Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Seven waste projects lose PFI credits

  • Comment

Seven local government waste treatment projects are to lose their PFI credits following the spending review.

The Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said the £26m total of credits was “no longer be needed to meet landfill diversion targets set by the European Union”.

Affected councils are: Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East councils; Coventry City Council, Solihull MBC and Warwickshire CC; Gloucestershire CC; Leicestershire CC; Milton Keynes Council and Northamptonshire CC; North London Waste Authority; South London Waste Partnership.

The other 11 projects granted credits have retained them. Environment Minister Lord Henley told LGC’s sister publication Materials Recycling Week: “We are satisfied that we’re already doing pretty well in terms of meeting our landfill targets, and we’re perfectly happy we’re going to meet the 2020 targets by keeping the 11 projects and losing the seven.”

Loss of the credits has sparked angry reactions from the affected councils.

North London Waste Authority lost credits worth £258.4m for a project approved by the government only in July.

Its chair Clyde Loakes (Lab) said: “This is bitterly disappointing and a bizarre announcement.”

He said that despite the Government’s claims to be ‘green’ it had withdrawn support from a project that would bring a 470,000 tonnes increase in the UK’s anaerobic digestion capacity, enough to power 45,500 homes.

Cllr Loakes said losing the credits meant “the Government imposing a greater tax burden on the local council taxpayer in already challenging times”.

The authority said it had a number of interested bidders and still intended to award a contract in October 2012.

Both Cheshire council leaders said they wanted urgent meetings with Government over the loss of £100m of credits for an £850m project that was on the point of choosing a preferred bidder.

Cheshire West and Chester leader Mike Jones (Con) said: “I am extremely concerned by this development because after a five-year process, we were so very close to a solution to our household waste disposal problems over the next quarter of a century.”

Cormac Stokes, chair of the South London Waste Partnership’s management group, said: “What is most regrettable is that the reasons behind the decision have not yet been made clear.”

“The partnership’s negotiation team has been working hard with bidders over the last 14 months to ensure that the proposals being developed are affordable and within budget, even without PFI credits.” 

Leicestershire CC’s project, based at present on energy-from-waste, is thought unlikely to be viable without the credits.

Gloucestershire CC chief executive Peter Bungard said: “We are waiting for more detail on what this means for Gloucestershire and will consider options for our proposals to find a viable alternative to putting our rubbish in landfill.”

Defra must save 29% of its resource spending and 34% of its capital spend over the next four years, one of Whitehall’s deepest cuts.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.