Premier Waste Management Calls in Administrators
The controversial waste management company Premier is to be wound up, BBC Look North has revealed. The Durham County Council owned company is still trading, but will host a creditors meeting in February.
Premier Waste Management was the North East’s largest independent waste management firm. Industry insiders believe that the business was largely mismanaged by the council, borrowing heavily to finance rapid expansion into Yorkshire and Humberside. Much of the money came from government grants.
Controversy arose in 2008 when the BBC programme ‘Inside Out’ revealed that a soil improver Premier Waste was producing from domestic waste was contaminated. The product was proven to contain shredded rubbish and harmful bacteria.
In 2011 Premier sold it’s commercial waste collection and recycling division to the HW Martin Group. This company is not connected to the council owned company, and is not affected in any way.
A local Premier subcontractor, Plasrec Ltd, stands to lose at least £20,000 when the council owned company folds. Managing Director David Atkinson said “I feel absolutely disgusted. This is Durham County Council, and nobody even gave us the slightest inkling that there were financial problems on the horizon. They have obviously known for some considerable time that there has been financial problems”.
Four Durham County councillors sit on the board of Premier Waste Management. All declined to be interviewed, releasing the following statement instead : “At the moment there will be no changes to the services the company is contracted to provide to the council and residents. New contracts will be put in place from June 1st when the current contract with Premier Waste comes to an end”.
The council has also stated that when Premier Waste Management is wound up, Durham County Council itself will be one of the creditors owned large sums of money. This means that it is ultimately the taxpayer that will lose out.
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