Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cardiff Lab council privatise waste in 25 yr contract

Gretta Marshall

At the Council meeting on 28th, the P Gwyrdd contract for Viridor (25 years, £600mM total, £250million from Cardiff) was rammed through. The Splott Councillors absented themselves - Luke Holland away ill, Gretta Marshall and Huw Thomas failed to demand their rights under the Localism Act to speak representing their electorate (and didn't use the normal 'dispensation' to speak against Labour group decision). They quit the meeting, leaving Cllrs Goodway and Govier with their commitment to P Gwyrdd free to ram though the approval of Viridor as preferred bidder (contract to be finalised in June or July).  No-one spoke in objection over the 'grave misconduct' by Viridor whose unlawful building allows the Council to rule out this company.

Condem Cllr Boyle asked 'whether process was transparent clear fair inclusive process?'
Cllr Goodway claimed that it was transparent in every respect and that the joint  scrutiny had concerns they would have been 'ventilated in this chamber'!
Neil McEvoy

Cllr McEvoy objected he'd hadn't time to view the documents because of the special 'security' that requires Cllrs to use particular computers in the Council office, or to pour through a foot-high pile of printed documents there. He opposed approval, talking of health risk, and saying Plaid favours alternatives to waste incineration. 

Ralph Cook NOT A
'environmental fundamentalist'
Deputy Leader Ralph Cook dismissed this with “I'm no environmental fundamentalist”. The Council had settled the issue in a debate in 2009 (which McEvoy had accepted). Cllr Govier said they had no predisposed ideas on health effects  incinerators are cleaner than landfills and claims it saves landfill costs of £400M over 25 years, net saving of £157M.

 The chair of the Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Derbyshire in discussion prior to the meeting, excused their failure to scrutinise this highly costly proposal and lengthy commitment because of the short-time allowed for decision (in contrast, the VoG held an extraordinary Scrutiny Committee on it). A recording of the meeting is on the Council website.
Cllr Derbyshire 'no alternatives' & 'we are where we are and on that basis we have to go for it' After all the claim made by Cllr Goodway is that Cardiff Council discussed this Prosiect Gwyrdd/Incinerator in 2009. 

Following the majority approvals of Viridor's planning application on 13th February, Richard Buxton law firm are expanding their High Court action to cover a challenge to these new decisions, challenging the Council head-on this time.

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