Breakthrough! On 17 June Swansea City Council passed a resolution to exclude Veolia from all future contracts. Swansea is the second largest city in Wales. This is highly significant. It is the first time that a council in UK has passed such a resolution. To our knowledge the only local authorities in Europe to pass similar resolutions are Irish: Dublin recently, and perhaps Sligo and Galway earlier.
This is the text as it appeared on the agenda and was passed by the full council unamended:
Notice of Motion from Councillors M. Hedges, D. Phillips, A. Lloyd, J Burtonshaw, J. Miles, R. Stewart, C. Thomas, C. Richards, B. Lloyd, R. Francis-Davies, E. Kirchner, M. Child:
“The UN not only does not recognise Israel’s annexation and occupation of East Jerusalem, but has repeatedly stated its view that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank contravene international law, and it has demanded that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported. The international trading company, Veolia, is a leading partner in a consortium seeking to build a light railway system linking Israel to illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, a project that clearly not only contravenes UN demands but is in contravention of international law.
This Council therefore calls on the Leader & Chief Executive not to sign or allow to be signed any new contracts or renewal of any existing contracts with Veolia or any other company in breach of international law, so long as to do so would not be in breach of any relevant legislation.”
The motion was put up by the Labour Party group and was narrowly passed 19 – 18 with some Liberal Democrats voting against and most abstaining. Swansea Palestine Community Link are in touch with councillors on this and hope to generate local media interest.