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Massive waste contracts dumped

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Two councils are set to end large waste contracts that they say have become uneconomic, while the country’s largest private finance intiative waste deal remains in doubt.

Peterborough City Council will consult on ending its 23-year contract with Amey for waste and recycling, while Sheffield City Council is scrapping its deal with contractor Veolia 20 years early - as previously reported by LGC.

A report for Peterborough’s cabinet said its contract, which began in 2011, was likely to be replaced with a joint venture which “will allow the council more control over how services are provided and ensure that a percentage of any income generated by services is returned to the council to provide services for residents”.

The change was driven by “unprecedented challenges within local authority market” and could save Peterborough £100,000 a year, the council said.

Cabinet member for waste and street scene Gavin Else (Con) said: “It has been clear for some time that our contract is no longer meeting either of our needs and is no longer compatible with the tough financial landscape we are operating in.”

Sheffield’s contract with Veolia began in 2001 and was due to expire in 2036.

At a meeting last week the city council’s cabinet agreed to “re-procure” the waste contract. Cabinet member for the environment Brian Lodge (Lab) said: “It is no secret that we are operating in very tough financial times and we have to do things differently.

“Our contract with Veolia, which was signed 16 years ago, is no longer meeting our needs and is no longer compatible with the tough financial landscape in which the government is forcing us to operate.”

The cabinet report said replacing the comprehensive contract with separate ones for each service “provided the council with the best opportunity to deliver best value, savings, flexibility and long term sustainability”.

Meanwhile, the future of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority’s 25-year £3.8bn contract for waste and energy - the country’s largest PFI deal - with Viridor and John Laing is in question.

The authority said in a statement: “The parties recognise the significant financial challenges faced by our nine partner councils as a consequence of enhanced and prolonged austerity. This is a complex process and all parties are working together to respond accordingly.”

In a trading update last month, John Laing noted the authority was, “not satisfied with the current status” of the project.





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