Mayor quizzes contractor over alleged war crimes

Environmental services in Lewisham. Photo by Daisy Bowie-Sell

Environmental services in Lewisham. Photo by Daisy Bowie-Sell

Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock has agreed to write to recycling firm Veolia asking them to justify their controversial work in the West Bank.

The move comes after residents addressed a council meeting last week calling for an end to their contract with the multinational French firm, which is involved in building a tram linking Israeli settlements with Jerusalem.

Leah Jennings from the local branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said the settlements violate article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states: “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

“Put simply, Veolia is aiding and abetting war crimes and I do not want to see my council implicated,” Ms Jennings told the meeting.

The PSC put forward five points at the meeting, including looking at the terms of the contract to see if any relate to the company’s conduct outside the borough and use it as a basis not to extend the current agreement.

The Mayor said council members were not able to take this into account when awarding contracts, adding: “Nevertheless I shared those concerns and undertook to write to the company. When the letter is sent it will be made public.”

Veolia Environmental Services operates in over half of London’s boroughs, including Croydon, with activities ranging from household and business waste management and recycling services to street cleansing.


  1. Anna December 2, 2009
  2. NR December 3, 2009
  3. A December 6, 2009

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