North Yorkshire County Council submitted an application to the High Court yesterday (Monday 20 May 2013) seeking leave to make an application for a Judicial Review of DEFRA’s decision to withdraw waste infrastructure credits for the North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council long term waste management contract.
Richard Flinton, Chief Executive, North Yorkshire Council said:
We consider that Secretary of State has not made the decision to withdraw our credits in a proper manner and that he has failed to follow DEFRA’s own published criteria. We also consider him to have failed to take account of the waste management obligations in the Waste Framework Directive; failed to consult with us on his decision; and failed to give proper reasons for his decision.
At no point, during a lengthy five-year procurement process, had the Government indicated that PFI funding would not be available.
We were extremely disappointed when Lord de Mauley, the Parliamentary Under Secretary said that the Government would not change it’s decision to withdraw PFI credits for our waste management scheme. We had set out very clearly the impact that the withdrawal of waste infrastructure credits (previously Private Finance Initiative credits) would have on our project.
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The Waste PFI was projected to save up to £320 million on our waste management bills by significantly reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and reducing the amount of landfill tax the councils have to pay. At a time when public services are under extreme financial pressure, this saving will be an important contribution to avoiding cuts in other areas. AmeyCespa’s proposal also gives us a green solution for dealing with our household waste by recovering value from waste.
We have now taken the decision to seek leave to apply for a Judicial Review of the government’s decision on behalf of ourselves and our partner City of York Council. Whilst we wait for the outcome we will continue to work with our contractor, AmeyCespa, to finalise the details of our long term waste management project.