WINCHESTER civic chiefs have praised a joint waste scheme with East Hampshire District Council.

The city council began a joint waste services contract with its neighbour in October 2011, with Biffa taking over provision from Serco.

The new service initially came under criticism after some bins went uncollected for weeks, but council leader Keith Wood said those problems were long gone.

He said: “Waste bin collections have been very good and the number of missed collections is around 30 per 100,000 which is incredibly good news, unless you are one of the 30. But it shows the problems have been resolved.”

But he added: “Where we have made it clear we are not happy on this contract is the landscaping work. Last year was extremely wet and it was the beginning of a new contract but we have made it clear that this coming year is the time to get a move on and improve.

A £5.5m budget is in place for services this year, with Winchester funding £3.1m.

Cllr Victoria Weston was also added to both councils’ Joint Environmental Services Committee, joining Cllr Wood and Cllr Roger Huxstep.