Guernsey Press

Deputies fail to stop food waste contract

A GROUP of deputies have failed in a bid to stop a new contract being signed to process the island’s food waste.

John Dyke, one of the principal dissenting deputies who accused the STSB of unfairly blocking an unnamed company which submitted an unsuccessful bid for the contract, said Deputy Peter Roffey. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32490153)

They wrote to the States’ Trading Supervisory Board in July demanding that it should hold off agreeing a contract with a single company pending a requete they were preparing to challenge the tender process.

But the Guernsey Press has learned that the board went ahead and signed the contract anyway.

‘The new contract has been signed. It was signed some weeks ago,’ said STSB president Peter Roffey.

‘It has been agreed from 1 January 2024 for at least the next five years, with an option to extend.’

Deputy Roffey said that one of the principal dissenting deputies, John Dyke, who accused the STSB of unfairly blocking an unnamed company which submitted an unsuccessful bid for the contract, had been informed of the board’s decision to sign the new deal.

But Deputy Carl Meerveld, who is leading the dissenting deputies, said the signing of the contract would not prevent him submitting a requete.

‘A draft is with the law officers. We’re still working on it. It’s moving forward. We’re certainly still planning to go ahead,’ said Deputy Meerveld.

One of his complaints about the board’s approach to the food waste contract was that awarding it to a single contractor created what he considered to be an unfair monopoly, excluding competition. That issue is now likely to become the focus of his requete.

‘It is about ensuring that the States do not award monopolies where there should be opportunities for competition in the market,’ he said. ‘It’s not specifically about one tender or one company. It’s the principle of monopolies and competition which we are concerned about.’

The company at the centre of the controversial unsuccessful bid claimed that it could deal with food waste at no cost to the States using a process which would have involved the larvae of black soldier flies.

But Deputy Roffey said the company came last in his board’s tender evaluation process.

Deputy Meerveld said a revised timeline for his requete would see it submitted and published this month. He anticipated it being scheduled for debate by the States in October, although the size of the Assembly’s agenda this autumn may result in it being debated later.

Deputy Meerveld said he would have no problem obtaining the support of the six other deputies necessary to submit his requete, but he had not collected their signatures yet as he would not seek signatures until the final version of the requete was available.