Talks aiming to resolve dispute over planned contract cuts

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Three days of talks were due to begin today between Sheffield Council and its waste management contractor Veolia in a bid to resolve a budget row.

The council has been planning to take Veolia to the High Court following deadlock in negotiations, then arbitration, over a demand for cuts to Veolia’s contract, which is currently £28 million a year, but rises with interest. The contract lasts until 2036.

The council wants to save a further £3.9 million a year on top of £2.4 million a year saved by fortnightly bin collections.

Sheffield Council is also demanding a £900,000 rebate from Veolia – as punishment for not emptying household bins quickly enough after delays due to snow.

The GMB trade union, which represents Veolia workers, has vowed to ensure workers do not suffer as a result of the rebate or savings.