Search

“Best Christmas present ever” for Veolia campaigners

09:36 27 December 2012

Campaigners who spent two years vociferously campaigning to block Veolia’s for a multi-million pound deal are celebrating their best Christmas present ever, after the waste company dropped out of the tender.

Veolia was down to the last two bidders for the North London Waste Authority’s £4.7bn waste services and fuel use contract – but the No 2 Veolia Action Group (No2VAG) said the company should be blacklisted because it provides transport, waste, sewage and water services to Jewish settlements in Palestine, which are considered illegal under international law.

The shock news Veolia had withdrawn from the tender process came last Friday, and it is unclear why the decision was made.

The deal, involving seven London boroughs which will cost Hackney £600 million, hit the headlines this month after No2VAG spokeswoman and Hackney resident Caroline Day was blocked from making a five-minute speech at a Hackney Council meeting.

David Lewis, secretary and treasurer of pro-Israeli group Lawyers for Israel, went on to claim silencing her as a ‘victory’, after the Labour party supported Tory Cllr Linda Kelly’s motion to block the speech in a whipped vote.

Veolia declined to comment to the Gazette about why it had dropped out from the tender, and refused to categorically deny it had anything to do with the Israeli settlements controversy.

Ms Day said her group is “absolutely delighted” and lauded the move as a “huge victory for local democracy”.

“Powerful lobbies representing unethical interests in the illegal settlements may have won a short-term victory in silencing me, but in standing up for their right to see their money invested ethically, local people have achieved a victory for justice for the Palestinian people,” she said.

“This really has been the result of very determined collective campaigning across the seven boroughs and huge credit goes to our chair Yael Kahn who has dedicated her life to this for two years,” she added.

The NLWA had been due to take a decision on the tender earlier this month, but bidders were asked to resubmit their tenders and the final choice had been postponed until March.

The NLWA said that Veolia confirmed its withdrawal “has no bearing on the quality and integrity of the projects,” and its chair Cllr Loakes added: “Although it is disappointing that we will not receive competitive bids, we will now work with remaining bidders and undertake work ourselves to ensure that we are still able to deliver long term, sustainable services that are the best possible in both quality and cost terms, and that value for money is delivered for tax payers.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 20:15
John Howard Centre in Hackney

A centre for mentally ill prisoners has bowed to pressure and announced it will adopt the idea to tag detainees on escorted leave, after the third patient went missing this year in as many months.

Yesterday, 17:00
Saam Amerat

A Stoke Newington dad led the way down an abseil from an eye-watering height of 115m for charity.

Yesterday, 12:00
Jonida

A Shoreditch resident has been among the employees of an energy company involved in a scheme to support and raise more than £45,000 for a teenage cancer charity.

Yesterday, 09:00
Kora - Gaynor O'Flynn

A cross disciplinary artist, who has worked with thousands of creatives including Bjork and Martin Creed, has galvanised the art industry into creating a series of projects to aid Nepal after the recent earthquakes.

Most read news

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder