Under the heading: Swansea City Council Ban Future Contracts with Veolia Swansea Action for Palestine is informing the world that:
An historic decision was taken by Swansea City Council to bar future contracts with Veolia on the grounds of its illegal activities in the West Bank.
Swansea City Council approved the following resolution on Thursday June 17th 2010:
The UN not only does not recognise Israel’s annexation and occupation of East Jerusalem, but has repeatedly stated its view that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank contravene international law, and it has demanded that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported. The international trading company, Veolia, is a leading partner in a consortium seeking to build a light railway system linking Israel to illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, a project that clearly not only contravenes UN demands but is in contravention of international law.
This Council therefore calls on the Leader & Chief Executive not to sign or allow to be signed any new contracts or renewal of any existing contracts with Veolia or any other company in breach of international law, so long as to do so would not be in breach of any relevant legislation.
According to the blog article, Veolia currently has contracts with the authority for local bus, park & ride to the tune of £699k per annum and home school to the tune of £238k per annum.
The passing of the resolution was important in its own right, but Swansea Action for Palestine have since discovered that this is the first resolution of its kind to have been passed by any UK authority, in that it makes explicit its reasons for ruling out any future contracts with Veolia. Other authorities have discontinued contracts with Veolia, but have not specified this reason. Swansea City Council is therefore leading the way with what is now seen as a landmark decision.
The resolution was put to the Council as the result of a campaign, in the course of which, all 72 councillors were mailed with details of Veolia’s illegal activities. Swansea Action for Palestine were gratified with the level of cross part support for some kind of action to be taken and have since been in regular contact with councillors from nearly all parties who are actively pursuing the issue.
Swansea now leads a growing number of cities ready to take a moral stand against international lawbreakers. The list already includes Dublin, Stockholm and Melbourne and within the UK moves are already being made which would mean that other authorities follow Swansea’s example.