AN industry regulator has issued a formal warning to a North-East recycling centre after it failed to meet vehicle and driver standards.

The region’s Traffic Commissioner, Kevin Rooney, called International Waste Metals Ltd, in Shildon, County Durham, to a regulatory hearing after government inspectors reported problems with vehicle safety standards and driver record keeping.

Mr Rooney ordered company director, John Cumberland, to end his duties as the firm’s transport manager, meaning he is disqualified from acting as transport manager within the commercial vehicle industry until he can demonstrate renewed competence and commitment to the role.

During the inquiry, the Traffic Commissioner heard the company, based on Hackworth Industrial Park, failed to produce records relating to the work of its drivers and that vehicles had been found with defects and given prohibition notices.

An examiner from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) reported that Mr Cumberland was not performing his duties as transport manager.

Mr Rooney also noted that a driver in the firm’s employment was convicted and fined £750 for four counts of making false records of his driving duty in March 2010, which the company failed to tell the industry regulator.

He said that although a recent visit to the firm by a VOSA examiner showed no serious concerns, it was noted that Mr Cumberland was unable to give a clear explanation about the driver’s conviction.

Mr Rooney said: “As a transport manager, I would have expected him to have a full understanding of what had gone wrong so such matters could be prevented from going awry again.”

Speaking today (Sunday, November 3), Mr Cumberland said: “It is one of things I thought was rather unfair because I had just had an operation on my mouth the day before so my mind wasn’t really on things.

“It’s a responsibility I would gladly let go.

“It is not a big issue for me. I am almost ready to retire anyway.”

The firm has until January 22 next year to restore its professional competence. A formal warning was recorded on its licence.