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Bywaters accuses LWaRB over MRF funding

Bywaters has accused London Waste and Recycling Board (LWaRB) of pulling funding for a new MRF because it did not have confidence in the waste management firm’s managing director John Glover.

In its response, LWaRB does not refer to Glover and says it is bound by a confidentiality agreement. A statement says a loan offer was withdrawn because Bywaters did not meet specific requirements in a Letter of Intent by a required deadline.

Bywaters was awarded a £4.5m LWaRB loan to build a second MRF at its site in east London (See MRW story) in October last year. The facility would have been operational in time for the 2012 Olympics, which formed part of LWaRB’s original mandate.

LWaRB withdrew the funding in January without an official reason, according to Bywaters.

In a statement released exclusively to MRW, Bywaters said: “We have subsequently been verbally informed, that the underlying reason was not due to any technical reason but a lack of confidence in Bywaters, led by John Glover. This would appear to be a direct consequence of John’s lobbying of LWaRB and the Greater London Authority for timely delivery.

“John’s efforts to ‘help’ LWaRB from 2009 onwards appear to have been taken as an insult, but the plans John put forward were designed to ensure timely delivery of Olympic infrastructure, timing being crucially important. Bywaters, the private sector and the public sector have all perceived lateness of LWaRB’s delivery, an ineffectual funding model and total lack of delivery against their original mandate.”

In response to this point, an LWaRB spokesman said: “LWaRB has successfully funded the Recycle for London campaign, established the London Reuse Network, delivered £5 million funding to local authority flats recycling schemes, helped establish a new depot for Fareshare in west London and has committed to funding a waste-derived fuel plant, an AD plant, a plastics reprocessing plant and a gasification plant.”

Bywaters says it has yet to receive an official explanation from LWaRB as to why the funding was withdrawn, despite “numerous” requests.

Responding to the accusations, LWaRB said certain time-sensitive requirements were not met and therefore a final offer of finance was not given.

In a statement, it added: “In the case of Bywaters, an agreement could not be reached and the conditions of the Letter of Intent outlining the requirements for provision of a loan were not met.  As such, the Letter of Intent, which was time limited and did not constitute a final offer of finance, expired on 31 December 2010. The terms of the Letter of Intent are covered by a confidentiality agreement, and we cannot and will not discuss the details of individual projects.”

Bywaters has questioned whether other projects allocated funding previous and subsequent to this project will ever be delivered due to “the severe difficultly in raising matched or any funding”.

It added: “Last year Bywaters put £9.89m by way of wages into the local economy. The second MRF was expected to put an additional £2.3m wages per annum into the local economy, but LWaRB would appear to have sat on its hands whilst continuing to reward itself.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • John McLaren-Stewart

    How can a decision of this magnitude be made, without advising Bywaters of the reason? Ridiculous.

    Businesses need clarity of decsion making in order to plan for the future. Sounds like LWaRB are hiding behind something here and are not willing/able to stand up and be counted on this matter.

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