Aylesbury Vale District Council Leader John Cartwright calls in Buckinghamshire County Council’s cabinet decision

Aylesbury Vale District Council Leader John Cartwright has called in Buckinghamshire County Council’s (BCC) Cabinet controversial decision to approve Spanish-owned WRG Ltd to build an expected 300,000 mass burn waste incinerator at Lower Greatmoor farm, Edgcott.

The calling in will lead to the Cabinet’s decision being put to the Scrutiny and Overview Committee on 14th December 2010 and if that Committee determines the decision needs to be called in will then lead to a special further scrutiny meeting on 22 December 2010.

Campaigners against the incinerator, led by UKWIN members Stop Aylesbury Vale Incineration (SAVI), have already demonstrated the mass of local public opposition to the incinerator and have raised concerns regarding the apparently close relationship between WRG and BCC.

SAVI have also noted that a recent email from Buckinghamshire County Council, supposedly from an entirely separate department, about a local village green application announced that the “Waste site was approved by Cabinet this week”. Campaigners are asking: “Was this wishful thinking or perhaps evidence that, despite many protestations to the contrary, the Council think it is a done deal”?

Local MP John Bercow has referred to the questionable nature of the secrecy surrounding the incinerator decision. BCC has refused to explain the decision to let WRG back into the tender process (with the knowledge this time that they had to slash their price) on the basis of ‘legal advice’ but he refuses to divulge what it was about or what the advice was. This advice could be put to the test should the European Council decide that the contract tendering process should have been re-opened.

Helen Howard, one of SAVI’s legal team states:

BCC first of all said they had no money to deal with the village green application until the new financial year began in April 2011, but suddenly that decision was reversed and a public inquiry is being brought forward to early 2011. Many people have said to us that there is a very fishy smell emanating from County Hall and now becoming a very strong stench.

WRG have a weak planning case in trying to inflict a huge mass burn waste incinerator upon this precious rural heritage and it looks as if they are doing all they can behind the scenes at BCC to improve their chances and make millions out of our misery.

We in SAVI, (Stop Aylesbury Vale Incineration) supported by our constituency MP John Bercow, will continue to do all we can to stop this monstrosity from being built.

One Response to “Buckinghamshire incinerator decision in doubt”

  1. More from SAVI:

    TEN REASONS TO CALL IN BUCKS COUNTY COUNCIL CABINET DECISION ON ENERGY FROM WASTE MADE ON 29TH NOVEMBER 2010

    1. That the procurement decision in favour of WRG Ltd is illegal in that it should only have been decided with reference to the saved Waste and Mineral Core Strategy and not with reference to the emerging plan.
    2. That Bucks County Council has failed properly to quantify and take into consideration in its decision (1) the financial losses which will be inflicted on the Vale by reason of this procurement decision which would include but not be limited to job losses especially within the tourism industry, agriculture and rural economy and (2) the expected planning blight on housing within the Vale and house price drops forecasted at 25-30% of value
    3. That Bucks County Council has failed properly to take into consideration the strong and united opposition to the incinerator proposed by WRG Ltd at Lower Greatmoor Farm as evidenced by 26,000 saying no through paper and web-based petitions; 23 local parish and Town councils passing resolutions against this incinerator
    4. That Bucks County Council has failed to take into consideration the admitted likelihood that WRG Ltd will sell any heat and power generated from the incinerator to HS2 and thereby increase the likelihood of HS2 being built on preferred option 3 route, contrary to its avowed policy to resist HS2 on behalf of the ratepayers of Bucks
    5. That Bucks County Council has totally failed in its obligations to its ratepayers to be transparent about financial issues relating to the proposed bid and has wrongly taken this decision behind closed doors thereby failing to allow appropriate representation on financial implications
    6. Further, that Bucks County Council has failed to take into consideration and make proper allowance and/or provision for the long term financial implications and cost to local ratepayers of dealing with some 300,000 tonnes of toxic hazardous waste for its lifetime following the termination of an anticipated 30 year contract with WRG Ltd.
    7. Further that Bucks County Council and/or WRG Ltd has failed to disclose that AE & E, the Austrian company on whose technology WRG’s building bid is based, went into administration on 26th November 2010, which will thus render the capacity of WRG Ltd to complete the contract null and void.
    8. That Bucks County Council has failed to revisit the appropriateness of this incineration technology, especially given that its decision pro-incineration was made nearly four years ago, thereby ignoring more appropriate and safer technologies including MBT (for which a 50k tonne planning permission has been in the interim granted at Westcott)
    9. That Bucks County Council has made this decision on erroneous figures for the production of waste in the county. BCC wrongly stated that the county recycles 44% of waste on 29th November 2010 when in fact overall it recycles only 37% as evidenced by the latest DEFRA figures – see attached. AVDC recycles a mere 22% as against a national average of 40%. The Council should put more effort into achieving proper recycling rates of 65% UPWARDS instead of focussing on incineration.
    10. Overall that Bucks County Council has failed to take into consideration the appalling environmental impact on a cherished part of the Bernwood Forest including but not limited to the damage to protected species and the inappropriate use of this rural landscape.

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