The Liberal Democrats have today attacked the Conservative administration at Gloucestershire County Council for continuing to withhold all the contract details for Gloucestershire’s £500m incinerator.
A “Decision Notice” by the Information Commissioner was issued last week ordering the County Council to release previously withheld information in terms of both the contract with UBB and the business case for the planned incinerator.
Liberal Democrats welcomed the news that the Council had been ordered to disclose such details. In spite of information being expected to be released by 12th November, the Cabinet Member, Cllr. Ray Theodoulou has now said that the council will appeal against the decision to release what the Council regards as confidential and commercial material.
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Finance & Change, Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson (LD: Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach) said:
“I am totally astounded that in spite of the Council being issued with this ‘Notice’, the Conservatives on Gloucestershire County Council are trying desperately to withhold information that should now rightly be made public.
“They don’t want this contract in the public domain, what are they trying to hide? The Liberal Democrats along with other organisations such as GlosVain want full transparency and for all financial figures to now be revealed”.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton (LD: Kingsholm and Wotton) also said:
“From start to finish the incinerator project has been one big shambolic mess. This is a major failure in public policy.
“The full information on the incinerator contract should be made public and it should be made public now. The council should not waste any more time or money on legal wrangling in attempt to block the release of this important information. The cabinet member should do as he has been instructed by the Information Commissioner. The public and others have the right to see the full details of the deal between the county council and UBB.
“To mount an appeal like this implies one thing and one thing only that there is something someone wants hidden.
“We are still none the wiser whether the building of this incinerator will ever be built. It is a ludicrous and never ending saga that is seeing taxpayers money literally go up in smoke. Enough is enough”.