PROTESTERS gathered outside the offices of the company building Gloucestershire’s £500m Javelin Park incinerator on Friday to demand the project’s contract be revealed.

A contingent of campaigners from Stroud joined dozens of others outside Urbaser Balfour Beatty’s (UBB) building in Cheltenham, bearing placards, balloons and signs.

They are calling for an un-redacted copy of the contract signed between UBB and Gloucestershire County Council to be made public.

Councillors, residents and campaigners have been trying to access the financial details held within the contract since 2013.

Last November the government's information commissioner ordered the county council to release the full details of its contract with the Spanish firm.

However the council is appealing against that decision on the grounds that the contract includes confidential and commercial material.

Protesters gathered again to demand full transparency on the contract, arguing the public had a right to know what taxpayers money was being spent on.

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County Councillor Sarah Lunnon (Green/Stroud Central) attended the protest with a sign reading: I’m paying the bill. Show me the contract.

She said: "It's not difficult to understand why these people are here - they are paying the bill, they want to see what it is they're buying.

“What is surprising is that Urbaser, who are planning a 'squatting toad' in our landscape, take fright and empty their offices the moment they are asked to justify their actions."

Others carried signs such as Stop the Secrecy, Show Us the Contract and What have you got to hide?

A 38 Degrees petition asking the county council to "Come Clean and Show Us the Contract" garnered over 4,700 signatures last year.

Jojo Mehta of 38 Degrees Stroud said: "The incinerator is unwanted, unneeded and eye-wateringly expensive.

“Urbaser themselves know there are much better ways of dealing with waste.

“Their own MBT plant in Essex is an example of that, and their own internal environmental policy emphasises reduction, re-use, recycling.

“What on earth are they doing engaging in a project that will do the opposite, and keeping key information from the public? What have they got to hide?"

Most Urbaser staff were not present, having left the offices before the time planned for the protest.

Javier Peiro, project director for UBB, said the contract was on GCC’s website for all to see.

But he added: “The council has had to redact certain sections of the contract due to the confidential and commercial nature of the information.”

Mr Peiro stressed the positives of the incinerator, which will manage the waste from Gloucestershire’s 600,000 residents.

He said the facility offers “a number of environmental and economic benefits”, including generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of over 25,000 homes, as well as recovering around 3,000 tonnes of metals.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader of the county council, said: "The council made more than 90 per cent of this information available to the public nearly three years ago.

“What remains is complex confidential information, which has been summarised in cabinet reports also published online.”

Construction on the project was earmarked to start in spring 2016, but it has now been pushed back till summer. It is due to be operational by 2019.

The scheme at Javelin Park has been delayed for four years due to a series of legal challenges.

The contract can be viewed at

Meanwhile, a rival project to build a recycling and biomass centre at the same site as the incinerator is making headway.

Community R4C will take ordinary ‘black bag’ waste and sort it mechanically using the latest technology, extracting anything that can be recycled and turning the rest into a clean biomass fuel.

The group say this method can put more than 90 per cent of Gloucestershire’s waste to use instead of putting it in landfill or burning it.

Its founders say the proposed build cost of the plant comes in at just £15m - just eight per cent that of the incinerator.

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