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HGV Driver Shortages: Waste Collections

Volume 699: debated on Monday 19 July 2021

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect on local authority waste collections of HGV driver shortages. (902853)

We are working across Government and with the waste sector to better understand the issues facing waste-collection vehicle staffing levels. We are working with the industry and have already taken action on HGV driver shortages, including by ramping up vocational test capacity and funding apprenticeships.

The Minister was good enough to meet me to discuss the poor performance of Urbaser, the company that has the contract for waste with Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge and Malling. Will he update my constituents on what action he has taken since our meeting so that we can see a rapid improvement to their service?

I thank my right hon. Friend for raising his concerns again about the performance of Urbaser and for taking the time to meet me to explain in detail the concerning situation that his constituents face. It is something that we take extremely seriously. Following our meeting, I have written to Urbaser to ask how it intends to address the concerns that he has relayed. I certainly urge it to use every tool at its disposal to meet its contractual commitments and I look forward to working with him to continue to monitor this important situation.