Media speculation that Cheshire County Council is rushing its £1bn private finance initiative decision to achieve early sign off has been denied by the authority.
Council strategic manager (contract procurement) John Thistlewood told MRW that the authority was not under pressure to hurry the process up and that cutting the shortlist to two finalists by the end of the year had always been part of the plan.
He said: The only pressure is coming from ourselves because the sooner we make a decision, the sooner we can award a contract and avoid Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme penalties.
There is an added complication for Cheshire because the county council will split into East and West in April 2009. These two authorities will be determining the final decision so we are consulting with shadow authorities as well as councillors.
When the shortlist of four bidders was announced in April (MRW April 1) Thistlewood said: "This is really only the first stage of competitive dialogue, which weve got to get down to one preferred bidder and one reserve bid.
This decision is expected to be announced early next year.
The final four bidders are:
A partnership of Shanks Waste Management and Ineos Chlor;
Viridor Waste Management;
Waste Recycling Group.