THE firm that works with Trafford Council to provide a wide range of services has been 'fined' more than £150,000 for failing to meet standards, Messenger can reveal.

Amey carries out tasks such as park and grounds maintenance, street cleaning and waste collections in its partnership role with the council.

But £153,000 in penalty charges have been levied against the firm when performance targets have not been met in 2016-17, a Freedom of Information request by an Altrincham resident has revealed.

The partnership between the council and Amey was launched in 2015.

The 'fines' are for a range of issues including street cleaning standards, overflowing and missed litter bins, not meeting recycling targets and the maintenance of verges, open spaces and sports pitches.

Labour group leader, Cllr Andrew Western, said: "It comes as no surprise to me that Amey's performance has been poor enough to warrant penalties.

"Time and again residents contact me to say that basic tasks have not been completed or that their area is a mess.

"It's not good enough to hope that performance will improve.

"Amey and the council need to get a grip on this now because the area is visibly suffering as a result of their neglect."

Altrincham resident Kevin J Parker, who obtained the figures, said: "It would appear the fines mirror comments made across social media in terms of failings across all waste management sectors ranging from street cleaning standards, missed bins and overflowing litter bins. The total fines to date exceed £153,000.

"Considering this pioneering partnership was launched more than two years ago, it would appear standards remain unachievable for Amey and the local communities are suffering the consequences."

The figures include a fine of £50,000 for missed recycling targets; £24, 826 for failings on the annual tonnages target on pulpable (paper/card) waste; £7,713 for the standard of street cleaning; £7,120 for overflowing litter bins; £9,611 penalty for missed bins; and £8,122 following highways inspections.

There was also a charge of £34,174 for missing targets for the delivery of new/replacement waste containers to residents within five working days.

A council spokesman said: "The council is working very closely with Amey to ensure that the One Trafford Partnership delivers the contractually required and agreed standards across the borough.

"Both organisations are committed to addressing the issues that are affecting performance as quickly as possible and we would like to make it absolutely clear that we believe the standards we set and expect for Trafford are achievable through the One Trafford Partnership and our focus remains on ensuring this."

A breakdown on the figures shows that:

• Waste management overall recycling performance - 15/16 target 61 per cent achieved 60.5 per cent, 16/17 target 62.5 per cent. Provisional figures show it achieved 62.3 per cent. £25,000 was deducted for each year.

A council spokesman said: "We are one of the best performing metropolitan authorities for recycling in the country. Our targets reflect the high standards we are striving to achieve from the partnership."

• Pulpable (paper/card) waste recycling tonnages - deduction £24,826. The performance indicator takes the actual tonnages of pulpable waste collected and compares this to the target tonnages estimated before the start of the financial year.

Financial deductions are made where actual tonnages are more than two per cent less than the target. The variance at the end of the year was 8.9 per cent.

The reduction in the tonnages of paper/card delivered for recycling was common across most of Greater Manchester. The amount of paper recycling is declining due to improvements in technology, which positively impacts on the environment.

• Provision of waste containers - deduction £34,174. The performance indicator measures the delivery of new/replacement waste containers to residents within five working days of being requested. The target is to deliver 98 per cent of requests within five days and the average achievement across the year was 97.1 per cent.

The council spokesman said: "All of the council's targets are stringent because we want to see high standards achieved across the borough."