Communities & Local Government was bumped into action by a parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat MP Sir Bob Russell. He asked why an advert for the new licence to deliver the scheme had yet to be published and whether the department would extend the scheme for a year to enable the necessary consultation and tendering (HW, 20 July).
The present contract held by Keep Britain Tidy is due to expire in August but the Government has failed, despite repeated requests, to announce when a new procurement process will start.
Communities minister Andrew Stunell said last week: "The department wishes to see the scheme sustained beyond the end of the current contract.
"Details of the licence offer will be made as soon as possible to ensure a positive outcome this year without detriment to the scheme."