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Cheshire councils’ Judicial Review rejected by High Court

Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East Councils have had their Judicial Review of the Government’s decision to withdraw £100m of PFI funding for its joint waste PFI project rejected in the High Court.

The councils, who sought a review on the grounds that Defra had employed a “flawed methodology” to assess the viability of the PFI scheme for the treatment of 180,000 tonnes of waste in the region annually, had their case dismissed by Mr Justice Langstaff in the High Court in Leeds.

He stated that the Government’s methodology for reaching a decision on which projects to cut was justified and that it had made a decision on a macro-political basis to cut spending.

Cheshire West and Chester Council Leader Mike Jones said: “We feel that we were completely justified in asking for a Judicial Review and extremely disappointed that the hearing did not go in our favour.

“In total, around £4.5m of taxpayers’ money was spent on a detailed and lengthy procurement process designed to identify a provisional preferred bidder.

“This process, designed to find a vital long-term solution to the disposal of Cheshire’s household waste, had just been completed when the funding was withdrawn.”

Both authorities have applied for permission to appeal the decision.

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