Lee Averies (49), from Wanborough, Wiltshire, has been banned for six years after he signed a disqualification undertaking in connection with his misconduct while director of Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd and Swindon Skips Ltd. Each company ran waste treatment and transfer sites in Swindon, Wiltshire.
In his undertaking, Lee Averies did not dispute that he caused Averies Recycling to breach environmental legislation at the Marshgate site in Swindon.
The company was deemed to have held amounts of waste in excess of their permitted allowance at the site, which suffered a fire between July and September 2014.
And Lee Averies did not dispute in his undertaking that his misconduct caused the second company, Swindon Skips, to also breach environmental legislation.
The Environment Agency found that Swindon Skips, which has also had a fire on its Brindley Close site in November 2013, had maintained inadequate security, stored waste where it was not permitted and failed to implement adequate fire breaks.
His misconduct while director of the second waste company resulted in the Environment Agency suspending Swindon Skips’ environmental permit, which, following the company’s liquidation, caused the landowner, Swindon Borough Council, to become liable for clearing the site at Brindley Close.
Swindon Crown Court last month ordered Lee Averies to pay £200,000 from money he benefitted from the crime, following an application by the Environment Agency. The judge in that case awarded costs to the Environment Agency of £15,000 against Averies, who is already serving a five-year ban from the waste industry.
Effective from 1 April 2019, Lee Averies is banned for six years from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
David Brooks, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:
Managing waste sites is a significant undertaking considering the amount of regulations you need to uphold to mitigate the impact on both the environment and local residents too.
Six years is a substantial ban recognising that Lee Averies not only caused significant disruption to the surrounding area during the 57-day fire on the Marshgate site but his actions also caused the local authority and Environment Agency to incur hundreds and thousands pounds worth of costs, which are ultimately picked up by local residents and tax payers.
Colin Chiverton, Environment Manager for the Environment Agency in Wiltshire, said:
The Environment Agency provided evidence to support Averies’ ban from holding a senior position within companies which sits alongside Averies’ current five-year ban from the waste industry.
In addition to our own enforcement action, the Environment Agency supports agencies like the Insolvency Service to disrupt criminals operating in the waste sector, and their impact on legitimate business.
Lee Averies is of Wanborough, Wiltshire and his date of birth is 15 October 1969.
Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd (Company Reg no. 06652577)
Swindon Skips Ltd (Company Reg. no. 07108193)
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
- act as a director of a company
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
- be a receiver of a company’s property
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.
Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.