Sunday 18 August 2013

Controversial Veolia Public Realm decision to be made at October Executive

Tomorrow the petition against Veolia being given the £250m plus Brent Public Realm contract will be presented to the Executive at the Civic Centre. The Bin Veolia campaign will be given 5 minutes to speak to the petition at the beginning of the meeting and there will be a demonstration of supporters outside the Civic Centre from 6.30pm.

Overnight the Council released  information that the Executive will make their decision at their October 14th meeting:
To award the contract for public realm services including waste, recycling, street cleaning, winter gritting and grounds maintenance for Brent Council land and Brent Housing Partnership parks and open spaces and approve any consequential recommendations.
The campaign for Veolia's exclusion is based on the claim that their activities in the Occupied Territories of Palestine provide infrastructural support for the illegal settlements and that this amounts to 'grave misconduct'.

In June an Israeli court fined TMM Integrated Recycling Industries, owned by Veolia, NIS 1.5m for burying waste after finding inconsistencies between the company's reports on the amount of waste it had handled - and for which it had to pay a fee - and the actual amounts disposed of.

Th judge said it was amazing how the company was able to transform large qualities of waste into 'sorting remnants' in a single day without any additional manpower, overtime hours or additional shifts - and amazingly it happened as soon as the landfill fee was  instituted.
Source: Haaretz 13.6.13

The Executive report on the contract will not contain full information: LINK
The report will contain an appendix wih confidential information as specified in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, namely: information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding the information); confidential information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

Brent Council has been playing cat and mouse with Brent and Harrow Palestine Solidarity Campaign over legal issues to do with the procurement process. The withholding of information by the Council has led some experienced legal advisers to suggest that there could be grounds for a Judicial Review in the future.

The exchanges over an FOI request can be found HERE

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