Silent Valley waste services in Gwent delayed due to technical difficulties

BRINGING Silent Valley Waste Services in-house as part of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council has been delayed by a couple of months due to “technical difficulties.”

It had been expected that Silent Valley, which is a company owned and controlled by Blaenau Gwent Council, would have become part of the council by the end of January.

But there are issues with transferring a landfill permit from Silent Valley to the council.

These types of permit that allow the landfill to operate are overseen by environment body, Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

NRW operations manager, Jon Goldsworthy said: “Preventing pollution affecting the people and wildlife of Wales is a big part of the work we do, and we regulate some landfill sites to make sure that their activities do not impact on the local environment or nearby communities.

“We have received an application to transfer the Silent Valley landfill permit from Silent Valley Waste Services to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

“The statutory determination timescale for this type of application is two months. ”

Mr Goldsworthy said the process had been “paused” after NRW had asked for more information from the applicant.

“Once we’ve received this information, we’ll be able to continue our determination, said Mr Goldsworthy.

Taking Silent Valley back in house is expected to cost the council £390,000 in this financial year, rising to £673,000 in 2023/24.

A spokesman for Blaenau Gwent said: “The council aimed to bring the Silent Valley operation back ‘in house’ by the end of January 2023.

“However, due to technical issues beyond the control of the council the plan is to now complete the process by the end of this financial year.”

The decision transfer of Silent Valley back into the council followed the publication of damning report published by Wales auditor general Adrian Crompton.

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.

That report delved back as far as the formation of the company more than 30 years ago.

During the transition period use of the company’s provisions and assets will need council agreement.

An internal investigation is also supposed to take place to make sure that the significant concerns highlighted by the Audit Wales report into the relationship between the council and Silent Valley: “will never ever happen again.”

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