A REVIEW into the Dorset Waste Partnership is like ‘putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank,’ it has been claimed.

Criticism of DWP came to the fore at a meeting yesterday with councillors talking about how the roll-out of Recycle for Dorset had led to a ‘horrendous two months’.

Dorset County Council's leader Robert Gould said excess spending on hire vehicles was ‘an unacceptable shock’.

But, as reported in the Echo, the situation will be addressed by the Joint Committee following two independent reviews and a further wide-ranging external review requested by the council’s chief executive.

And Cllr Peter Wharf said this was not an effective solution because: “I would have said that it’s a little bit like putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank. They [the Joint Committee] have been clearly responsible for serious failures in budget management.”

Last week it was revealed how the under-fire waste partnership is now almost £3m overbudget.

The latest overspend has also forced the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council (WPBC) to set aside another £100,000 in case it has to help DWP balance its books in the future, which is on top of the £200,000 the council already had to find.

The partnership has faced a barrage of complaints about the roll-out in the borough, with thousands of people complaining their rubbish has not been collected on time, with some saying their rubbish hasn’t been collected for months. However, Cllr Gould said setting up the partnership had been a ‘great achievement’ overall and the council ‘didn’t want to overplay’ problems given the success of the roll-out in other parts of Dorset.

He said: “We have seen considerable improvements of our recycling rates. It has been well-received by residents. In setting up that partnership, it has been a great achievement.

“Let’s not also forget that the same part of that tranche did cover other parts of the county. I wouldn’t want to overplay [concerns about problems in Weymouth and Portland].”

However Cllr Gould said he was aware of overspends and they were ‘a matter of concern for all of us’ that DCC wanted to investigate and move on from ‘as quickly as possible’.

He said: “The budget is seen as what’s causing us such concern at the moment. Every effort is being taken to determine why this situation has arisen.”

Amongst well-known areas of overspend with the DWP, Cllr Gould said reduced revenue from recycled materials was ‘not entirely unexpected’.

However, he added: “What wasn’t forecast was the cost of hire vehicles and the significant amount of money that has been spent in that area which has come as, frankly, an unacceptable shock.”

Councillors also criticised the way Dorset Waste Partnership was addressing residents’ concerns.