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Burntwood councillor critical of “silly” waste consultation campaign

A Burntwood councillor has hit out at plans for residents to give their views on waste and recycling in the region while plans are still afoot to close his town’s tip.

Lichfield District Councillor Steve Norman (Lab, Summerfield) described plans by Staffordshire County Council to get people to support a series of pledges with a chance of winning £50 as “a silly raffle”.

The Labour councillor has been at the forefront of the fight to keep the Burntwood Household Waste Recycling Centre open after a suprise announcement that it would close on July 5.

And he has urged residents not to respond to the new environmental pledges.

Under the new campaign, Staffordshire County Council is asking people for their views on areas such as more recycling and composting, reduced landfill, waste operations indoors and good building design, with a view to backing their plans for the future.

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman

But Cllr Norman has criticised the consultation as a token jesture. He said:

“Well I wouldn’t want to deter anyone from winning 50 quid in a silly raffle – because that’s what it is. Although we should, I suppose, be grateful that the County Council is consulting us at all when Cllr Robert Marshall, who wants to close Burntwood’s Recycling site said at the Scrutiny Committee said he did not consult because he knew what the answer would be.

“My advice to residents is not to respond to these silly questions without asking their local County Councillor what each actually means first, but I would be astonished if any of Burntwood’s current representatives have a clue.”

Cllr Norman has previously claimed Staffordshire County Council’s Conservative administration had “put the final nail in the coffin” of the Burntwood tip by not following the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee.

It had been recommended that an independent review should be carried out, but it was instead decided that Cllr Marshall should review his own decision.

And now Cllr Norman believes the new consultation isn’t giving Burntwood residents the full picture. He explained:

“Neither the five questions or the website link encourage residents to go the original document – the Core Strategy.  That’s not surprising as there are a at least a thousand words of local government speak behind each of the draft policies alone and well over ,3000 words just in the glossary!

“The report says they won’t need any new Household Waste and Recycling Sites in the county despite a projected increase of 243,000 tonnes of recyclable material by 2021.  In fact the report says that they won’t need to replace any of the centres which surely means they won’t need to change the Burntwood site or indeed any in the county.”

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1 Comment

  1. Neil

    26th August, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I emailed Councillor Robert Marshall about the proposed closures/ charges and I haven’t even had the courtesy of a response.