Social enterprise chief in council by-election protest

Recycling firm Kerbside's boss Paul Brannigan will stand for election

The chief executive of a West Yorkshire social enterprise is to stand in a council by-election in protest at the local authority's treatment of his organisation.

Paul Brannigan, chief executive of recycling organisation Kerbside, based in Calderdale, says multinational organisation Sita, which won the tender to run the area's recycling services last summer, has not fulfilled a promise to continue funding Kerbside's own collections from a third of Calderdale households.

He said Calderdale Council asked bidders, who had to have a minimum annual turnover of £7m, to factor an element of social enterprise provision into their tenders. But officials failed to make such a stipulation in the final contract, he said, leaving Kerbside, which has a turnover of £300,000, with no redress.

He said he had the "mad idea" of standing in the 2 April election because Kerbside was going to run out of money for its collections next month. "I will try to bring the council round to a way of thinking that supports local enterprises rather than walking all over them," he said.

Malcolm Akroyd, waste manager at Calderdale Council, said the authority was confident that Sita would involve social enterprise in its operation.

Lengthy talks between Sita and Kerbside took place last year to try to come to an arrangement, but an agreement could not be reached, he said.

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