Council’s £2m bill – we were right to stop them dumping waste at the Park & Ride

Today’s news that the Averies Waste Crisis could end up costing Swindon taxpayers £2 million, is deeply concerning and raises serious questions about how the Council managed this whole affair.

Today we have learned that the Council, as the landlord for the Lee Averies Swindon Skips site at Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, has allowed this site get into the a state that the Environment Agency deems as dangerous. This is why the Agency have revoked the license for this site, leaving the Council as landlord with the bill to clean it up. This means taxpayers could face a bill of £2 million as a result.

I want to know why the Council did not step in as landlord to force Averies company to stop this site getting into this state. It is deeply concerning that the Council has allowed this to happen and we now face a bill of £2 million as a result.

This also underlines why it was vital to stop the waste being dumped on the Park & Ride at Groundwell. Had the waste been moved to the Park & Ride, Averies could have left Swindon Council with the costs of clearing up this waste, potentially costing taxpayers another £500,000.

I am proud to have worked alongside local Councillors Joe Tray, Teresa Page and Paul Baker to make sure this didn’t happen. I have no doubt that had we not organised our campaign in August, then we would currently have waste piled up on the Park & Ride and a massive bill for Swindon taxpayers to get this cleaned up.

Today’s news also underlines why it is vital that get a proper inquiry into the Averies Waste Crisis. I will be pressing the Council’s scrutiny committee to start this work as soon as possible.

On behalf of the residents of Swindon, I am determined to get the answers that residents deserve.

Cllr Mark Dempsey
Swindon Labour Group Deputy Leader