Monday, 6 August 2012


Some even stranger than normal news coming out from Westbridge depot involving Enterprises hapless management of the Refuse Collection contract for Northampton Borough Council. We already know that the company are failing to deliver on the contract and that the Council are to impose £250,000 penalties against the agreement but now it seems they are having to deal with something altogether hotter and more inflammable as it is discovered that they have a curious and dangerous outbreak of Refuse Vehicle based Spontaneous Combustion!

That's right, their dustbin lorries are going up in smoke! I am told by a reliable source that no less than 7 NEW vehicles have gone up in flames since the contract began in 2011. And so concerned are the private contractors insurance company and also the workers Trade Union (GMB) that they are now seriously concerned as to the safety of continued use of these vehicles for both their operatives and the general public.

So why is this happening? and why does it seem to be restricted to only the new vehicles that the Borough Council lent Enterprise the money for to purchase in the first place? You will remember from an earlier post that operatives were already complaining that these new vehicles which only load from one side were useless in Northampton's terraced streets as some roads have to be driven down twice or operatives have further to carry the waste, but that it seems is just a minor design fault when compared to the whole damn lorry bursting into flames!

Any light that readers can throw onto this strange waste truck flame based phenomenon would be very very welcome. Perhaps there is a strange inner force at work? A Trekkie friend tells me that the original Starship Enterprise was fueled without any need for flames so we can properly rule out Klingon interference.

Meanwhile Enterprise's continued staff reduction programme continues ever apace as more and more senior managers are shown the door. I now understand that 8 operations managers have been relieved of their duties, many for simply pointing out that Enterprise were going about the contract in totally the wrong way. No doubt the removal of so many staff who had run the contract perfectly well in house for NBC for many many years will make it even more difficult for the Council should they take the inevitable decision to take the contract back in house

Part of the missing expertise it seems may also be having a massive detrimental  effect on the amount of income the contractor is achieving from recyclables. It would seem that written into the contract is a clause whereby both Enterprise and NBC/DDC   will suffer heavily financially to the combined possible tune of millions of pounds if they cannot get from the market the right price for  their recycled goods, and the market price is dropping alarmingly on a daily basis. Of course Enterprise have taken their own unique steps to alleviate this problem themselves by scaling down on staff and use of the recycling depot at Westbridge.

From just the above it would seem that the impending fact finding visit to Westbridge and the Town Hall of Cllr Bassam Mahfouz from Ealing Council who want to prevent similar problems arising in their contract with Enterprise in West London may be quite an eyeopener for him!


  1. I note that the Chronicle & Echo run with "Bin lorry 'fires'are denied by council (page 4 - August 9th)

  2. Yes, I noticed that, the Council denied claims (supposedly made by me) that 7 lorries had been taken out of action, trouble is if you read the story above that I made no such claim, I say correctly that there have been 7 fires in the new side loader lorries. I will await of course an apology from the Chron for misleading their readers ( but I am still waiting for their apology over my "scaremongering" over the fountain, even though the truth is now out. I would of thought the newspaper would have contacted the union to ask them about their fears for safety instead of getting an inaccurate quote from a Cllr who has lied to them in the past on stories. So what's it to be Chron? An admission that you were wrong? Or an acceptance that you are in the pockets of the Borough Council and simply act as their PR department? An answer on your website rather than mine would be preferred.

  3. I can't comment on the actual cause of the fires but I once dealt with a fire (for and insurer) on a brand new well known sweedish brand truck which had been found caused by a faulty power steering hose. Obviously I can't say what caused the fires but if the Council and Enterprise had any brains between them they'd have a properly qualified investigator employed to look into the fires and get the said manufacturers to do likewise.

  4. I would have thought, not, "I would of thought"

    Oh go on then - tell me the spelling/correction police are at it again. Stop gloating just because you get it right every now and again. Saying I told you so is quite infantile. Let others decide how clever you may or may not be.

    Lib Dems were warned about this and (LORD) Church laughed at and dismissed the sincere concerns everyone had, so all that's happening is more of the same. Just the usual Northampton Borough Council denials. Just now, it's a different party lying. The magic roundabout continues! Nobody ever takes the blame or has the 'balls' to stand up and be counted.

    I do agree with you that the Chron is a tatty 'rag' with much to answer. But when have they ever bothered to report accurately? Why are you surprised?

  5. Why am I plagued with so many anon posters! Yes I agree it is infantile to say I told you so, which is why I avoid doing so, but the stuff I predict is easy to see if only some Cllrs took their blinkers off. Richard Church dismissed the concerns ta Malcolm Mildren and myself had, if you are a Liberal and are saying others shared my concerns then why did you all stay silent in the Council Chamber? What would you have done if a child had been taken I'll? Or worse? I don't expose these issues for the fun of doing so or for political gain, I do it and say it because in a world of political cowards and party pets someone has to have the balls to speak out, and put their name to their comments.

  6. There are wide ranging reasons why some people post anonymously and not everyone likes to have their profile highlighted the in the manner that you seem to thrive on. That of course should not preclude those who want to from making comment or taking part in discussion. Indeed, if everyone were to put their own name or even any name to comments, there would be very few worthwhile/interesting blogs.

    I concede that you do sometimes take on the weightier issues and you should be bigger than to attempt to cut down those who may not agree always with your viewpoint. There is one such issue almost upon us, (the policing & crime commissioner election) the result of which might have lasting and catastrophic consequences. The need for this matter to be highlighted cannot be emphasised strongly enough.

    The main party candidates need scrutiny like never before, particularly the Liberal Party's Paul Varnsverry, whose major, conflict of interest should prohibit him from even declaring as a candidate. He openly admits to working closely with the police force on a consultative basis as director of PVA Technical File Services Ltd, and one has to presume he gets paid for such services! Even if he were to take a break from his company role, his company would still presumably benefit from it's dealings with the police force.

    Furthermore, is he not still under the auspices of an Individual Voluntary Agreement relating to the above company? Surely, to take on the independent scrutiny of a large institution one would need to display prudence, competency and financial nous? This clearly Mr Varnsverry has failed to do heretofore.

  7. Anon, I believe posters should at least adopt a nom de plume to enable us to separate the anonymity! As to the PCC candidates, I did a piece on here which was ignored by the press, and there are two massive stories waiting to be written to which any decent local paper would be straining at the bit to write. I guess though they will wait for the contest to start proper before going to print. I may however write a blog later this week about the offer I got to be a candidate!

  8. Where on here? Is it possible to point me in the right direction? What massive stories and written by whom? No need to go into great detail. Where does the fear emanate from whenever Varnsverry's name is mentioned?

  9. Why does the name Paul Varnsverry strike fear into the political classes in Northampton?

  10. Now I know you are not anonymous, the only person in the whole of the town if not the universe who believes that Paul Varnsverry strikes any sort of outward emotion other than a dislike of opportunism and blind ambition is Paul Varnsverry himself. Nom De Plume Their is a story re the Tory candidate getting a "special" golden handshake from NCC below and as I said the other two stories will probably appear in the mainstream news but I believe both are better if handled directly by those concerned rather than the press.

  11. Yes, I did see the Conservative pay off piece you did. Quite shocking to think that it goes on and no one seems to be able to stop the skulduggery. Is it any wonder that people become disillusioned

    With regard to the Liberal Party's candidate, I think that desperation and a handful of other adjectives, none complimentary, could have been substituted for "blind ambition". Interestingly enough however, is the man's (used loosely) ongoing ability to convince his own colleagues within the Borough and beyond, that he is the next coming. Austin Powers rides again.




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