Tabled by Warwickshire County Council Liberal Democrat spokesman for the environment Cllr John Whitehouse, the motion was supported by all Liberal Democrat members present with 12 votes. But councillors from other parties voted against the motion, defeating it with 50 votes.
Cllr Whitehouse said: “It wasn’t totally unexpected because the Conservatives hold the majority in the council and I predicted they would vote with their party line. What was surprising was that the Labour group voted against it too and were not prepared to contribute to the debate.
“We raised a lot of questions about the project’s waste model, which have gone unanswered. I am a part of the Members Advisory Council for Project Transform and I think the next step is to ask these questions to the project team directly.”
It was hoped the motion against the £1 billion residual waste PFI would seek an agreement between the three local authorities involved – Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull – to either halt the procurement process, delay it for a year, develop an alternative strategy for residual waste disposal or reduce the size of the project team to minimise costs. Warwickshire’s Liberal Democrat councillors hoped that if none of these measures could be agreed to, the local authority should pull out of Project Transform completely. (See MRW story)
Outline proposals from the chosen six bidders are expected soon, with a shortlist of three bidders to be announced in late summer.