Disappointment over lack of support for Marlbrook Tip inquiry

By Tristan Harris Wednesday 26 February 2014 Updated: 04/03 00:48

THE LEADER of Bromsgrove's Labour Group said he was disappointed that the council did not vote for a non-statutory public inquiry to be held into Marlbrook Tip.

Coun Luke Mallett had tabled a motion at the meeting of Bromsgrove District Council on Wednesday (February 26) requesting a probe be organised into the waste site.

During the discussion, an amendment was made to the call by Coun Kit Taylor, suggesting a working group be set up, made up of cross-party councillors, officers, members of the legal team and residents living near to the site.

Coun Taylor said, as well as planning a proper route forward for the future of the Tip, the issue of a public inquiry could still be brought up and discussed and could happen in the future.

"We need to take the emotion and the politics out of this issue and get down to facts," he said.

Ward member for the area Coun Dr Brian Cooper said a lot of the staff responsible for what had happened and moved on.

And he said, whilst the council's handling had been inappropriate, incompetent and almost negligent and he was sympathetic to a public inquiry, he doubted anything could be learnt that was not known already.

What happened in the future was what was important to the residents.

But Coun Mallett said he felt the motion should have been given unanimous support by members as an investigation, led by an independent person, was the only way to get all the questions surrounding the site answered and prevent it happening again.

"We need to spend a little more time to win back the confidence of the public.

"We already have the evidence there.

"We need someone to come in, take an impartial approach, look at that evidence and make their decision.

"This is the most significant environmental disaster any of us will see in Bromsgrove in our lifetimes."

Earlier this month there were angry scenes at a public meeting about Marlbrook Tip where it was explained that the Environment Agency's (EA) statutory panel engineer's suggested solution was to lay down a further 53,000 cubic metres of material as part of a recontouring process. Grass would then be planted to meet the engineer's requirements.

But officers pointed out - if each lorry could carry seven cubic metres of material - it would take 440 loads every week for the next six months to achieve those levels.

The original motion was rejected and the amended motion was approved.

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