'Elite group' responsible for wheelie bin decision

Malvern Gazette: 'Elite group' responsible for wheelie bin decision 'Elite group' responsible for wheelie bin decision

THE way Malvern Hills District Council introduced wheelie bins was not “open and transparent”, with “decisions being taken by an elite group”, claims a new report.

The switch to the wheeled bins for collecting recycling waste is one of the most contentious issues the council has faced in recent years.

The council received £1.67 million Government cash to help fund the new system, introduced last May.

It caused furious debates among councillors, and resulted in a series of official complaints and counter-complaints between elected members and senior officers.

Among the new report’s findings is, “there is a perception among some councillors and some members of the public the development of council policy is not open and transparent”.

It also says, “some members of the public and elected members felt decisions were being taken by an elite group of senior members and officers and they were being ‘bounced’ into a decision at the last minute”.

It says: “There was conflicting evidence on the extent to which members were aware of the proposals to introduce wheelie bins. Leading members and officers knew in February 2012; some other members were briefed in March 2012 and some said they did not know until July, when the council report was published.”

It points out a “lack of clarity”

about the roles of various policy groups, committees and working parties within the council.

Among its recommendations are “the council’s decision- making process should be more open and transparent”, and when it comes to fundamental changes to services, “members should be informed as soon as a proposal has been expressed in writing and in detail”.

It also says that “any funding bids for more than £100,000 should be subject to formal approval by executive committee to avoid bids driving policy”.

And another recommendation is that “reports and recommendations should be more explicit about what members are being asked to consider and what they are voting for or against”.

The report has been written by a group of councillors chaired by Councillor Jan Marriott.

They held a scrutiny day in November, in which they heard evidence from council members and senior staff.

Caroline Carver of Barnards Green, the only member of the public who gave evidence at the scrutiny day, said she was heartened by the report.

She said: “I’m encouraged by some of the recommendations for more openness but now it’s really up to how the executive committee and the full council deal with these recommendations.

“The problems outlined in the report are not unique to the wheelie bin issue.”

The report will go before the district council's overview and scrutiny committee next Tuesday at the Council Chamber, Avenue Road, starting at 6.30pm.

Comments (8)

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5:04pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Stop Wasting Our Tax says...

Is this STILL going on? How nice to see that the tax payer's money is being wasted on a bunch of middle aged men acting like school boys over an issue which nobody wanted in the first place. Look out for another council tax rise next year. Perhaps we should put forward a vote of no confidence in our local council, maybe then they'll buck their ideas up.
Is this STILL going on? How nice to see that the tax payer's money is being wasted on a bunch of middle aged men acting like school boys over an issue which nobody wanted in the first place. Look out for another council tax rise next year. Perhaps we should put forward a vote of no confidence in our local council, maybe then they'll buck their ideas up. Stop Wasting Our Tax

6:33pm Mon 13 Jan 14

sarah and her chickens says...

I think this goes much deeper than just wheelie bins.* Councillors and MHDC officers controlled the flow of information to push through spending of £1.6 million pounds of tax payers money . Money that did not need to be spent.
We could just have had a few more bottle banks.
We now have a more expensive service we cannot afford to run.
This happened also with the SWDP and the Council tax cuts.
It can no longer be allowed to continue. Yes we should have a vote of no confidence. But in the Council leaders and Portfolio holders who deliberately misled other Councillors. This is not a democracy but a dictatorship .
Time for a change at the next election from party politics to independent Councillors acting for residents .
I think this goes much deeper than just wheelie bins.* Councillors and MHDC officers controlled the flow of information to push through spending of £1.6 million pounds of tax payers money . Money that did not need to be spent. We could just have had a few more bottle banks. We now have a more expensive service we cannot afford to run. This happened also with the SWDP and the Council tax cuts. It can no longer be allowed to continue. Yes we should have a vote of no confidence. But in the Council leaders and Portfolio holders who deliberately misled other Councillors. This is not a democracy but a dictatorship . Time for a change at the next election from party politics to independent Councillors acting for residents . sarah and her chickens

9:28pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Geoffery1966 says...

Surprise , surprise ! Corruption in local Government hehehehe
Surprise , surprise ! Corruption in local Government hehehehe Geoffery1966

4:05pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Giorgos says...

Another one of David Hughes' pet projects. As much as I don't like the bins we now have to live with them. I ordered a larger capicity bin in May of last year; I am still waiting for it to be delivered! Anyway all of this is an obvious precursor to fortnightly bin collections, something I'm sure very few people in the town actually want. Why is it that small Mediterranean islands can have daily rubbish collections and we have to put up with this?
Another one of David Hughes' pet projects. As much as I don't like the bins we now have to live with them. I ordered a larger capicity bin in May of last year; I am still waiting for it to be delivered! Anyway all of this is an obvious precursor to fortnightly bin collections, something I'm sure very few people in the town actually want. Why is it that small Mediterranean islands can have daily rubbish collections and we have to put up with this? Giorgos

9:28pm Sat 18 Jan 14

sarah and her chickens says...

Perhaps you should give Ivor Pumfrey a ring. He ordered 5000 extra bins. So sure he could spare one for you Giorgos. Having sat through the scruting day for this report I think it was the pet project of an oficer rather than David Hughes. He was busy pushing the SWDP through without Councillor involvement! ;-)
Perhaps you should give Ivor Pumfrey a ring. He ordered 5000 extra bins. So sure he could spare one for you Giorgos. Having sat through the scruting day for this report I think it was the pet project of an oficer rather than David Hughes. He was busy pushing the SWDP through without Councillor involvement! ;-) sarah and her chickens

12:05am Sun 19 Jan 14

logicalN says...

Have you ever felt vindicated , Sarah? I was censored (or at least the posting vanished) when I suggested just that
Have you ever felt vindicated , Sarah? I was censored (or at least the posting vanished) when I suggested just that logicalN

10:09am Sun 19 Jan 14

sarah and her chickens says...

Oh yes LogicalN. I feel like shouting I told you so . They can sensor me all they want ! I have the evidence bundle and I heard the officers being interviewed . I know exactly what happened .
Oh yes LogicalN. I feel like shouting I told you so . They can sensor me all they want ! I have the evidence bundle and I heard the officers being interviewed . I know exactly what happened . sarah and her chickens

11:23am Sun 19 Jan 14

sarah and her chickens says...

Forgot to add the elite group were all Conservative party councillors. Just saying. Draw your own conclusions.
Forgot to add the elite group were all Conservative party councillors. Just saying. Draw your own conclusions. sarah and her chickens

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