LIVERPOOL City Council is to press ahead with setting up a new arms-length company to operate its waste collection service – after the workforce voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move. The council’s current contact for waste collection services is delivered by Enterprise Liverpool Limited (ELL), a joint venture between the city council and Amey plc, and ends in November 2015. At a mass meeting this morning, staff who collect bins across the city agreed to sign up in principle to an enabling agreement which outlines the broad terms and conditions of an agreement between the council, trade unions and staff meaning the council will now not progress to procuring the contract externally. “Liverpool Waste Management and Related Services (LATco)” would be wholly owned by the city council, and aims to cut costs and improve services including supporting residents in achieving a 55% recycling rate by 2020. Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “I am pleased that the workforce has supported this move, as it gives us the opportunity to introduce a service that the workforce and Council believe in and one in which all parties work together. “The new proposed service arrangements will support us in reaching our aspirations and our recycling target, which will deliver major savings to tax payers of the city. “Our overriding aim is to ensure that the city’s residents have an efficient, top quality, high performing refuse and recycling collection service. They want to know that their bins will be collected, when we say we are going to collect them. “There have been extensive discussions with the unions and workforce and they have given us confidence that the service can be improved, performance and productivity increased and customer satisfaction and expectations met. “We believe that this is a way in which we can deliver a better, more cost effective and productive service.” George Patterson Regional organiser for the GMB, commented: “The Trade Unions and Mayor Joe Anderson have today agreed bringing the refuse and recycling services in to a LATco. “The Trade Union have worked extremely hard together with the Mayor in delivering an agreement that we believe will improve the refuse and recycling service and will also reduce the cost of the service to the council. We look forward working with the new company and the Mayor to help deliver his vision of a cleaner, brighter, sparkling city.” Discussions are also set to get underway regarding a LATco for street cleansing ahead of the current contract with Amey ending in March next year.