A MAN from Stroud ended his hunger strike against a waste incinerator on Wednesday, June 13.

Sid Saunders was protesting against what he sees as a lack of transparency from Gloucestershire County Council over its revised £500m contract to build an incinerator at Javelin Park near Stonehouse off the M5.

For over two weeks, Sid camped out on the steps of Shire Hall in Gloucester on an empty stomach in the hope of getting a complete copy of the contract without redactions.

Cancel the Contract, the campaign group behind Sid, argues that the county council should release the new version of its contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty drawn up in 2015, pointing to a court order last year for the original 2013 contract to be released.

GCC plans to release the latest contract, though it maintains some of the information is too sensitive.

“The council is currently working through these very large documents and will publish as much as we reasonably can, recognising that certain elements relating to commercial matters will remain redacted,” a spokesperson said.

“At the moment we believe we will publish the revised contract by June 29.”

Alongside Sid’s protest, on June 7 the council faced an order from the Information Commissioner to disclose parts of a report on the incinerator’s affordability by Ernst and Young.

Activists argued the report contains information the public can use to tell whether the council obtained value for money in its deal with UBB.

Though Tim Davies of the Stroud Greens made the original request for the report, Sid claimed victory, saying: “I feel deeply vindicated in the action I’ve taken.”

In response to the ICO’s ruling, a spokesperson for the council said: “It is important for us to make sure that we get the best possible deal for Gloucestershire taxpayers.

“There are details in the contract and the report which could undermine our ability to do this.

“We will be going through the latest ICO ruling and will respond to it in due course.” GCC were given 35 days to comply with the notice or 28 days to confirm it will launch an appeal.

Sid’s strike came to an end on the sixteenth day of his fast, Wednesday, June 13, with a “pilgrimage” to London.

He travelled to St Paul’s Cathedral to present wooden spoons he had carved over the course of his strike, which he has also given to Stroud MP David Drew and Gloucester Cathedral.

“The spoon is a symbolic response to our throwaway approach to resources, an approach epitomised in single-use plastics and the continued use of landfill and incineration,” Sid explained.

According to Sid, staff at St Paul’s “expressed strong support”, placing the spoon on the cathedral altar.