Waste hub campaign revs up as council accused of flouting rules
A campaigner who is against controversial plans for a waste hub has gone the extra mile after buying a car and decorating it with signs to promote objections shared by hundreds of residents.
Trevor Clinch, 43, of Barton Hill, paid for the motor out of his own pocket and emblazoned it with campaign messages to park at sites in and around Bury.
He wants to remind residents they have until April 20 to have their say in a pre-planning consultation to set up the West Suffolk Operational Hub, at Hollow Road Farm, off Compiegne Way.
The proposals have sparked outrage among residents – with more than 600 people signing a petition.
Meanwhile, a forum for Fornham St Martin, Great Barton and Fornham All Saints has accused St Edmundsbury Borough and Suffolk County Councils of breaching the Localism Act by holding consultations in the pre-election Purdah period, during which councillors are discouraged from publicising their or their party’s actions.
Mr Clinch said: “I feel very passionate about it – I don’t think it’s the correct site. I think it’s being railroaded through.”
His main concerns include the potential smell and traffic associated with the site, which would see a waste transfer station built; two waste depots relocated to the hub and the relocation of the household waste recycling centre from Rougham Hill.
Sarah Bartram, of Fornham St Martin, who organised the petition, is also encouraging residents to still submit their comments to St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
Addressing the issue of the Localism Act, Adrian Graves, of the Fornhams and Great Barton Communities Forum, said: “The Localism Act makes it clear that this sort of consultation, on a major project or matter of community concern, should not be held in the pre-election period.”
Mr Graves said all three parish councils were ‘developing a joint and extremely robust argument’ against the proposal.
A borough council spokesman said it was consulting residents as ‘good practice’. “The moratorium refers to publicity restrictions preventing the use of council or parish resources to influence voting in the pre-election period,” he said. “Advice on this has been given to St Edmundsbury borough councillors and the consultation is being led by council officers.”
- See next week’s Bury Free Press for details on the petition hand-over