Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions
Contact: Simon Harper
Declarations of Interest
Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda.
A copy of the declarations of interest is attached to the signed copy of the minutes.
Incinerator at Javelin Park
Under Section 3.1.2 of Part 4 the Constitution, the following five members have called for an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council to consider the motion below.
Cllr Lesley Williams
Cllr Barry Kirby
Cllr Tracy Millard
Cllr Steve Lydon
Cllr Steve McHale
This Council notes the decision of the Secretary of State to approve the building of an incinerator at Javelin Park.
We note this decision disregards the findings of the County Council’s Planning Committee, which unanimously rejected Urbaser Balfour Beatty’s (UBB) proposals to build an incinerator at the site.
This Council further notes the widespread public opposition to the building of an incinerator at Javelin Park. We also note according to the Plan B Working Group there are viable alternative waste disposal solutions, such as Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) available. We note that unless the County Council cancels it contract with UBB the incinerator will now be built.
This Council censures the Cabinet for ignoring the wide spread opposition to the building of the incinerator.
This Council requests that the Cabinet cancel the incinerator contract with immediate effect.
Under Section 3.1.2 of Part 4 the Constitution, Councillors Barry Kirby, Steve Lydon, Steve McHale, Tracy Millard and Lesley Williams had called for an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council to consider a motion relating to the incinerator at Javelin Park.
The Chairman had received a request to combine the debate on the petition on the Javelin Park incinerator contract with the debate on the motion on the same topic. He used his discretion (provided for under procedural standing order 2.2) to bring forward the petition, an item not included on the agenda, for consideration at the Extraordinary Meeting.
The petition and the motion were essentially calling for the same action. The Chairman explained that the reason for taking this action was that if the petition was considered at the Ordinary Meeting it would engender a debate on a topic which the Council would have already debated and resolved at the Extraordinary Meeting. He believed that this was a pragmatic approach which would allow the petitioner to address the Council and members to debate to issue once and facilitate the democratic process.
In order to facilitate this action, the Chairman moved and the Vice-chairman seconded a motion without notice to suspend procedural standing order 3.2 in relation to the business of the Extraordinary Meeting.
Sue Oppenheimer, the lead petitioner, presented the following petition:
The Government has approved, on appeal, Urbaser Balfour Beatty’s (UBB) planning application, to build a huge waste incinerator at Javelin Park, in Haresfield.
However, the incinerator was opposed by our elected County Council Planning Committee, by thousands of local people, and by Stroud, Gloucester and Cheltenham District Councils. Its approval is an abject failure of local democracy.
We, the undersigned, petition the Council to terminate the contract with UBB and, instead, pursue alternative options for the reduction, recycling and disposal of Gloucestershire’s waste.
She outlined that the petition was on behalf of the thousands of GlosVAIN supporters and the residents of Gloucestershire. The petition had received over 7,600 signatures. They felt passionately that this was a cause worth fighting for and that getting the incinerator stopped would make a huge difference for the people of Gloucestershire, financially, environmentally and democratically.
It was emphasised that there was agreement that landfill was the worst option and that this was a choice between an outdated, expensive incinerator or cheaper alternatives that would save hundreds of millions of pounds over the life of the contract, even after meeting the costs of cancelling the contract.
She questioned the justification of a decision to lock the county into a 25 year contact that could waste as much as £400 million. She asked where the proof was for the £100 million cancellation costs that had been cited, with details not having been revealed under commercial confidentiality. She explained that the cancellation sum was based on a worst case scenario, and that GlosVain had provided evidence that the assumptions were wrong. The cancellation of a contract in Norfolk was provided as an example.