Friday, 14 September 2012

Sewers and fisticuffs (almost)

I discovered, after I had left the meeting on Wednesday that there had been an almighty row in the Chamber with voices raised and doors slammed. According to a source, Cllrs Sian Caiach and Cllr Bill Thomas had tried to object to the minutes of a planning committee meeting by declaring a prejudicial interest.

They had indicated in writing that they wanted to declare verbally that they could not possibly approve the minutes as they knew that the Council was complicit in breaking EU Habitat law in Llanelli, pushing to build another 5000 homes over the next few years next to a waterway which is basically being used as an overflow sewer.

They had both attempted to declare this verbally at the start of the meeting but were silenced by the Chair and Chief Executive.

In a nutshell, as this has been a lengthy affair, campaigners are trying to prevent further developments until such time as the antiquated overloaded sewers are brought up to scratch, homes are regularly flooded and it is claimed that pollution in the estuary is a cause of the continuing cockle-mortality problem. One cockler is currently challenging the council in the high court over the Stradey development. Currently in the court of appeal, Cllr Thomas has been instrumental in the case, putting him at odds with the chiefs and his Labour colleagues.

The council, clearly with obligations to various large scale developers to meet has consistently denied that there's a problem and that the cockle deaths were coincidental. The campaigners have been slated in the press by the Chief Executive as a troublesome, "unfortunate example of a small group" standing in the way of, for example, Taylor Wimpey. Any group opposing the council visions, of course, gets similar treatment.

I'll not go into the technical details, and this is a complex issue, but having had sight of some of the extensive research and unearthing of documents by Cllr Thomas their argument is convincing.

The Council executive officers do not want the issues aired in public, so when Cllrs Caiach and Thomas attempted to give their declarations verbally when the actual reports were up for discussion, they were both prevented, loudly, by the Chair and the Chief Executive.

In utter disgust, they both stormed out of the meeting.


Cneifiwr said...

Wow, and now the supermarket row as well. Plus any number of other scandals brewing. It looks as though the wheels are finally coming off. Thank goodness the honours were awarded in the nick of time.

Bernard Garland said...

It is about time that ALL our Council representatives rebelled against this dictatorial gang. Otherwise there is no point in having them, is there ?
Come on our elected reps - show us what you are made of.

caebrwyn said...

@Cneifiwr With each honour comes a handy can of tyre fix, you know, that stuff you can inflate your punctured tyres with to get you to nearest repair shop? You can only fix a limited number of holes though before the integrity of the tyre is exposed as being terminally flawed, then it's got to go.

@Bernard Garland
Whilst only two or three elected members have the gumption to stand their ground, and Special Responsibility Allowances etc are at stake, a mass rebellion is unlikely. Perhaps we need another election!

By the way, and on the topic of elections, or by-elections to be precise, rumours are rife in Llandovery that Cllr Jackson is considering jumping ship and moving to Crickhowell. He's currently on a cruise somewhere escaping the flak from angry residents. My sympathies go to Crickhowell.

Bernard Garland said...

You can't use Tyre-Fix if the flaw is in the tyre wall.