Waste Consultation Compared To Farce
The consultation into waste management in Scilly has been compared to a, “Brian Rix farce” by the Council’s vice chair.
Amanda Martin joined other elected members in heavily criticising the process.
The debate, arranged by community group Heart, resolved that there’ll be a serious challenge to the Council proposals for waste management.
Consultants SLR shared their plans last month, but many islanders and the councillors present at Wednesday’s sessions felt there had not been proper promotion of the future waste consultation exercise.
Cllr Dudley Mumford claimed that the Council was guilty of failing to kick off the consultation properly and Cllr Martin was applauded when she added that it was a, “blue print on how not to do a consultation.”
She warned that the public needs to be taken seriously and some councillors are very concerned over the process so far.
Dr Randolf Hessing spoke of the, “anger and shock” of Telegraph area residents when they learned about the plans. He went door-to-door to speak with them about the proposals.
There could be increased traffic in that area and down MacFarland’s Down under the plans to shift ‘inert’ waste from Moorwell to Pendrathen.
Juliet May was concerned that 35,000 tonnes of rubbish could be transported by that route.
Dr Hessing had asked for more copies of the consultation leaflets to distribute. He found it difficult to get them, first being told they had been taken back to the mainland and that the Town Hall had no copies.
One islander asked whether it was cynical to question whether the perceived lack of promotion was deliberate so that people didn’t know about it.
Dr Hessing spoke against the plans. He told the meeting that, “everything man ever made is tipped on that dump.” He opposes, “taking bits, saying it’s inert and carting it around the island.”
Cllr Dudley Mumford warned that, “technically, the dump is probably polluted anyway.” He explained that the Council knew that there had been leaching at Moorwell and had to deal with that previously.
Some attendees felt the Council had already made their minds up and there was uncertainty over who was driving the process. And while Cllr Marian Bennett felt that councillors should take responsibility for the situation, the meeting heard that none of the members who attended the session were on the General Purposes committee, which oversees waste.
Ray Wornes went further, making allegations over the competence of the chief technical officer Neville Gardner over the process.
Amanda Martin said that Mr Gardner had spoken highly of the consultation jn a Council meeting the previous day. She recommended that people watch the webcast to, “get a feeling” of how the waste exercise was viewed.
Unfortunately that meeting is currently unavailable online.
Cllr Bennett explained that SLR appeared to be Defra’s preferred consultants and the government agency was paying the bill. She credited the, “good job” they had done on Bryher after their plans had made, “an enormous improvement to waste management.”
But while Amanda wanted a second consultation meeting, many attendees appear to have made their minds up and want the plans stopped.
It was asked whether the Council has authority to stop SLR while they are investigated. Mr Wornes claimed SLR’s Andy Street said the decision had not been made.
Amanda suggested that written evidence of opposition through signed letters would be the appropriate means to show opposition, rather than email or petitions.
The meeting heard a motion could be brought if locals wrote, “signed and dated” letters to the chairman. Then councillors would vote on whether to keep or kick out the proposals.
Meeting chairman Adrian Davies agreed that Heart should help facilitate that process after there was unanimous support from the attendees for that.