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The shock news Veolia had withdrawn from the tender process came last Friday, and it is unclear why the decision was made.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

Latest News Stories

Hackney Youth Parliament

More than 7,000 youngsters cast their vote in this year’s Hackney Youth Parliament elections in a record turnout.

10:31
Alderman Andrew Parmley awards David Annor with the Highly Commended Trainee of the Year Award at the City Business Traineeship Awards, held on 30th September

A high-flying young business trainee has been handed a prestigious award.

Yesterday, 17:01
The proposed development at Wilmer Place

Campaigners have failed in a High Court bid to block a new Sainsbury’s supermarket and flat development they say will blight a picturesque part of Stoke Newington.

Yesterday, 14:38
Tony Juniper talks at Zen launch event

A green initiative set to pioneer eco-friendly business in heavily polluted Tech City has been launched by the three councils which take in the thriving area.

Most read news

The family to which Ebola belongs could be as old as 23 million years.

The gaming industry’s answer to the Oscars has dished out its annual awards.

Potential female candidates are already being prepared for the upcoming diocese vacancies in Southwell, Nottingham, Gloucester and Oxford.

Watch the moment the Shadow Chancellor got interrupted by a daring arachnid.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition