Fight Will Continue Against Javelin Park Incinerator
New challenges to come on the grounds of illegal state aid and value for money
Community R4C will continue the fight against the Javelin Park incinerator despite recently being denied leave to appeal in its High Court case against Gloucestershire County Council. Nevertheless, HH Judge Russen had previously ruled in CR4C’s favour that the facts clearly indicated that procurement law was broken over Javelin Park because a secret contract was awarded in 2016 with no new tender despite a 36% increase in price. This will cost Council taxpayers an additional £163m, a fact the Council managed to keep secret from the public and Councillors for years.
CR4C Board director, Tom Jarman, said: “We will continue to challenge this illegal contract on the grounds of unfair competition and breach of state aid laws. The latter could still return £millions to County taxpayers. As a first step we have made a detailed application to DG Competition in the European Commission. They are responsible until January for referring matters of illegal state aid to the UK Courts. From January 2021 it will be the job of the Competition and Markets Authority and we are already in touch with them.”
Closer to home, CR4C has also made approaches to the GCC’s auditors, Grant Thornton, to issue a report on the value for money and legality of the contract after a three year delay. This has held up final approval of the GCC’s accounts.
CR4C Board chair Sue Oppenheimer said: “The latest legal decision is obviously a disappointment for us and all our loyal supporters. It is also very strange. It would seem to replace the legal remedy of loss of chance with a new law based on being able to prove the impossible: that we could have met a hypothetical tender at a hypothetical date with a hypothetical consortium. This is clearly nonsensical and the implications are negative nationwide for any non ‘big business’ consortium trying to bid for public projects. This will have a profound effect by unfairly preventing SME’s and community-led consortia from having a chance of a successful bid.”