Jamie Hailstone 25 February 2013

Councils to look at legal action over PFI decision

Councils in Yorkshire are considering legal action following last week’s decision by the Government to pull the PFI funding for three major waste projects.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced last week it will not be funding the PFI credits provisionally offered to three schemes, including ones in Bradford and Calderdale, Merseyside and Halton, and North Yorkshire and York.

The leader of Calderdale MBC, Cllr Tim Swift, told the local press: ‘We are looking at the Government’s decision and considering whether there are legal implications and whether there are grounds to challenge it.

‘It is about understanding the nature of commitment there was. In layman’s terms for them to have a review, presumably going on for some time, and then simply announce their decision doesn’t seem reasonable, but whether it is something we can challenge in court is a different matter.’

A Defra spoksesman said: ‘We are investing £3.6bn in 29 waste infrastructure projects. This will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, promote recycling and stimulate economic growth.

‘We now expect to have sufficient infrastructure in England to enable the UK to meet the EU target of reducing waste sent to landfill. Consequently, the decision has been taken not to fund the remaining three projects.’

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