Posted: Fri 26th Jan 2024

Senior Blaenau Gwent Councillor Calls for Dissolution of Silent Valley Waste Services /

IT’s time to “draw a line on the whole saga” of Silent Valley a senior Blaenau Gwent councillor has said.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council today (Thursday, January 25) councillors received a report on what to do next with Silent Valley Waste Services.
Councillors were asked if they wanted to dissolve Silent Valley or keep it as a dormant company that might come back to be used in the future.
Last year, Blaenau Gwent brought the Silent Valley employees and services under the council’s wing
This means that the company has stopped trading.
The move followed a damning report on Silent Valley published by Audit Wales in 2022.
Council Leader, Labour’s Cllr Steve Thomas said: “We all know that on May 1 (2023) services came back and transferred over to the council.
“We are the 100 per cent shareholder and now we have a choice of what to do with the company.
“There was a feeling that there could be tax advantages by leaving it dormant but as I understand it would have to replicate what we had.”
This would mean that a dormant Silent Valley could only be a company that deals with waste.
Cllr Thomas explained that the Labour group had discussed the issue before the meeting.
“On balance we would look to dissolve the company, ” said Cllr Thomas.
Independent group leader Cllr Joanna Wilkins said that the report had been “fairly vague” on the advantages of keeping Silent Valley as a dormant company.
Cllr Wilkins: “When we looked at it as a group it was hard to understand what the benefits were.
“It was a vague, oh there might be tax benefits, and we felt that wasn’t enough.”
She said that her group also agreed that Silent Valley should be dissolved.
Independent group deputy leader Cllr Wayne Hodgins said: “It is time now; we just need to draw a line on the whole saga.”
He believed that Blaenau Gwent could form other arm’s length companies if or when commercial opportunities present themselves to the council.
Councillors voted unanimously to dissolve the company.
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.
The transfer of the environment permit last year from Silent Valley to Blaenau Gwent allows the council to operate the landfill site near Cwm until 2076. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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