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Waste devolution merger delayed

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England’s largest waste authority has delayed transfering powers to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority by a year, LGC’s sister title Materials Recycling World reports. 

Orders have not yet been passed in parliament to allow the transfer of functions which had been scheduled to take place in April. That has now been pushed back until April 2018.

In a report which went before the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) last Friday it attributed the delay to “issues remaining to be resolved with the government about the powers needed to allow its orderly and appropriate transfer of functions”.

Meanwhile, the GMWDA has raised concerns about the price of its £3.8bn deal with contractor Viridor Laing amid frustration over the progress of repair works.

GMWDA’s 25-year private finance initiative deal with Viridor Laing has been under pressure in recent months, with construction contractor Costain currently making repairs to some facilities that service it.

In the report it said revealed GMWDA has raised concerns with Viridor Laing over the progress being made on these works, including “significant rusting issues” in the mechanical and biological treatment plant tanks and the in-vessel composting facilities.

It added: “It is also now becoming clear that with reduced volumes of waste (compared with the expected levels of waste arising when facilities were proposed in 2006-07) that the GM [Greater Manchester] contract is expensive compared with current market rates.

“Options to reduce costs going forward have thus been developed in the past year. These savings options are progressing, but are not yet finalised and hence are commercially sensitive.”


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