Oxfordshire Director of Legal

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Claimant lawyers press for early trial of incinerator procurement

Lawyers acting for campaigners against a Gloucestershire incinerator have said they will press for an early trial of their claim that it was tendered in breach of regulations.

Law firm Gregg Latchams said pressure group Community R4C was “seeking to expose the way the tender has been handled stating it is a breach of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015”.

It said the Javelin Park incinerator’s costs had risen from £450m when the contract was awarded in 2013 to £600m, and that Community R4C had crowdfunded a third of its £30,000 target for legal costs.

Gregg Latchams’ lawyer Ken McEwan said: “There is clearly a case to answer, we have received an initial response from the legal counsel for Gloucestershire County Council, we are preparing our case and we will work with Community R4C to push for an early trial.”

The campaigners claim the incinerator project is a danger to health and the environment as well as financially unsound.

Gloucestershire was in June 2018 ordered by the Information Commissioner’s Office to disclose further commercial details of an incinerator deal, despite accepting that this could damage the interests of both the local authority and developer Urbaser Balfour Beatty.

Nigel Moor, Gloucestershire’s cabinet member responsible for waste, said: “The council ran a competitive process following procurement law to select a company to deal with the county’s household waste that can’t be reduced, reused or recycled.

“The council received a legal claim from R4C in relation to that process and has lodged a robust defence to R4C’s claim. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage pending the court’s consideration of the claim.”

Mark Smulian