Community group takes Gloucestershire County Council to court over Energy from Waste facility

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
An artist's impression of the Gloucestershire County Council

Not for profit group Community R4c is taking Gloucestershire County Council to court to challenge a £650m Energy from Waste contract awarded to consortium Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB).

The group claims the council illegally handled the renegotiation of the contract in 2016 by breaking procurement rules and donating illegal state aid to UBB.

If the group is successful, it will be able to pursue the case for between £75m and £150m to be given to Gloucestershire County Council by UBB.

This, it argues, would lead to large changes in the way the plant operates, including more rigorous recycling and protection of the environment.

The original contract was awarded by Gloucestershire Council to UBB in 2013, yet time delays caused by the extended planning process meant the contract has expired.

GCC renegotiated the contract with UBB in 2016 resulting in a £150 million increase in the cost of the original contract (30% in less than three years), Community R4C says.

It claims that this was done in secret with no opportunity for other companies to tender for the contract.

This would mean the contract breaches procurement law and is illegal according to State Air rules.

GCC says the contract will save the county £100m in waste treatment during the life of the plant.

Tom Jarman, CR4C’s board member, said: “We have every right to demand that the illegal subsidy committed to UBB is returned to the county’s taxpayers and that we can move towards waste treatment which is sustainable and economic.

“CR4C has set out the framework for this and again invites the Council to enter into discussion with us to work together to these ends.”

In a statement posted on its website last month, Balfour Beatty Gloucestershire said its first deliveries of waste to the facility will be received by 30 June.

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