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Wheelie bad deal
11:52am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in Letters
AT LAST the truth is out about just how undemocratic the process that led to the introduction of wheelie bins was.
For over six months, the process was handled by a small number of officers and senior councillors who decided “to sell it as something we should do and something that is deliverable”.
This informal group had no terms of reference for meetings and minutes were confidential to those present.
On March 15, 2012, and May 11, 2012, respectively, an initial expression of interest for government funding and an outline bid were submitted to Whitehall, both based on the introduction of wheelie bins and both without the knowledge of the full council.
A request by a councillor to see the final bid prior to the August council meeting was refused by the head of service, Ivor Pumfrey, who said it was “classified”, i.e.
Attempts by councillors to question or criticise the process were quickly and fiercely suppressed.
Councillors felt “they were bounced” into a decision at the last minute.
And, of course, all this was based on a false premise; there is no legal requirement to collect glass kerbside from 2015.
Defra has confirmed that bottle banks would satisfy the EU requirement.
Whatever your opinion of wheelie bins, be very afraid for democracy in Malvern Hills District Council. Can we be certain that such a process has not been used in the past and won’t be used again in the future?
CAROLINE CARVER Malvern
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