Posted: Sun 25th Jun 2023

Councillor requests Silent Valley Waste Services merger details /
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 25th, 2023

DETAILS on how the process of merging a waste service provide into Blaenau Gwent council has been conducted have been asked for by a senior councillor. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Troubled council-owned waste services firm Silent Valley was brought up for discussion at a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Governance and Audit Committee on Wednesday, June 21. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Independent group deputy leader, Cllr Wayne Hodgins said: “I certainly think it would be nice in time to bring a report forward of how we finalised our relationship with our company Silent Valley now we’ve brought it back in-house.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Resources chief officer Rhian Hayden said: “Officers are in the process of developing that report now and we hope to bring it to Cabinet, and we will certainly bring it to the Governance and Audit committee too.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It was agreed that a report providing detail on bringing Silent Valley into the council has been added to the committee’s forward work programme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Back in April at a special meeting of the council’s Cabinet councillors agreed to delegate powers to council officers to finalise the details to allow Silent Valley Waste Services to be merged into the council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This was needed to formalise the reorganisation of Silent Valley and transfer its business and assets to the council.
Silent Valley staff will be transferred to work for the council and the company will be officially wound up three months after it has “ceased trading.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

There was also the need to agree the “deed of performance” between the council and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) which will enable the transfer of the environment permit that we need to enable us to operate the site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The company’s finances will be put into a council reserve account to “support the ongoing financial commitments” of Silent Valley.
These are to pay for the aftercare of the Silent Valley Landfill site at Cwm and also deal with water that leaks from the site.
In February 2022, the council agreed to take over Silent Valley following a damning report by Audit Wales.
The report published in January 2022 highlighted that the council failed to establish robust and effective arrangements in its relationship with Silent Valley between 2003 and 2017. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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