On Wednesday, Green Party County Councillor Rachel Smith will second a motion calling for a halt to construction of the waste incinerator at Javelin Park, and for a full independent review into the contract.
This comes on the back of a further release of heavily redacted information from Gloucestershire County Council, which reveals that the 2013 contract prices, released earlier this year after a Tribunal ruling, were ‘substantially increased’ in 2015 – meaning that Gloucestershire’s citizens still don’t have true and accurate information on the costs of Javelin Park.
The newly released documents, dating from 2015, reveal that:
Between the Cabinet signing the contract in 2013 with a base price of £146.36 per tonne (far above any current alternative costs) and the Cabinet accepting a Revised Project Plan in 2015, there was a “rise in prices associated with each tonnage band”;
The project breaches the Council’s own affordability limits until at least 2022: meaning that money that could right now be invested in children’s services or social care is instead being poured into an unsustainable waste disposal project;
The claim that cancelling the contract would cost £60m – £100m in 2015 was never calculated in detail, and even the lower figure relies heavily on unaudited figures provided by UBB;
Directly against the spirit of the Information Tribunal’s ruling that value for money calculations and tonnage payments from the contract are substantially in the public interest, GCC have redacted most of the figures that would show the full magnitude of cost increases
Cllr Smith will also be raising a question at Wednesday’s meeting asking for immediate release of the full figures from the 2015 documents, and any subsequent contract amendments.
Cllr Smith said: “Every day that construction continues increases the amount of local taxpayers money being poured into an unsustainable white elephant project. These new documents show that the Cabinet continue to refuse to come clean about the true costs of this project – and to show their working for their ever more outrageous claims about it’s value for money. For as long as there is an complaint for the Competition and Markets Authority to review, the prudent thing to do is halt work on construction: and open an independent review to make sure lessons are learnt from the closed and secretive process that has led us to this point.”