DERAIL VEOLIA CAMPAIGN, UK: Update, 13Nov09 November 15, 2009

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough: West Midlands PSC branch conducted an extensive campaign to exclude Veolia Environmental Services from a rubbish collection contract due to start in 2010.  In March the council shortlisted three firms.  Veolia was not one of them.  The council says that the decision was made purely on commercial grounds, but it is widely believed that the West Midlands campaign was the major factor.  A victory for the West Midlands PSC and the Dump (or Derail) Veolia Campaign!

Norwich: Norwich City has a waste management contract with Veolia expiring 31-3-10.  Veolia Environmental Services has been knocked out of the running for the replacement contract.  Following a campaign by Norwich PSC, supported by a number of councillors, Veolia did not get on the short list of 14 companies.  Somewhere between the branch campaign and the council’s dissatisfaction with its performance, Veolia lost it.  Well done Norwich PSC!

Camden Borough: Camden PSC branch challenged Camden Council on their contract with Veolia Environmental Services two or three years ago, but the council said the contract could not be broken.  With the contract due for renewal in 2010, the branch tried again recently only to find that the contract had been extended without going to tender.  They are challenging this decision.  On 17-11-09 Camden PSC will make a deputation at a meeting of Camden’s Resources and Corporate Performance Scrutiny Committee, asking the council to carry out an audit of the business practices of Veolia in relation to its operations in Palestine.

Hampshire County:
-    Local councils were first challenged two years ago to exclude Veolia from running the county’s waste management system.  The councils say that they cannot legally break their existing contracts.

-    The proposal to create a new agency for joint rubbish collection for seven local councils was dropped.  By the time the decision had been taken all seven councils had been challenged to exclude Veolia from bidding for the joint contract.

-    The county council was asked to exclude Veolia Transport from the contract for a new “Rapid bus transit” service, Phase 1, using a disused railway line between Gosport and Fareham, but have reported that Veolia did not bid.  We need to keep an eye out for Phase 2 which will depend on availability of funds.

-    In March the existing contract with Veolia Environmental Services was criticised during a debate in Southampton City Council on a motion to adopt ethical criteria for procurement of goods and services.

Portsmouth City Council
is being challenged to exclude Veolia from the replacement for their present refuse collection contract expiring 30-9-11.  This is expected to be supported by a legal challenge from a local resident advised by a solicitor.

Winchester and East Hants Districts:
Expected to decide by end of 2009 whether to have a joint refuse collection service, and whether in-house or outsource.  Either may become targets for challenge.

Basingstoke & Deane, and Hart Districts: Basingstoke have a waste management contract with Veolia expiring April 2011.  Hart’s service is in-house but unsatisfactory.  There is certainly going to be one contract for Veolia to bid for and possibly two:
•    Basingstoke (& Deane) + Hart
•    Basingstoke (&Deane) only
•    Hart only
are the possibilities.

London Cycle Scheme: London plans to introduce a cycle hire scheme in May 2010 similar to the one in Paris.  Veolia Transport UK submitted both an Expression of Interest and a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for the scheme but was not selected for further participation.  This was not disclosed at the time, but it is now clear that the non-selection preceded the letter writing campaign to exclude Veolia.  Earlier criticism of Veolia over the tramway a factor?  Possibly, but more likely straight commercial failure.

Hastings: Veolia Environmental Services won a six year waste management contract in 2006.  “Hastings for Peace” have been putting pressure on Hastings Council to urge Veolia to pull out of the Jerusalem Tramway project.

Lewisham Borough: The local PSC branch have raised the issue of Veolia contracts with their directly elected Mayor.  He has agreed that later this month they can speak for 5 minutes in the public section of the Mayor and Cabinet meeting when they discuss continuing their contract with Veolia.

Leeds: Possibility of rubbish collection services being privatised.  Leeds PSC keeping eye on this.
Leeds PSC are also taking on a campaign to exclude Veolia from West Yorkshire Wakefield and District Housing Ltd waste management contract to replace Veolia’s present one expiring 3-4-10, and SW Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust (in Wakefield) waste collection contract expiring 11-7-11. Branch in touch with solicitor with a view to legal challenge on both.

Sheffield: Sheffield PSC taking on campaign to exclude Veolia from contract due 30-9-10 to replace their present one for waste disposal and recycling facilities.  Possibility of legal challenge.

Charnwood Borough Council (Leicestershire):   Leicester PSC challenging the council to exclude Veolia from waste contract for which they are one of three firms shortlisted.  In touch with solicitor for possible legal challenge.

Welsh Health Supplies: Swansea Palestine Community Link challenging Welsh Health Supplies to exclude Veolia from the refuse collection contract to replace the present one for ABM University NHS Trust, covering Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend and the Western Vale of Glamorgan, expiring July 2010.  Possibility of legal challenge too.

Swansea: Veolia had a waste contract with Swansea awarded in 2006.  Swansea Palestine Community Link investigating when it expires with a view to challenging for exclusion of Veolia from the replacement contract.  See also Welsh Health Supplies above.

Glasgow University: Special Waste Contract expires 28-2-10.  Option for one year extension by mutual agreement.  Contract POL(D) 0285.  May be an issue of whether Public Contract Regulations 2006 apply as the call for tender exceeded the value threshhold, but it was split into two contracts and contract 0285 was below the threshold.  Glasgow PSC have taken this up.

Lambeth Borough and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE): Legal challenges to exclude Veolia have been made.  In each case Veolia has been awarded the contract.  The current position will be included in the next Update.

Birmingham University: Has signed a collaboration partnership contract with Veolia Environmental Services for environmental research.  BRICUP and West Midlands PSC will campaign against this.

Nottingham: Notts PSC starting local campaign.  Newark Council upcoming tender for a waste management plant a likely target.

Cambridge: PSC branch have started a campaign to get South Cams District Council to terminate its refuse collection contract with Veolia.

Westminster City Council: Street cleaning and refuse collection contract expires September 2010.  PSC has sent model letter to members in London asking the council to exclude Veolia from future contracts.  The letter warns of potential international criticism as the replacement contract will cover period of Olympic Games.  The contract is expected to be awarded this month, November 2009.

Greater London Authority: Waste collection, street cleaning and maintenance in Trafalgar and Parliament Squares.  Contract ends 7-1-11, but with two year extension option.

Richmond (London Borough): Street cleaning contract with Veolia Environmental Services expires April 2011.  Local PSC branch alerted.

Veolia Water

Veolia Water UK operates in three regions:

Veolia Water Central: until early 2010 trading as Veolia Water Three Valleys.  It covers parts of NW London (including Finchley), Beds, Bucks, Herts, Essex and Surrey.

Veolia Water East: the new name for Tendring Hundred Water Services.  It covers the Tendring peninsular in NE Essex.

Veolia Water South East: serving Folkstone, Dover and Lydd.  Formerly Folkstone and Dover Water Services.

With name changes making it more evident that Veolia is supplying their water, news is beginning to come in of people withholding payment and protesting to Veolia about their support for illegal settlements.

Angus Geddes    13-11-09

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