Agenda item

Procurement of Waste Management Services Provided at the Materials Recovery and Energy Centre (MREC) at Crymlyn Burrows, Neath Port Talbot


The Corporate Director – Communities and Interim Head of Finance and S151 Officer presented a joint report in respect of the above matter.


He advised that the Council has an existing and long standing contractual position with Neath Port Talbot Council (“NPT”) in respect of the Materials Recovery and Energy Centre (“MREC”) situated in the County Borough of Neath Port Talbot, which has over 10 years left to run. Certain waste disposal functions are discharged by NPT on behalf of Bridgend, as set out in an inter-authority agreement (“the Original Appointment”) entered into by the two authorities at the time of the original waste management Private Finance Initiative (“PFI“) contract in 2000, and as varied by an agreement dated 8th September 2010 (“the Variation Agreement”). 


The current disposal charge levied by the MREC facility is significantly above accepted market rates. Therefore, both Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Council’s as part of their medium term financial plans have identified savings against the operational cost attached to the MREC facility. To achieve these savings both parties have agreed to terminate the existing arrangements between the contracting Authority (NPT) and the MREC, and to replace this with a new market tested contract, again with NPT as the contracting Authority and to replace any previous appointment/contract between BCBC and NPT to reflect these new arrangements.


Offers were subsequently invited based on the original tender documents, and two companies expressed interest, and subsequently submitted bids. However, one of these companies then withdrew their bid.


The Corporate Director – Communities confirmed that the remaining bidder is Walters Plant Hire Limited (“Walters”). They confirmed in late 2017 that they wish to continue to be considered for the contract award in line with their tender bid.


Paragraph 4.1 of the report then outlined a number of points and summarised the bids when compared to the existing arrangements, including details of the procurement process that has been followed as well as the arrangements of the Variation Agreement between BCBC and Neath Port Talbot Council.


The Corporate Director Communities emphasised, that as with all  procurement processes, there is always a risk of challenge.  However, NPT and Bridgend intend to mitigate such a risk by publishing a VEAT Notice to remove the risk of the contract being set aside once it has been entered into and any associated risk of fines (but not the risk of a damages claim if there is a subsequent challenge).


In addition there are a range of other issues that NPT will also need to deal with as owners of the MREC site.


At the same time as entering into the waste services agreement, it is proposed that NPT and Walters enter into a lease for the MREC site, along the lines detailed in the report.


He continued his submission by advising that arrangements with NPTRL for the provision of waste services will terminate upon the commencement of the services to be provided by Walters. At which point the Directors of NPTRL will be required to wind the company up.


A copy of the completed Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 Assessment was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.


To conclude, the Corporate Director – Communities then outlined the reports financial implications adding as part of this, that BCBC would secure significant savings as part of its MTFS, should the offer of the revised Contract be successfully secured.


A Member pointed out that he looked forward under future arrangements for BCBC having an equal partnership arrangement as NPT going forward, and that it was extremely important to secure the savings in respect of MREC that had been set under the terms of the MTFS.


The Interim Head of Finance and S151 Officer added that the necessary Agreement still required to be signed before the present situation moved further forward. She added that the Council would also be requesting open bank accounting in respect of the closing down of Neath Recycling Company. The wind down for this process would take in the region of 9 months, though BCBC were pushing for progress as fast as it could.


She added further that a similar report considered by Cabinet today, would be considered by Cabinet in NPT.


The Leader concluded debate on this item by stating that he was looking forward to starting a new chapter t with NPT, and that he was sure that this would be a more successful arrangement than was currently the case, that would give more value for money to the taxpayer, in relation to ensuring that their waste materials are collected and disposed of appropriately.


RESOLVED:                  (1)  That Cabinet accepts, subject to NPT entering into the new Appointment and the expiry of the VEAT notice and there being no notification of challenge, the offer submitted by Walters Plant Hire Limited in May 2016.

                                       (2)  That the Corporate Director Communities be delegated authority in consultation with the Interim Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer and Solicitor to the Council/Monitoring Officer to negotiate and settle the final terms of the new Appointment and thereafter authorise the Solicitor to the Council/Monitoring Officer to enter into the said Appointment and any associated documentation.

                                       (3)  That the Solicitor to the Council/Monitoring Officer be delegated authority to agree with NPT Council to issue a Voluntary Ex-Ante Transparency Notice (“VEAT Notice”) in the Official Journal of the European Union.

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