LEADING councillors in Allerdale have formally agreed in bring their troubled waste services “in house” at a meeting this week.

The council will run the service through a “local authority trading company”, an arms-length organisation wholly owned by them.

The move on Tuesday comes after it emerged the executive had decided to terminate the £25m contract with current service-providers FCC Environment from April 3.

The Independent-Conservative administration controversially decided to suspend some of the now-resumed recycling services in July following a catalogue of problems and missed collections.

The part of the meeting to discuss the future of the bins service was held behind closed doors for “commercial reasons”, standard practice when a third party is involved.

But a council spokesman today confirmed that councillors on the executive had agreed the business plan which will see the council take a more direct role.

“Work continues on bringing our waste services into a LATCO (local authority trading company) when the services transfer from FCC after April 3, 2020,” he added.

The options on the table had included continuing to use FCC Environment but under a “new and more costly arrangement” than had been agreed during the original tender process; being run directly by the council; or bringing the service back in-house to be run by a company owned by the local authority.

FCC is now operating under an interim short-term contract previously agreed until a longer-term solution could be developed.

Last week angry waste bosses blamed the council for the bins’ debacle, a sour end to a 16-year professional relationship.

The council is yet to formally respond to any of the claims made by FCC, and it is understood that they are unlikely to do so.

The firm said it was “deeply disappointed” not only with the decision but also with how elected members had handled attempts to reach a resolution.

Waste chiefs also blasted the council for the way it had conducted itself during the bid process and described the contract itself as “fundamentally flawed”.

Under the previous Labour-led administration, Allerdale re-tendered the contract as part of its plans to improve recycling and cut costs.

FCC Environment emerged as the only bidder and was re-appointed, with the then council leader Alan Smith describing the refreshed bin service as “gold-plated”.

Cracks in the service appeared in April with the introduction of new bin collection rounds and new lorries under a contract set up under the previous Labour-led administration.

But it was in July, during the tenure of the present Independent-Conservative executive, that the controversial decision was taken to temporarily suspend garden waste and glass, cans and plastic recycling services.

The move, which led to widespread public anger, was intended to allow contractors to prioritise household waste collection and to deal with major issues.