Transparency campaigners were today vindicated when the high court ruled Gloucestershire County Council had deliberately hidden information about the huge rise in the cost of the incinerator contract.
Rachel Smith, Green County Councillor for Minchinhampton Division, said:
“While it's disappointing that Community R4C were not granted standing to challenge the procurement process on a technicality, I hope people will also pay attention to the Court's ruling on the question of transparency. The Court has found that Gloucestershire County Council's actions were "were clearly aimed at not revealing the increase in capital expenditure" from project delays. If information had been published as it should have, when a new inflated contract was signed in 2016, other firms might have been able to challenge this and deliver greener, more cost-effective options for the County.
There are still massive unanswered questions about the legality of the c. £150m cost increase in the Javelin Park contract, and the loss of value to the taxpayer from this.
I stand by my call from January 2019, referenced in the ruling, for an independent inquiry into Javelin Park decision making. At a time when public contracts are once again in the news, we must have transparency, truth and a process that can rebuild public trust in council integrity.”
Stroud District Green Party have always campaigned for transparency and this ruling once again finds the council to have not acted with full disclosure.