THE decision to award the Highways PFI contract breached the Isle of Wight Council’s constitution, an opposition councillor has claimed.
Independent councillor Chris Welsford will bring a motion before full council tonight (Wednesday), claiming important information about the need for an asphalt plant to deliver the contract was not disclosed when the decision was made in May.
The claims have previously been rejected highways cabinet member Cllr Edward Giles.
Eurovia Roadstone, a subsidiary of PFI contractor Vinci Concessions, has lodged controversial plans with the council to build an asphalt plant at Medina Wharf, near Cowes, to manufacture specialist asphalt to meet the strict performance requirements of the PFI.
Cllr Welsford has previously questioned whether the PFI contract could be delivered if the plans were thrown out, particularly as Eurovia has refused to say what its alternatives are, including whether it would import asphalt from the mainland or source it from the existing Bardon Vectis plant at St George's Down.
However, his claims the PFI contract would be affected have been repeatedly refuted by highways cabinet member Cllr Edward Giles.
He previously said: "There is no requirement for the contractor to build an asphalt plant. The contractor is required to deliver the contract to specified standards. How they do this is a matter for them as long as they meet their obligations."
According to Cllr Welsford, environmental health officers had voiced concerns about the plant at the time of the PFI decision, and recommended planning permission be refused, but this information was not made available to members.
This led to the decision being made without full knowledge of the facts, in breach of the constitution, he said.
Councillors are also due to debate a motion put forward by council leader Cllr David Pugh tonight calling for action over ferry services.