Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX11ND

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

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received on behalf of Councillor Heathcoat and Councillor Waine.


Petitions and Public Address


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

been agreed:


Councillor Anne Purse, Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure

Councillor Mrs Catherine Fulljames, local member

Councillor Charles Shouler

Councillor John Tanner

Dr Ian Groves, Ardley Against the Incinerator



Oxfordshire Residual Waste Treatment Procurement - Award of Contract pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Cabinet Member: Growth & Infrastructure

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/110

Contact: Frankie Upton, Waste Project Manager (01865) 815824


Report by Director for Environment & Economy (CA4E).


(The information contained in Annexes 2, 3 and 4 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 company concerned.)


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


Oxfordshire County Council has been procuring a residual waste treatment contract to divert waste away from landfill in accordance with the Oxfordshire Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy. In March 2007 the contract was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). On 7 September 2009 the Cabinet selected Viridor as preferred bidder, and since then a process of clarifying and confirming commitments in the contract has been ongoing.


The report explains the nature of the contract and its legal and financial implications, including the allocation of risk between the council and the contractor. The report concludes that the contract provides value for money when measured against a do nothing base case and provides an acceptable balance of risk compared to price. It will deliver a residual waste treatment service that achieves virtually zero waste direct to landfill, and the offer is competitive in the current market. Therefore, having taken into account the uncertainties and risks posed by the planning process, authorisation is sought to award the contract.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to award the contract for the treatment of Oxfordshire’s residual municipal waste to Viridor Waste Management Ltd and authorise;


a)                 the Director for Environment and Economy after discussion with the Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure,  to approve minor amendments to the form of contract, and any subsidiary or related documents, prior to its execution which do not modify substantial aspects of the contract or the commercial agreement with Viridor as outlined in the report;


b)                 the Director for Environment and Economy to sign any subsidiary or related documents arising from the contract; and


c)                  the Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer to issue a certificate under the Local Government (Contracts) Act 1997 (the Certificate).

Additional documents:


Cabinet considered a report (CA4E) that explained the nature of the contract and its financial implications including the allocation of risk between the council and the contractor, and recommended the award of the contract to Viridor.


Councillor Anne Purse, Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure commented that she would not start from the current position and that she felt that the Cabinet had received suggestions about alternatives choices that had not been taken. She feared that Cabinet would be creating a hungry beast at a time a wider context of magnificent efforts to reduce residual waste.


Dr Ian Groves, Ardley Against the Incinerator, emphasised the pleasant and green environment of Ardley and the expectation of residents that this would be enhanced by the restoration of the land fill site in due course. The Group recognised and subscribed to the need to move waste up the waste hierarchy and were aware of the reasons underpinning the current recommendation. Personally he had attended every day of the public enquiry to hear the reasons given but felt that not enough consideration had been given to the impact on local people. He believed that a smaller facility could be designed having less impacts on the environment and the local communities. The current scheme was twice the size required and he felt that the Council had not robustly considered the proposals. The Group considered that the decision should be held until the results of the planning application were known.


Councillor John Tanner, spoke against the recommendation. The decision would tie the Council for 25 years into the future at a time when new possibilities were opening up every year. He referred to the progress made with composting and the reduction in the amount of household waste due to recycling and queried the need for such a large incinerator with waste coming into the County from elsewhere.


In response to comments made the Chairman clarified that the decision would be taken in public.


Responding to a question Councillor Tanner stated that he thought that turbines were an asset.


Councillor Shouler, highlighted paragraphs 25 and 26 of the report that set out the 4 outcomes. A recurring query from members of the public was to question the need to sign before the planning permission was granted.  He referred to the fact that if delayed then it was likely that costs (held for some time) would be renegotiated by Viridor and that this could undermine the value for money. Not signing today was not a cost free option and he urged Cabinet to make the financial risks clear.


Councillor Mrs Catherine Fulljames, as local member stated that she was speaking for many villages in her Division. She noted that there were some local people here today but pointed out that the Planning Inquiry was still carrying on and it was school holidays. Councillor Mrs Catherine Fulljames queried why there was any need to rush to a decision. Other Local Authorities were still in the process  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87/10