Councillor slams response to quarrying report as ‘pure self interest’

Councillor Matthew Ellis

Councillor Matthew Ellis

A County Councillor has claimed that the rejection of a report suggesting less quarrying should be done in Staffordshire is “pure self interest”.

Cllr Matthew Ellis (Cons, Lichfield Rural East) hit out after the independent study suggested that the county was dismissed by other authorities.

Staffordshire currently produces 65 per cent of all sand and gravel for the West Midlands region – which includes Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

But Cllr Ellis has been critical of those authorities for their response to the study. He said:

“That report concluded that Staffordshire is providing far more than is fair and my Cabinet colleague, Robert Marshall, set about negotiating to reduce our tonnage for the next fifteen years. But politicians from the other counties dismissed the report out of hand.

“It is pure self interest because if Staffordshire provides less, the others will have to provide more.”

However, Cllr Ellis has confirmed that the Conservative-controlled Staffordshire County Council would continue the fight to reduce the region’s quarrying commitments.

He explained:

“Staffordshire’s Legal Department will now start to prepare the groundwork for legal challenge, probably under some sort of Judicial Review, and secondly, Robert Marshall will return to the negotiating table to try for an amicable settlement in advance of the courts.”

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