PRESS RELEASE – 27th July 2020
Community R4C asks Councillors & MPs to seek return of £150 million ‘state aid’
Environmental group Community R4C has written to all Gloucestershire’s MPs and county councillors to ask them to seek the return of £150 million of ‘illegal state aid’ from Urbaser Balfour Beatty.
They claim sufficient evidence has been revealed in the recent High Court case over the controversial £613 million Javelin Park incinerator contract to require an immediate review by an independent Councillors’ committee. They also say that auditors Grant Thornton have all they need to produce a long-awaited report on the contract.
Community R4C co-chair Sue Oppenheimer said: “As a result of the facts now made public, it is clear that a major breach of procurement rules took place because there was no tender process for this contract. The rules are there to ensure value for money and there is sufficient evidence to move forward to recover up to £150 million in illegal state aid. Councillors should now take the lead on this.
“We will also be writing to auditors Grant Thornton because they have quasi-judicial responsibilities and we expect them to issue a report and assist in reclaiming the money.”
Community R4C says that a recent High Court ‘Preliminary Issues’ ruling upheld CR4C’s right to challenge the contract even after a record three years because the GCC had concealed the 30% cost increase all that time. The group is considering whether to appeal against his ruling that CR4C could not have pre-qualified as hypothetical bidders for the hypothetical contract.