Liberal Democrats across the county were delighted when in March this year Gloucestershire County Council’s Planning Committee refused planning permission for a waste-burning incinerator at Javelin Park.
On 2 October 2012, the Liberal Democrats submitted a ‘call-in’ notice to the council’s ‘Overview and Scrutiny Management’ challenging the decision taken on 12 September 2012 by the Tory Cabinet regarding the 25 year Residual Waste Contract.
In speaking about this particular challenge and the current estimated costs that are now facing the council, Leader of the Liberal Democrat County Group, Cllr. Colin Hay said that:
“On being put to the vote, the grounds put forward by the Liberal Democrats back in October were rejected by all Tory members who were at the time in control of the council and therefore supported the Cabinet’s decision regarding the Residual Waste Contract.
“We strongly believe that if the UBB contract, which only allowed for one-technology - incineration, hadn’t been signed prior to the plans going through the Council’s Planning Committee, then, the on-going burdensome costs associated with UBB’s current appeal could have been avoided.
“I am proud that the Liberal Democrats on Gloucestershire County Council have and continue to tirelessly challenge the construction of such a facility at Javelin Park.
“Liberal Democrats have always called for other alternatives apart from incineration to be properly scrutinised such as Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT), but the then Tory controlled council pushed-ahead with a technology that no one else wanted.
“It is estimated that the cost of UBB’s appeal against the Planning Committee’s decision to refuse planning permission will be £346,185 with a further £100,000 set aside for additional costs. We are concerned however that these are only estimated costs and the total figure will actually be a lot higher.
“At a time of great national austerity and yearly cuts to our local government budgets, this reckless, yet totally avoidable decision taken under a previous Tory administration last year has cost Gloucestershire enormously.”