24th March 2017 - Bunfights, breaking the law and Batman's butler


It's not often that Gloucestershire County Council meetings are as lively as the one on Wednesday. The local press covers it here and here, and if you fancy watching, complete with thorny questions and blustery non-answers, click here for the webcast and go to section 5 Public Questions. [1] At one point (sadly off-screen) an irate member of the public got escorted out for repeatedly shouting "Are you corrupt or incompetent? Which is it?!" 

Cabinet members remained insistent that the Council has behaved "appropriately and legally" with regard to the contract, despite the recent Tribunal ruling that it has not.

Breaking the law

The Javelin Park contract, it turns out, may even be illegal. Community R4C believes the incinerator will prevent a local circular economy from thriving because it is anti-competitive. 

Barrister Duncan Sinclair, affiliate of the Environmental Law Foundation, has filed a complaint [2] on behalf of Community R4C against UBB to the Competition and Markets Authority on the grounds that UBB's pricing structure: 

  • stops (forecloses) all competition
  • prevents technological innovation

It would unfairly prevent the R4C recycling plant - or any other new alternative, or local waste reduction initiative - from doing business, and thus also from helping local authorities to better fulfil their legal duties under the Waste Regulations 2011 [3].

The local press has more here. [4]

Batman's butler - Hollywood star Jeremy Irons returns to the fray

Making a special trip to Gloucester next Friday, blockbuster star Jeremy Irons (this year reprising his role as Alfred, English butler to Ben Affleck's The Batman) will be speaking at Community R4C's press conference launching their full report on the Javelin Park contract.  

As you will know from his award-winning documentary Trashed, Irons is a keen advocate of greener approaches to waste, and personally contributed to CR4C's community share offer last year.

Community R4C will reveal details of how:

  • the contract is not good value for the County
  • the Council would actually save money by cancelling now

Press admissions and press questions will be prioritized, but the public are welcome to attend (try keeping me away!).  Community R4C board members will be in the bar afterwards.

  • Friday 31st March at 10.30am at the Guildhall Cinema, 23 Eastgate Street, GL1 1NS  

For a situation that so many thought was immutable, rather a lot seems to be moving...


[1]  Stroud News & Journal - http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/15174593.Protests__boos_and_heated_exchanges_as_Tory_council_faces_questions_from_campaigners_over_Javelin_Park_incinerator_contract/?ref=fbshr

Gloucestershire Live - http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/no-democracy-shout-protestors-as-council-defends-controversial-javelin-park-incinerator/story-30221829-detail/story.html

Council streaming video - https://gloucestershire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/279245

[2] Complaint document PDF - http://communityr4c.com/download/737/

[3] These regulations mandate a Waste Hierarchy which public authorities - and indeed businesses - are duty bound to follow, prioritising the top of the hierarchy.  See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/988/regulation/12/made

[4] http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/is-incnierator-illegal/story-30221039-detail/story.html  

Jojo Mehta