new opening hours for HWRCs was as a result of opening a new site at Newton Stewart and required a reduction of hours across the existing HWRCs to balance the introduction of the Newton Stewart site.
The variation agreed with Shanks Dumfries and Galloway to effect the new hours had an end date of end November 2015 as it was expected that the variation would be formalised as part of the proposed “Indemnity Letter” to be signed between our Council and Shanks D&G to formalise the introduction of the source separated kerbside collections in Wigtown.
Members will further recall that the EEI Committee agreed not to sign the Indemnity Letter at its meeting of 10 November 2015.
Our Council issued a variation notice to Shanks D&G on 1 December 2015 and on 24 February 2016 to continue with the new opening hours. On 15 March our Council received a letter from Shanks D&G advising that Shanks had failed to correctly address the financial impact of the new hours agreed by Members and, sought an additional payment from our Council for historic costs, unilaterally adjusting costs payable by our Council in terms of the variation order previously signed by all parties. Our Council has refuted any liability for this sum.
Shanks D&G has also sought new costs for the period from 1 December 2015 until 31 March 2016. Our Council has in good faith been seeking to work with Shanks D&G to try to reach an understanding of the costs going forward. Accordingly it has not been possible to obtain Members’ views on the matter through Committee to date.
Shanks D&G advised our Council that failure to agree their increased costs request would result in the Service Company reverting to the original contract hours on 1 April 2016. Our Council has refused to pay the increased costs and as a result Shanks D&G unilaterally changed the opening hours on 1 April 2016 back to the original contract hours.
A report on this matter will be presented to Members of the EEI Committee at a future EEI Committee meeting.”