THURROCK Council are facing further legal action over their decision to axe Veolia Environmental Services as its contractor for bin collection in the borough.
The Council announced the controversial move last month, saying it would help save £2m but it has been opposed by the workforce.
In their latest statement, a Veolia Environmental Services’ spokesperson said: “We have issued fresh legal proceedings against Thurrock Council in the Chancery Division of the High Court.
“These new proceedings relate to what we believe to be the Council’s unlawful management of the procurement process.
“We are also maintaining and pursuing our damages claim against the Council, which we issued on 8 February.”
The Council’s interim Chief Executive Bob Coomber said: “Having fully reviewed the tender process, we remain sure we can robustly defend our position if necessary.
“We regret Veolia resorted to legal action, but we will not be deterred from achieving the cost savings and improvements in service upon which the restructuring of our waste services was predicated.”
So what’s the latest on this case. These fresh legal proceedings were supposed to be happening now right?
In Camden it was accepted that their Veolia bid was uncompetitive, but hey they awarded it anyway. Veolia have swamped the UK, partly because the french govt continues to subsidise national utilities and awards them excess carbon credits, cutting their costs at home which makes them able to peddle their services here.
Veolia’s safety record is appalling, check the HSE’s website for improvement and prohibition notices for yourself, or just surf the web for successful prosecutions for deaths on waste operations managed by them, guys crushed or killed by falling (Birmingham) or being hit by falling objects (Bucks) and Hampshire.
Then there’s the environmental considerations – the explosion and fire in Lancashire, omissions from composting (High Wycombe) that have been brought to the courts by the Environment Agency. (Merseyside, Oldham, Preston, NEwhaven).
Veolia have tried to pass the buck by saying accidents only happen when the have to work together wth local councils, so no wonder they’re fighting the council on taking the contract off them.
This year the City of Brussels was basically blackmailed by Veolia when they queried escalating costs and breaches of emissions. Veolia stopped treating the water and let it discharge into the rivers. And Prague city is currently investigating mercury that passed through a veolia treatment works last summer. This stuff is in the mainstream press, just search Veolia and prosecutions or something similar and it all comes out.
They’ve had half a dozen successful corruption charges and only a few months ago their chairman was taken to court for conflict of interest – being head of both EDF Energy and Veolia at the same time, whilst also raking in a disgusting salary during an economic recession..Do you want to give work to these people, and do we want jobs from them when they obviously don’t care about their workforce or the environment.
Next thing, we’ll have whole french communities moving in around their plants – see what’s happened at the EDF power stations at
Gainsborough and elsewhere. All french ‘management’ and technical staff.
The TUC already backs the campaign against Veolia and trade union pressure in Ireland back in 2006 forced Connex (part of the Veolia group) to cancel plans to train Israeli engineers and drivers on Dublin’s Luas light railway after the Irish tram drivers union, SIPTU, refused to participate.
Good luck Thurrock