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Have your say on £1bn incinerator


megilleland
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From Hereford Times today:

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Have your say on £1bn incinerator

OPPONENTS of the incinerator plant pitched as the future for the county’s waste will hold a meeting at Hereford’s Kindle Centre on Tuesday from 1.30pm.

Herefordshire councillors have been invited to attend to attend and all members of the public are welcome.

The PFI project at Hartlebury, Worcestershire, had been approved and could eventually cost ratepayers up to £1 billion.

The incinerator would take waste from the county that would otherwise go to landfill, saving Herefordshire Council millions of pounds in government imposed fines.

Sounds like a lot of money to get rid of waste - more needs to be done to get it recycled. We recycle our household waste, but the council sends all its litter bin waste to landfill and council tax payers pick up the bill.

The tax is charged by weight and there are two rates. Inert or inactive waste is subject to the lower rate. The present rates are £64 a tonne and £2.50 a tonne for the lower rate. This is going to rise to £80 a tonne by 2014.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is an expensive venture and one which we can't afford. It'd be madness for the Council to sign us up for this at this moment in time.

I'd like them to revisit it after we strike gold or if we don't, put it in the pending tray and revisit the issue in about fifty years time.

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I'm a bit puzzled. I know I'm new and might be coming across as 'pushy', but this topic is really important. Do you want to contribute toward a Billion Quid incinerator so that the Council can get rid of the mountains of waste they produce day in and day out.

It's fine with me if you say, 'Yep. I'd like three of them. Excellent value for money as far as I'm concerned'. Give it some thought folks. this is to important to ignore.

My warmest regards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the PM bobby.

 

The billion pound costs I imagine will arise during the term of the contract which is a private finance initiative (PFI). Not only is the taxpayer paying for the initial capital cost of the project, but also annual charges each year of the contract term running into millions of pounds These costs are the frightening part of the exercise which since its method of operation has generally resulted in the public being screwed by the private sector. There is a lot to read on the internet, most of it very unpleasant for tax payers now and in the future.

 

Explanation of PFI (taken from Wikipedia). I have highlighted the interesting bits which our councillors may have missed!

 

This operates by where a public sector authority signs a contract with a private sector consortium, technically known as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). This consortium is typically formed for the specific purpose of providing the PFI.[4] It is owned by a number of private sector investors, usually including a construction company and a service provider, and often a bank as well.[4] The consortium's funding will be used to build the facility and to undertake maintenance and capital replacement during the life-cycle of the contract. Once the contract is operational, the SPV may be used as a conduit for contract amendment discussions between the customer and the facility operator. SPV's often charge fees for this go-between 'service'.[5]

 

PFI contracts are typically for 25–30 years (depending on the type of project); although contracts less than 20 years or more than 40 years exist, they are considerably less common.[6] During the period of the contract the consortium will provide certain services, which were previously provided by the public sector. The consortium is paid for the work over the course of the contract on a "no service no fee" performance basis.

 

The public authority will design an "output specification" which is a document setting out what the consortium is expected to achieve. If the consortium fails to meet any of the agreed standards it should lose an element of its payment until standards improve. If standards do not improve after an agreed period, the public sector authority is usually entitled to terminate the contract, compensate the consortium where appropriate, and take ownership of the project.

 

Termination procedures are highly complex, as most projects are not able to secure private financing without assurances that the debt financing of the project will be repaid in the case of termination. In most termination cases the public sector is required to repay the debt and take ownership of the project. In practice, termination is considered a last resort only.

 

Whether public interest is at all protected by a particular PFI contract is highly dependent on how well or badly the contract was written and the determination (or not) and capacity of the contracting authority to enforce it. Many steps have been taken over the years to standardise the form of PFI contracts to ensure public interests are better protected.

 

Jesse Norman MP is very concerned about this method of paying for our hospitals, schools and other large infrastructure projects. In a speech in the House of Commons Jesse Norman said:

 

"Since its inception in the early 1990s, the private finance initiative has resulted in more than £200 billion of public debt, the cost of which will hang over the British taxpayer for decades. It has created great private fortunes and fundamentally shaped the nature of our public services. It has generated huge public outrage, as we will hear in this debate. It has raised profound issues of fairness between this generation and the next and it has affected virtually every constituency in the land and the lives of millions of people". Read the debate here.

 

Other PFI projects in Hereford include Whitecross School, The Hospital, and The Magistrates Court.

 

So which ever way you look at it we are going to be paying through the nose for a long time to come. I also think the acronym SPV referred to above should have been called SPIVS!

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These are strange days indeed. Our society is in a mess, our future is in the hands of a disconnected and incompetent Council leadership and 'we' dont say a word. Not a peep.

This social engineering we've all undergone during the past decade or so has stopped us saying anything about almost everything. We appear to have lost any sense of objection.

None of you seem to be bothered by these issues. We are lucky to have three Councillors on this forum who would be ideally placed to comment upon this news but.....nothing...........not a peep......not a word from them about this idea or, for that matter, any issue that presents itself as perhaps controversial and may expose a Councillors personal beliefs or opinions.

If I were fortunate to be given the Office of Councillor, a considerable achievement for any person in Hereford, I'd be on here expressing my view and offering my opinion. But, we are where we are........not a peep, not an expression of objection.

This Issue is one of many on this forum that are very important, not only to the people of Hereford, but also for our future unborn kids.

Find some backbone and express your views. We live in a democracy, albeit it dont feel like one for much of the time so...grab a hold of your old self and say something about this and the other issues that are going to affect your future.

My very warmest regards to you all.

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I am shocked at the cost propsed for this incenrator £1Billion? Where have they plucked this number from? Recycling is the answer and kurb side sorting instead of the current system, like in many other towns. I agree with bobby, why are the councillors not commenting on this important issue?

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Hello Frank.

 

 

You need to go to Herefordshire Council's website and under the alphabetical listing along the top of the site click on T and then Transparency. This takes you a homepage with the heading Contracts and Spending - click on this and then open September 2012 contracts (Excel) - 298kb.

 

A large spreadsheet opens. Scroll down to row 118 where you will find details of the Integrated Waste Management (PFI) with Mercia Waste Management. The contract started on 23rd December 1998 and runs to 1st December 2023, with an extension date option to 1st December 2028. The contract for the initial term is £227,500,000. But from experience, especially with projects funded through private finance initiatives (PFI) the reality is the public get a poor deal and that the accrued costs could easily cost tax payers up to a billion pound with overruns.

 

Read this article concerning Nottinghamshire County Council using a PFI scheme to renew and maintain the City's street lighting.

 

Amazing that our MP has been going on about this for ages and people are only beginning to listen to the facts. Read "After PFI" by Jesse Norman MP

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I am with Megilleland,Bobby and Frank on this one. Ridiculous WASTE of money! :Angry_32: This council needs to get a grip and stop wasting money on stupid things like HEREford county signs that are not needed and look at more ways of cost saving. This is a good article and needs airing more! Martin (Megilleland) you should write to the Hereford Times. I too would be interested to see what our councillors think about it.

 

Welcome Bobby always nice to see new ACTIVE members, welcome to the club! :Thumbs-Up:

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  • 7 months later...

Another mad scheme to burn council tax payers' money. There is no alternative Herefordshire and Worcester councils tell us. Yes there is - read what the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Action Group tell us can be done and save a lot of money in the process:

 

* 68% of the waste could be treated for a third of the cost of burning

 

* There is no final business case available

 

* No cost comparisons with cheaper preferred options

 

* No overall lifetime costs

 

* Waste levels are falling

 

* Incineration over capacity grows

 

* Waste budget figures are not available

 

* There is no available transport plan

 

* Worcester County Council is ignoring the alternatives whilst slashing £100 million from their council budgets over the next 5 years.

 

It now appears that the Councils of Herefordshire & Worcestershire are just going to push the vote through on the 18th July, they are trying to extend an already over priced PFI contract by 25 years.

 

It is imperative that you have your say. Don't let them sign an open cheque

Please also sign the 38 Degrees Petition and get others to sign here:

 

What is Herefordshire Council's position on this and how much is our contribution to the scheme?

 

Jesse Norman MP view should be sought on this financial scam as he drew attention to Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes which he said have been one of the costliest experiments in public policy making ever attempted. It has led to £200 billion of public debt, the equivalent to £8,000 for every household in the country. Maybe he can tell us of alternative financial schemes where the council tax payer gets value for money.

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  • 1 month later...
A crunch decision over whether Worcestershire should get a £120 million incinerator will be taken by a cabinet decision due to take place on Thursday, September 26.

 

A contract for the site was signed up back in 1998, but it was only last summer that the Government gave the authority permission to plough ahead with the project.

 

Back in December last year a decision on it was delayed due to cost concerns, with council chiefs saying they needed more time to sort out the finances.(source Hereford Times)

A cabinet decision. That means half a dozen councillors telling us what is good for the all of us. Just add it to the council tax and forget about it!

 

Stop press: After giving the impression that the incinerator decision was to be taken in late September it now appears that Worcestershire County Council are going to try to push the vote through, in early September and appear to be trying to drag Herefordshire with them. In doing so they will extend an already over priced PFI and stop cheaper methods from being used for 25 years.

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