Councillors Accused Of ‘Veil Of Secrecy’ Over Waste Discussions
An islander who has campaigned for over 30 years to reform waste management in Scilly says the Council is drawing “a veil of secrecy” over its current plans and has called for more openness and consultation.
Ray Wornes was speaking after the Authority failed to publish a webcast as promised of its recent Transport, Economic Development and Infrastructure meeting, where councillors were updated on waste and recycling issues.
That took place two weeks ago but a recording of the meeting still hasn’t been made public.
Last Thursday, the Press Office told Radio Scilly they would be, “uploading the video soon.”
Cllr Gordon Bilsborough, who has criticised recent changes to the way meetings are webcast, says he’s been told it will be available “within the next few days.”
And yesterday, the Vice Chairman of the committee, Cllr Ted Moulson, said that he didn’t know the technicalities of why the recording hadn’t been made available and had referred the matter to the Chief Executive Theo Leijser.
The Council ended its £15,000 a year contract with the company Public-I, which had provided live webcasts of meetings, as a cost cutting measure in March.
Councillors were assured that any new system would make archived video footage available “immediately after meetings” but since the introduction, only three of the scheduled eleven Council meetings have been uploaded for public viewing.
Gordon says he’s not satisfied with the way the changeover has been handled and will continue to press the matter until it is resolved.
Ray Wornes feels the lack of transparency is reflecting badly on the elected members of the Council.
He told Radio Scilly: “If councillors are now determined to shut people like me out of discussions by not informing me of meetings or not reporting on those meetings then we are not getting what we voted for.”
Ray says councillors are, “breaking their promise by going back to the old ways of allowing secrecy and leaving out the caring public.”
He believes they are, “making new plans possibly whilst only listening to those with commercial interests.”
The waste issue is one of the most important to get right, says Ray, because he feels the Council’s performance “over many decades of toxic pollution and health risks has been an absolute disaster.”