Councillors demand to know the full costs of cancelling the incinerator contract

July 24, 2014 5:51 PM

The 14 Liberal Democrat Councillors join with the Green Party County Councillor for Stroud Central to call for all elected members of the county council to know the full range of costs that would be incurred if the decision was taken to cancel the current contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty for the provision of a residual waste treatment facility.

The request for this information will be made at the next County Council meeting on the 10th September 2014 ahead of the Secretary of State Eric Pickles making the final decision over the fate of Gloucestershire's 'Energy for Waste' incinerator at Javelin Park.

The authority had already spent over £3 million of taxpayer's money in pre-preparation work prior to the council's planning committee voting unanimously to reject the proposed incinerator back in March 2013.

Urbaser Balfour Beatty's announcement that they would appeal against the planning committee's decision last summer has added further costs to the taxpayer estimated at £346,000 with a further contingency budget of £100,000 set aside by the council.

Cllr. Lunnon (Green: Stroud Central) said: "Enough is enough - For too long we've been left in the dark with regards to the costs involved with cancelling the contract.

"Knowledge of the cancellation costs and how they may be increasing the longer we delay, is essential to understanding if the contract is still value for money.

"We cannot be custodians of tax-payers money without knowledge of the consequences of the cabinet's financial decisions."

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr. Hilton (LD: Kingsholm and Wotton) said: "Tearing up the incinerator contract is likely to cost millions, but how many millions?

"This information ought to me known and made available for elected members of this council in order that one can come to an informed decision over the financial future of such an incinerator.

"A Lib Dem/Green proposal at the first annual meeting of the new Council back in May 2013 successfully established a cross party working group to come up with a "Plan B" solution to the county's waste problem should the incinerator contract with UBB fail.

"The work of this group is nearing its completion and we therefore also request at September's council meeting for the final report to be published in the public domain unabridged".