Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Waste Panel Part Two (PM)

Councillors have recommended to Cabinet that they do not terminate the waste contract with SITA but instead should bring forward a Revised Project Plan.

I was very critical of the report which set out the view of council officers. Amongst other things, it claimed that the actual termination cost would be £35-50 million. The report also claimed that no alternative waste management facilities could be brought on stream until 2023 and this would cost Cornish tax-payers an extra £166 million. There was much in the report I did not accept and there were also plenty of omissions.

The option of a Revised Project Plan was described in very general terms and I made sure that one and all were clear that, due to procurement rules, this could only be a smaller incinerator in the China Clay Area.

I moved an amendment at the meeting that stated we “did not accept all the assertions within the report relating to cost, the planning context, etc;” “questioned the scope of the Revised Project Plan” and recommended to Cabinet that they “properly explore the option of termination, with further information brought forward as a matter of urgency.”

This was lost by nine votes to three. The three supporters of the amendment were myself, Roy Taylor (Lib Dem – St Blaise) and John Wood (Ind – Roche). Those members who opposed the amendment included 5 Conservatives, 2 Independents and 2 Lib Dems. The Chairman of the Panel, Cabinet member Julian German, did not vote.

The report now goes to Cabinet on 10 February, when I will be in attendance and making my views known.

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