Friday, April 28, 2006

Council Seek Legal Advice

RUGBY BOROUGH COUNCIL Seek legal advice on dealing with Campaign Groups:

They try to defend their POLICY decision to refuse to answer any FOI and EIR requests, except via a FAQ (frequently asked questions) site, to be made up in Conjunction with other Agencies:

"Exempt information" is defined in the Council's Constitution and the Local Government Act 1972. These set out 15 categories of information which are exempt. One of those categories is :

"Any instructions to counsel or any opinion of counsel,(whether or not in connection with any proceedings), and any advice received, information obtained or action taken in connection with:

(a) any legal proceedings by or against the authority; or
(b) the determination of any matter affecting the authority; whether, in either case, proceedings have been commenced or are in contemplation."

The report on Information Requests from Campaign Groups concerned an opinion from counsel in connection with this subject. The report, therefore, contained exempt information as defined by the Constitution and the 1972 Act.


  • I think RBC will find it is in breach of the FOI/EIR Act/Regulations, for which RBC has already been taken to task on at least one occasion.
  • Surely a mere local authority Cabinet cannot ignore the Law of the Land, and make a "silly little decision" not to answer any requests for information under the FOI and EIR, " unless we have agreed them with other Agencies", and put on a web site at their own pace.
  • FOI and EIR are not about the "opinions" (interesting and amazing though they may be) of RBC and other bodies, but are requests for ACTUAL COPIES of documents and it is these that they appear so afraid to reveal.
  • Now we have this situation and it is documents relating to these issues that we have requested:

1) The EA have left off the Public Register the monthly monitoring emissions data for the Rugby plant since July 2005.

2) The EA are claiming Cemex can burn the "poisonous" petcoke as they got a (secret)IPC permit in conjunction with RBC.

3) The EA then also gave a subsequent IPPC permit to burn waste by telling "half truths in conjunction with RBC" - and they mislead the public, calling the IPPC Application a "Tyre Burning Application", and calling many meetings and getting reports all written on "Tyre Burning", in order to to cover up the IPC failings of the EA and RBC. This was done so that no one would know that the Rugby plant had no lawful IPC Permit, and that any subsequent IPPC Application was based on an unlawful IPC Permit.

4) RBC refuse to answer all FOI requests, and the Cabinet have made a POLICY decision to hide all the information, and also deliberately "mislead and misinformed" the public and other councillors at full council meetings, in answer to specific questions about the Environmental Impact Assessment fo the Rugby cement plant.

5) Then RBC blame me for the "costs" of providing "all this information", and "for answering my questions", while the truth is that RBC is spending a fortune trying to hide and cover up what they have done.

If RBC just answered truthfully and provided photo copies it would cost a minimal amount. In fact I have already paid them a substantial sum of money for photocopies.
The truth is cheap, and is in fact FREE, it is the deceit and cover up that is costing Rugby Council tax payers so much money!
And say this:

Cabinet on 9th January 2006 resolved that:-

(1) A scheme of Frequently asked Questions be developed and published that covers air quality and other issues associated with Cemex's local activities.
(2) That any further information requests on these issues be not individually responded to, but published on a FAQ list and
(3) any request that is potentially abusive, defamatory or other wise likely to cause offence be not responded to.

The Council is dealing with numerous requests for information from you and these requests will be dealt with as Frequently Asked Questions as resources permit in accordance with the cabinet's Decision.

The information in this current request is extensive and relates to issues dealt with 5 years ago. The Council's stance on the issue of tyre burning reflected public concern at the time and was a considered and balanced approach to the issue.


Sent: Monday, January 16, 2006
To: 'Karen Stone'; ''
Cc: '';
Subject: IPPC application 2001 and IPC 1999

Dear Mrs Stone and Mr Humphies,

It seems that this Council and the public have been totally mislead, whether deliberately or not, by RBC officers and the EA. I think the people of Rugby deserve some answers. I would like to know the following please:

1. Why did you present the 2001 IPPC application as being "only a Tyre Burning application"?

2. Why did you commission an AEAT report into "tyre burning only"?

3. Why did the PCT commission an HIA into tyre burning only? "Is it better for the people of Rugby to breathe coal dust or tyre fumes?" Cook and Kemm.

4. Why did you totally misinform the public and all the Rugby Councillors about the nature of IPPC consultations, and what needed to be considered, and that the "whole IPPC permit was open to question and scrutiny?"

5. Why did you not tell the public that the information given out was incomplete, and that that information being given out was related to the "tyre burning" aspect only: see Rugby Group Limited, Rugby Works, Application under IPPC to allow burning of tyres. Incidentally that application did not include any mention of particulates at all though it listed pages of all the other main emissions from the plant, and the public consistently expressed concern about particulates and dust from the plant as a whole. The Councillors and public were not aware that the whole application was on the Public Register, and that the whole operation of the plant was to be taken into account?

6. At the Indian Club 2001 Roger Wade (Environment Agency) said, at the opening of the meeting, that "this application is like IPC, and is now called IPPC, and so there is no difference. It has IPC, so let's get on with the tyre burning." What was the RBC response to the IPC application in 1999, and the public response to it? What public meetings did RBC call in 1999 to discuss the IPC application? Where is the Public Register containing this IPC information?

7. How did you brief councillors, such as the Environment panel, and also the Community Leadership Panel, that lead to the March 2002 "marathon meeting"? What was the objective of such a meeting?

8. What guidance did you use to advise you, on what the roll of RBC was at statutory consultee, and what guidance did you use also on how to advise the councillors and the public?

9. Why are the Minutes, Agendas and attachments, of the RCCF and the Rugby Cement Liaison meeting not available to councillors and the public at RBC offices?

10. What action is RBC prepared to take against the Environment Agency for its part in this deceit?

11. Please send an email copy of the Minutes of the meeting RBC held with the EA on 13th September 2001 as a pre-meeting in preparation for the Indian Club meeting of September 20th 2001.

12. What was the role of the Rugby Cement Liaison Committee in all this? What was the RBC's role in that Committee? Why were no Rugby Cement Liaison Committee meetings held from March 2002 until 23rd October 2002, during the crucial part of the IPPC application, until when it "evolved" into the RCCF?

13. What is the RBC role in the RCCF? (Rugby Cement Community Forum)

14. What is the RBC role in the TBRG? (Tyre Burning Review Group)

Thank you.



Anonymous said...

Secrets secrets secrets.

Who exactly are these ELECTED representatives working for?

It makes me sick.

Lilian said...

for polluting and dust incidents

Anon: You may well wonder exactly WHO they are working for, as it certainly is NOT for the town of Rugby, and NOT for the BENEFIT of the Community. This Council has lost any credibility that it may once have had.

Investigating the latest covering of dust in Long Lawford on Thursday furious local residents were told by RBC that: "In fact it does appear that the yellow dust is the annual tree pollen problem. Most likely birch pollen which is yellow."

So we learn it is dust from trees that had suddenly sprung up over night. This is confirmed by:

"The plant has not been operating for two days, so is unlikley to be the cause of the problem."

So is RBC saying that the WHOLE plant had been shut down for two whole days, or do they mean the "kiln" was off - or shutting down/starting up which counts as "shut" and does not count as ON?

Does that mean there was no bagging, grinding, mixing etc etc going on and that ALL the WHOLE plant was shut down? If so why are all the lorries going in and out, if the plant is SHUT?

RBC is pollen our leg!