Thursday, 28 July 2011

Yet more double standards

Yesterday the Cabinet voted unanimously to push ahead with works “at risk” on the incinerator project – before the necessary revised project was agreed and before the outcome of the Section 288 challenge is known.

But, as promised, I would like to make one more comment on the Waste Panel meeting last week, when I challenged why the leadership of Cornwall Council had refused to work up a Plan B.

I quoted a recent response to members from the previous Full Council meeting which stated that the Council’s “existing waste policy was contained within the Waste Local Plan 2002. This Plan required the development of a single central energy from waste facility. Any movement away from this policy and the formation of a ‘Plan B’ could only take place once the planning appeal had been determined. It was only with the benefit of the specific reasons as to why a single central Energy from Waste facility would not be awarded planning permission that an appropriate Plan B could have been formed.”

At the Waste Panel, the Corporate Director broadly repeated this assertion, in effect stating that it would not have been appropriate to work up what might be termed a “departure” from adopted policy.

This did not go down well with frustrated members, who actually understood that one of the main reasons for the Waste Panel was to work up an alternative proposal. It was also a new excuse for months of stalling.

I also challenged the Director on his statement and pointed out that the leadership of the Council and the Corporate Directors were actively promoting a number of departure schemes for things such as large-scale housing and park and ride schemes around Truro. I asked when the Council would withdraw from such proposals.

I am also getting increasingly angry that the leadership of the Council believes that policy documents such as the 2002 Waste Local Plan stop us from working up alternative schemes. But other documents such as the 2002 Restormel Borough Local Plan and 2004 Cornwall Structure Plan are somehow out-dated and allow the Council to push alternative schemes.

What double standards.

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