CONCERNS are growing there is no plan over how some of the most densely populated streets in the city will be served with weeks to go before a new waste contract is awarded.

Southend Council is currently negotiating with bidders for a new waste contract due to start in April 2025, when the current contract with Veolia runs out.

It will see rubbish in wheelie bins collected fortnightly, with three bins for rubbish, general recycling like paper, plastics and glass and another for paper and card. In addition there will be a food waste collection and a paid garden rubbish bin collection.

But concerns have been raised that Southend has some of the most densely populated streets, particularly in Westborough.

Many of those roads are narrow and in some cases have a mix of properties that could require different collection methods.

This could mean multiple trips for bin lorries with the potential to cause traffic hold-ups during the morning rush hour.

As of yet, no surveys have been carried out to assess the requirements of these roads and with time running out until the contract is awarded between July and September, the administration has said it will be down to the new contractor to assess the needs of each road in the city.

Daniel Cowan (pictured inset), leader of the Labour Group, said: “There is no plan. That’s what is so concerning. The response at the moment seems to be the contractor will work that out but once we’ve awarded the contract, asking the contractor to work stuff out after the fact may end up with them saying ‘this is how it’s going to be done within the funding you are providing’ so it may be a case that we have to like it or lump it.

“Right now, we need to be doing a desktop exercise to ascertain using our local knowledge exactly which properties could host wheelie bins.

“We need to look at which properties have multiple flats in them because we still don’t have a policy decision on what will happen if there has been a house that could have wheelie bins out the front but it’s been converted into three flats. Are we going to have three sets of bins?

“The council should be doing as much of this work as possible rather than the contractor making it up on the hoof.”