Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Operating in a smoke-filled room?

What, Rugby Borough Council?
Surely you do not mean us?
Well actually YES you!

Last night's Cabinet meeting saw the presentation of the Annual Audit and Inspection Letter 2004/05 by KPMG on behalf of the Audit Commission. The Report is extremely critical of the Council in areas concerning Finances, Failure to have a meaningful plan, or to prioritise, and failure to engage the Community and Partners, and RBC was told to STOP "operating in a smoke-filled room!" Needless to say the Report has only gone out (in secret) to the few responsible for this mess - the Tory Cabinet itself. What have they learnt from this? Apparently only how to be even more secretive and devious?

Councillors: Humphrey (Chair and leader of the Council), Campbell, Lane, Pawsey, Poole, Robbins, (Chair RCCF and Environment portfolio holder!!),Timms and Wright.

And so then on 27th July they will host yet another quasi-secret, quasi-public, meeting to "ASSIST" Cemex with its plans to burn London's waste in down town Rugby. Better get your name on the list, so RBC/Cemex can get a list of "trouble makers", and they can know "who you are!"

"It is important that the general public are engaged and informed as far as possible. To this end it is proposed to hold a public consultation event along the lines of a "Question Time" debate on these issues towards the end of July. Jeremy Wright MP has provisionally agreed to moderate the debate involving a balanced panel of interested/experts. In order to manage the event it would be necessary, initially at least, to require interested parties to apply for tickets in advance with a limited number available for people to attend on the night. Key stakeholders would automatically receive a number of invitations, such as those groups on the RCCF, although the intention is to engage the general public.

This type of event will generate a range of issues, which could be collated and put to Cemex for them to address as part of the formal application on use of this fuel."




Question A

Question from Mrs L Pallikaropoulos

“At the "secret" Cemex Briefing, chaired by RBC officer Karen Stone in Rugby
Council Chamber on June 2nd, which only 15 of the 48 Rugby Borough Councillors attended, from which the public were barred, and no Agenda, Minutes, or attendance/invitee list were disclosed, Councillor Gordon Collett, failing to declare a pecuniary interest for his recent receipt of the keys to a £22,5000 Cemex minibus, the photo of which appeared both in the local press and also which graces the Cemex Newsletter, spoke out strongly in support of the Cemex plan to burn London's household refuse and commercial waste in the Rugby Co-incinerator plant, urging the people attending "not to get hysterical about this; we can be successful, we can get it through!" What IS the Rugby Borough Council Cabinet's OFFICIAL position towards this further environmental degradation of Rugby Town - is it the same as Councillor Gordon Collett's, or was he merely expressing his own "Cemex-influenced personal position", and possibly also the position of Warwickshire County Council?”

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Humphrey, to reply as follows:

“The precise question actually being asked is difficult to identify.

The meeting was not a secret meeting, it was, and has been communicated to the questioner on a number of occasions, a briefing to the those representatives of the key stakeholder groups that make up the Rugby Cement Community Forum and all members of the Borough Council. The purpose of the meeting was to give early additional information to key stakeholders and Councillors, including the questioner, on the company’s alternative fuel programme which it had made public a few days earlier.

A list of questions and answers was taken at the meeting; this list has been circulated to all those invited and published on the Councils Internet site.

As the Meeting was neither a formal meeting of the Council or the Rugby Cement Community Forum, there was no requirement for any councillor to make any declarations of interest, should this have actually been necessary. In the same way any comments by any individual or councillor were personal statements. Any interest which Councillor Collett had in the Village Link minibus was not a personal interest as defined by the Council’s Code of Conduct. He was acting on behalf of the Council in the ceremony referred to in the question.
With regard to the actual question of “what is this Cabinets official position on the proposal by Cemex to consult on the use of Climafuels?”. The answer is that we welcome the way that the company has and continues to try to engage the public on this issue and as a Council we are also seeking to do the same with the Public Question Time Debate on the 27th July, which will be chaired by Jeremy Wright MP.

This Cabinet will make its position known on this subject, when it has had the opportunity to carefully consider the details of the application and listen to the arguments that will come out during the consultation process. To do otherwise would be to prejudge the issues and to act prematurely.”


Anonymous said...

Ok - go on then - don't keep us in suspense.

Who IS the gangmaster? Humphrey, or Collett, or maybe Robbyns?

Anonymous said...

OK then - who IS the gangmaster?

Collett, or Humphrey, C Robbyns, or Mrs Whiplash?

Give us a clue.