Council watchdogs in Wakefield will start 2013 with an update into a troubled £750m deal to transform the district’s household waste services.
Wakefield Council’s Corporate Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee will discuss the massive Private Finance Initiative at their first meeting of the year next week.
As reported in the YEP last year, the deal will see the council pass its waste management services on to a consortium of private companies which includes Shanks Group and Babcock Southern Holdings.
But the contract has already suffered a number of delays and the committee will get a full progress report in a bid to get a clearer picture of where the project stands.
A report says: “A number of delays in securing the contract have occurred in recent years. Originally VT Environmental Engineering were appointed as the PFI contractor but were subsequently taken over by Babcocks, who, following a review of its overall acquisitions, concluded it no longer wanted to be involved in the waste PFI.
“This led to the council having to find another partner and in February 2011, the Shanks Group agreed to form a consortium with Babcocks.”
As part of a private finance initiative (PFI) deal, the consortium will build a new, larger waste site at Denby Dale Road, and two others at Glasshoughton and South Kirkby.
The council previously said they had aimed to have the facilities up and running by September 2014.
A planning application has been submitted to allow Ossett’s tip on Owl Lane to remain open until April 2015 to compensate for the delays.
The South Kirkby site alone is expected to create around 275 new jobs once operational.
The report adds: “Once the South Kirkby facility becomes operational the council will change the way it collects recyclables and the current box for glass, plastics and cans will be removed from use and all these materials will be collected in one wheelie bin along with paper and card.”
The project director for the PFI will attend the meeting, which will take place on January 15, to provide an update on the progress of the scheme.
Wakefield currently recycles around 40 per cent of all household waste with 60 per cent sent to landfill.