THE under-fire Dorset Waste Partnership is now almost £3million over budget.

And councils in Dorset may have to fork out further cash to prop up the partnership as it could go further over budget.

Members of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s management committee were told the DWP, of which the council is one of seven members, had spent another unexpected £491,950, mainly on buying and leasing vehicles in the past year.

It means the partnership, which has faced a barrage of complaints relating to the roll-out of the waste and recycling service in Weymouth and Portland, is now £2.76million over budget.

The service originally discovered it was £2.27million over budget in November due to an increase in waste growth.

This was particularly in garden waste, revised regulations about recycling such as glass and packaging, vehicle costs and a delayed tender process for a strategic waste facility.

The additional overspend revealed at a meeting yesterday is being blamed on unexpected vehicle hire costs.

Jason Vaughan, director of resources for the borough council, said the council had received a letter from DWP which stated it had spent an extra £491,950 on vehicles which it had not accounted for.

Mr Vaughan told the committee this took the overall over-expenditure to almost £2.8million, and said it would have to be met by all of the district and borough councils in Dorset.

He also warned councillors that there could be more over expenditure in the near future.

Apology for ‘disappointing’ finances

STEVE Burdis, pictured, director of the Dorset Waste Partnership, said: “In response to the current financial pressures, detailed scrutiny of this year’s budget has identified a further £492,000 on top of the previously forecast overspend of £2.3m.

“This consists of an additional £300,000 in one-off vehicle hire costs, as well as the cost of vehicle parts and two external reviews of the DWP.

“Clearly this is disappointing news for our partners and places additional pressures on budgets, for which we sincerely apologise.

“An external audit of vehicle hire is due to report back shortly.

“New vehicles have now been purchased, reducing the need for vehicle hire, and our budgets have been adjusted to better reflect the costs of our vehicle fleet.”