Government pulls plug on waste centre and could cost council millions

Tim Swift
Tim Swift

Calderdale Council is facing abortive costs running into millions of pounds after central Government removed funding credits from plans for a waste disposal plant.

The plant was set to be a joint venture between Calderdale Council and Bradford Council which would see more efficient recycling of waste - potentially saving the council money in the long term and reducing the impact on landfill sites.

However, a letter to the Calderdale council chief executive Merran McRae confirmed that the Government was withdrawing its waste infrastructure credits from the plans.

Councillors had recently approved plans for £9 nillion worth of prudential borrowing to fund the plans with Bradford contributing around £30 million.

Leader of the council tim Swift said: “We have heard today that, without any prior warning that they were considering it, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government have withdrawn the offer of PFI credits towards the joint Bradford-Calderdale waste disposal plant.

“This places serious doubts over the future of the project. It puts at risk a major investment that would have created jobs and provided a sustainable solution to dealing with the waste from both authorities. It was a robust environmentally sustainable solution which would virtually eliminate the use of landfill.

“If the scheme is unable to proceed, then there are potential abortive costs running into millions of pounds.

“This is a disastrous decision by the Government minister. They are already failing in their promises to invest in the infrastructure. Now they are damaging vital schemes that are ready to go ahead. It will destroy the confidence of the private sector who will question whether Government can be trusted to plan ahead for long term investment.

“Two other schemes including the York and North Yorkshire project are also affected. I will be working with the leaders of Bradford, York and North Yorkshire councils to seek an urgent meeting with ministers.”

The council will now assess erveral options before seeing if they can continue with the scheme.