Row as move for waste vote branded ‘mountain out of molehill’
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Councillors have been accused of “making a mountain out of a molehill” after calling for a multi-million pound decision on a new waste services contract to be taken by the entire authority.
Broadland Council is currently examining proposals for a future contract to provide waste services, with the council’s environment panel considering options.
And opposition councillors have called on the Conservative-run authority to refer the final decision on the multi-million pound contract to the full council.
But at a full council meeting held on Thursday, July 30, the bid was voted down after being branded “unnecessary”.
Liberal Democrat councillor and scrutiny chairman Steve Riley proposed the motion, which read: “Future waste provision is a complex issue involving a quality of service level to residents, environmental concerns and appropriate policy together with future proofing.
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“Investment over the term of any contract or other provision will involve the spending and commitment of multi-millions in funding by the council on behalf of council tax payers and is of a significant magnitude.
“I therefore move that cabinet exercises its authority under the above and ask cabinet to refer to the council the final decision on the waste services review.”
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Judy Leggett, Conservative councillor for Sprowston East, said: “I was very surprised to see this motion. Non-members were able to attend the panel. I believe what you ask for is unnecessary.”
And Ian Mackie, Conservative member for Thorpe St Andrew, added: “This is making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill and I hope we all vote it down.”
But David Britcher, Lib Dem councillor for Hellesdon South East, said: “Democracy is not being fully done, as far as I’m concerned.”
And Dan Roper, leader of the Lib Dem group, added: “There are very few services that affect every single household and business premises in our district. It is a decision of major magnitude and it makes sense for all the members to register a vote on that.”
Mr Riley added: “I don’t agree that this is making a mountain out of a molehill. I do not believe that millions of pounds, risk and also something that directly affects residents and council tax payers is to be considered a molehill - quite the reverse.”
The motion was lost with 12 votes for and 28 against.