Video : David Drew MP calls on Parliament to debate incineration contracts after Javelin Park £100 million overspend
Stroud MP David Drew has called on Parliament to hold an urgent debate on incineration contracts, after documents have finally revealed that the Javelin Park incinerator will cost £100 million more than planned.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, David said that “council tax-payers money is being burned.”
Mr Drew raised the issue in Parliament after Gloucestershire County Council finally revealed that the contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty to build the £500 million incinerator at Javelin Park will cost £100 million more than planned.
GCC revealed the figures following a long running battle by campaigners for the costs of the project to be made public.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, David asked the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom MP to schedule an urgent debate about incinerators.
“Will the Leader of the House organise an urgent debate on incineration contracts? Gloucestershire County Council has spent an extra £100 million on its half a billion pound contract to build Javelin Park project.
“It cannot be the only local authority that is watching council taxpayers’ money just being burned on projects which are bad value for money. Will the Leader of the House order an urgent inquiry and a debate on the issue?
Andrea Leadsom replied that Mr Drew had raised an important point and urged him to raise it in Parliament again at the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs questions next Thursday.
Mr Drew is also supporting calls for a for an independent inquiry into the incinerator.
“The incinerator is catastrophic project, locking us in to a system over the next 25 years which does not encourage waste reduction and recycling. I will continue to call for a full parliamentary debate on this.”
Mr Drew has been a long-standing campaigner against Javelin Park on environmental and economic grounds.
He supports a move away from incineration as a method of waste disposal.
In 2018 Mr Drew led an investigation jointly with UKWIN, (UK Without Incineration Network) which showed that particulate pollution emitted by incinerators is not monitored properly and he continues to call for tighter regulation.
Documents released by GCC just before Christmas reveal for the first time that the lifetime cost of the Javelin Park Incinerator is set to top £600m, after the Cabinet agreed to a 30% increase in costs when renegotiating the contract in 2015/16.
The project, which was originally forecast to save the Council £1.2m over its first three years is now set to cost at least £800,000 more than the alternatives over the same period: robbing the budget of resources needed to pay for schools, social care and environmental improvement.
David Drew MP has joined councillors, who were not told about the cost increases when asked to vote on the project in 2015, to issue a cross-party open letter calling for an independent inquiry.