That Other Burning Issue

Guess what?  It seems official and yet a County Council of 70 elected members have not been given the chance of debating if Deeside should be awarded the wooden spoon of waste incineration scheme in its midst.  The Chester Chronicle reported that the decision had been made but- don’t laugh: a public consultation will take place in September and October.  A bit late surely if the decision has already been made?

A quick call to the former Chair of Environment confirmed that the committee had been briefed regularly on the progress of the North Wales Joint Waste Management scheme but only when members were told that a rail link had been opened (all vague) warning bells sounded in the former chair’s brain. A Scrutiny Committee does not have the function of the full Authority which is why we attend Council meetings and vote on Council proposals.

The cost of the consultation fees for the joint partnership has already been given to the Audit committee.  When I queried these eye watering sums, even though shared between Authorities I was sharply rebuffed,  ‘They were worth every penny as the scheme was vital to the region and was of ground breaking proportions,’ according to our Chief Executive.

In 2008, I was given some over-watching role on this waste management scheme.  Every time I asked the Waste Executive member when was I to be involved, I was fobbed off and I never attended one meeting.  Same “kicked into the long grass” occurred to Cllr Patrick Heesom who even as an Executive member was also discouraged from getting involved in any decisions.  Our CE was always chuffed that Flintshire had been the lead authority and I picked up clues that it would be lucrative for the Authority who captured the work.

Anglesey was first rumoured to have hosted the scheme and then St Asaph floated into the running and lo and behold it now Deeside.

I am not alone in calling for answers. Why Deeside?  Who decided and why has there been no consultation with members?  A scheme of this dimension just cannot be left to officers.  Too many huge decisions are taking place in this county in what I call a sneaky and unsporting information cutting process.  Where is the planning application to knock down the Flint Maisonettes?  Where was this fully debated before it was all cut and dried as reported in our local press?  I think not.

Is it true that the CE of Flintshire will now become the CE of this massive waste management scheme too?  Surely not. As a fully paid up member of the Colin Everett Admiration Society I shall make it my duty to find out all the facts.  Watch this space and wait for the cost of the waste management consultants to appear in a blog soon.  The public and certainly the Deeside public  will not be amused either!

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