Labour Councillors in Plymouth have reacted angrily to a move by the Conservative-run City Council to stop a public debate on the siting of an incinerator in the North Yard of Plymouth.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of the Labour Group says the move is a mighty cover up that will hide from the public the Tories’ real intentions to support a massive incinerator next to three densely populated areas in the West of Plymouth.
Councillor Evans had asked that the issue be added to the agenda of the Ham & Sr Budeaux area committee, due to meet next week. But his request has been turned down by council officials, who said that controversial matters could not be discussed so close to an election.
Cllr Evans said: “I don’t like the idea of council officials and the cabinet deciding what’s controversial and what’s not. I don’t like them deciding what can be debated and what can’t. This is the latest political manipulation in a long line. Advice changes by the day. Local residents will be furious when they find out.”
Some will remember at the last Council meeting Cllr Evans raised the issue of purdah, and was told that it did not apply to local government. “Now, when it suits the Tories, it seems that the Council can ban debates because they are too close to an election”, he said.
“Its an affront to democracy. Of course its controversial. Of course it is an issue in the election. But that’s not reason to ban debate. What gets me is that when I suggested the cabinet should not continue to spread largesse in the weeks before the election, I was told purdah did not apply. Now the boot is on the other foot, I’m told it does apply.”
“The Council stopped the S.T.I.F.L.E. Group speaking at an area committee a couple of years ago, but they have prevailed, their battle is won because the incinerator won’t be at Ernesettle. I know plenty of local residents who will be equally insulted their voice is to be silenced at the Conservatives insistence.”Other news from Plymouth Labour