Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX11ND

Contact: Sue Whitehead  Tel: (01865) 810262; E-Mail:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

- guidance note opposite


Councillors Louise Chapman and Ian Hudspeth declared a personal interest in Item 4E as West Oxfordshire District Councillors.



Petitions and Public Address


The following requests to address the meeting under agenda item 4E had been agreed:


Cllr David Hignell, Sutton Courtenay Parish Council

Mr. Brian Steventon, Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council

Mr. Robin Draper, Sutton Courtenay Against the Incinerator

Mr. Paul Gibbs, member of the public


Oxfordshire Residual Waste Treatment Procurement - Selection of Preferred Bidder pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2009/148

Contact: Frankie Upton, Waste Project Manager, Waste Management Group,

Sustainable Development Service, E&E (01865 815824)


Report by Director for Environment & Economy (CA4E).


(The information contained in Annexes 2 and 3 is exempt in that it falls within the following prescribed category:


3    –    information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)


It is considered that in this case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, in that such disclosure would prejudice on-going negotiations and disadvantage the companies concerned.)


Please note that members of the public will re-admitted to the meeting in order to hear the decision.


Oxfordshire County Council is procuring a residual waste treatment contract to divert waste away from landfill. In March 2007 the contract was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The competitive dialogue procurement process has been followed and on 1 May 2009 final tenders were submitted by the two remaining participating companies – Viridor Waste Management Ltd (Viridor) and Waste Recycling Group (WRG), who have both proposed energy from waste (EfW) solutions using incineration with energy recovery.


The final tenders have been subject to rigorous evaluation by the project team using technical, financial, and legal criteria, including a value for money assessment undertaken by the internal project team. The purpose of the report is to explain the procurement process and the outcome of the evaluation, and seek authorisation to appoint a preferred bidder.


The report and recommendations are presented in a neutral way (referring to the two bidders as Tenderer 1 and Tenderer 2) to enable the Cabinet to take an impartial decision.


The identities of Tenderer 1 and Tenderer 2 will be made public at a later date.


            Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               note the outcome of the evaluation which is that Tender 2 is the leading bid;


(b)              endorse the selection of Tenderer 2 as preferred bidder subject to satisfactory agreement of the preferred bidder letter of appointment with Tenderer 2;


(c)               authorise the Director for Environment & Economy following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure to agree the preferred bidder draft letter of appointment; and


(d)              subject to (b) authorise the Director for Environment & Economy to continue with the clarification and confirmation of commitments required to fine tune the contract with Tenderer 2, develop final documentation, and report back to Cabinet to seek authority for the Council to award a contract.



Additional documents:


Cabinet considered a report (CA4E) the purpose of which was to explain the procurement process and the outcome of the evaluation, and to seek authorisation to appoint a preferred bidder in respect of Oxfordshire residual waste treatment. Cabinet noted the reasons for the annex containing exempt information.


Cabinet noted that the report and recommendations were presented in a neutral way (referring to the two bidders as Tenderer 1 and Tenderer 2) to enable the Cabinet to take an impartial decision. However the Chairman stated that the Cabinet Members having read the papers carefully believed that they could identify the bidders from the information contained in confidential annex 2. Cabinet was clear that the decision to be taken was about procurement and not location.


Councillor Purse, speaking as the Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure stated that throughout the process the position taken by the Liberal Democrat Group had been that the least environmentally damaging option should be taken. However given the position now reached she welcomed that there was a preference to no minimum requirement for waste. She wished that the additional traffic be taken into account and preferred to see a break clause given the speed of movement in technology. She expressed concerns at the special meeting and queried whether it would have been better for the planning decisions to have been taken first.


Responding to questions she felt it was a shame that the 2 tenders were for the same type.


Councillor Mrs Catherine Fulljames, speaking as a local member, expressed dissatisfaction that she had not been given annex 2. She expressed the view thatthe meeting had taken people by surprise. She stated that the public did not see it as correct to make this decision before the planning applications had been determined. She noted the decision of Northamptonshire County Council and the position of Buckinghamshire County Council. She also queried why there was no site closer to the centre.


Parish Councillor David Hignell stated that the meeting referred to in the report had not in his view taken place. He expressed concern over one of the bidder’s fitness to operate. He felt that the decision to be made was premature and should wait on the planning and permit decisions. Members received a statement on the views expressed.


Mr Steventon detailed the annual cost and emissions relating to transporting waste and queried whether the Cabinet had access to these figures. He queried whether Cabinet was satisfied that the meeting was legally convened. Members received a statement on the views expressed.


Mr Draper stated that the Audit Commission had advised that Councils were overestimating the facilities required for disposal. His group felt that the financial risk from the hasty signing of a long term contract for incineration may be greater than the risk from incoming landfill tax penalties. They also believed that waste companies with poor or imported incineration technology can cause more problems than they solve and he referred to problems experienced elsewhere with one of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82/09