Ex-Fountains workers in Norwich offered jobs by Biffa

Workers at Fountains' Norwich depot About 450 workers were made redundant around the country after Fountains Group collapsed

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The jobs of 150 workers, which were under threat after a council contractor went into administration, have all been secured, Norwich City Council has said.

Fountains, which carried out street cleaning and park maintenance for the council, hit trouble in January.

The council said Biffa would take over the contract for a year and all redundant staff would be offered jobs.

The authority said it would continue to seek a long-term solution.

Biffa was previously sub-contracted by Oxfordshire-based Fountains Group to deliver waste and recycling collections.

The council said the firm would continue to carry out that work.

Brenda Arthur, leader of the council, said: "I'm absolutely delighted and I am grateful to Biffa for offering a future opportunity to ex-Fountains workers to deliver all the key services that Norwich residents rely on us to provide."

Brian Rye, regional secretary for Ucatt, said the union remained critical of private outsourcing, but said the announcement was "great news" and remained the "best decision for our members and the local community".

Fountains was the second city council contractor in just over two years to hit financial trouble and prompted a Norwich MP to question the authority's ability to legitimately hand out deals.

Connaught, which ran similar services, collapsed in 2010, leaving 300 people redundant.

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