Thursday, July 07, 2011

Evidence of SLWP 'stitch up'??

On 28th June, following repeated requests to speak at the SLWP Public Hearings, Friends of the Earth and Croydon Green Party received the email below. It should be made clear, that Stop the Incinerator (STI) campaigners presumed that documents and responses submitted to the first two stages of the consultation would be made available to the Inspector, hence submissions were not made to the latest stage, nor, in the case of Croydon FoE, a request to participate in the oral examination was proffered.

The bottom line is this: WE ARE ALL WORKING PEOPLE. WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHICH HAS THE LONGEST WORKING HOURS IN EUROPE. I personally didn't get a chance to open this email until 11am on Wednesday morning (29th June - day of deadline - which was consequently missed), and had no spare time to review every guidance note and regulation to ensure we jumped through every hoop and crawled through every hole to respond in a way which was deemed acceptable by the Inspector. Moreover, the vast majority in the STI campaign felt that responding to the latest stage implied that the previous stages were legitimate and not engineered to result in a desired outcome.

I was told by the Programme Officer that the Inspector is "independent". If Mr Cook is indeed independent, why does he not 'call in' one of the environmental groups that object to the plan to hear their point of view??

Dear Mr S**** and Mr Khan,

Further to my response to your email of 20 June, I have now discussed your request with the Inspector following his return from leave and he has asked me to respond, as below:

The Councils have made available the statement of consultation at the Regulation 25 stage (Doc SLWP1.4) so, in general terms, the Inspector is aware of the comments made. However, the Plan preparation process assumes that the Plan published at Regulation 27 stage includes the changes that the Councils consider appropriate following consideration of those consultation responses. If a representor remains unhappy with the content of the Plan the onus is on them to make a further representation at the Regulation 28 stage since it is these that the Inspector considers in detail during his examination of the Plan. Croydon Green Party made no comments at that stage and therefore has no right now to appear at the Hearing sessions (please see s20 of the 2004 Act).

Mr S**** did make a number of comments on behalf of certain members of Croydon FoE but specifically stated that he did not wish to participate in the oral examination of the Plan. It seems to the Inspector that most, if not all, of these comments relate to the Councils' procurement process for the municipal waste management contract rather than the Plan itself. He specifically said that he would be unable to consider these (please see para 6.4 of Document ED3-the Guidance Notes).

The Inspector is nevertheless happy to hear contributions from anyone who can assist him in his examination of the Plan. However, in fairness to other participants, and particularly the Councils, who are preparing for the Hearing sessions, it is important to know why you think the submitted Plan is unsound and how you wish to see it changed in order that it becomes sound. You will therefore need to explain these two points to the Inspector via the Programme Officer not later than
16.00 on Wednesday 29 June and indicate which session(s) you wish to attend to pursue these points. If the Inspector considers that you should be invited to participate, you will need to submit any further statement that you may wish to make, prepared in accordance with the Guidance set out in ED3, to the Programme Officer not later than 16.00 on Friday 1 July.

I appreciate that these are very tight timescales but I have already invited you to submit such statements and have heard no more from you. There is no need to add to the representations already received from Croydon FoE if you do not wish to do so but you will need to take into account the comments of the Inspector set out above. Please note that in the interests of fairness to all other participants there can be no extension to the timescales set out.

Yours sincerely,


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Properly stiched up..

This Tory government wouldn't allow that kind of thing to get past the Big Society would they? I mean after all their friends in newspapers are entierly without blame ....

Standing up for what matters