Allow the experts to explain...

PUBLISHED: 13:47 28 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:46 24 May 2010

BEFORE the North Somerset Executive member for Environment and Community, Cllr Deborah Yamanaka, writes about joint working (Opinion, Mercury 18), she might care to ask Cllr Alan Hockridge, the leader of the council, what it means. The leader wrote to th

BEFORE the North Somerset Executive member for Environment and Community, Cllr Deborah Yamanaka, writes about joint working (Opinion, Mercury 18), she might care to ask Cllr Alan Hockridge, the leader of the council, what it means. The leader wrote to the Weston Town Council leader in April, committing himself to working closely with all our town and parish councils. This is something I applaud.Councillor Yamanaka now says I am confused and mistaken when I try to take her leader at his word. She is the one who is confused as she apparently does not know the difference between the present waste disposal arrangements for which she is supposed to be responsible and the future ones discussed recently by a scrutiny panel. She is certainly mistaken if she thinks the multitude of problems with the present arrangements will go away if she asks us not to complain as much. She is even more mistaken if she thinks the present Lib Dem/Labour Executive can stifle debate on the future ones.No matter that I was unable to address the panel in public discussion under standing orders. I was elected to represent the interest of the people in my ward and I shall continue to fight on their behalf for the services they are paying for as opposed to the ones Cllr Yamanaka thinks they should put up with. However, I do object when it comes to acknowledged experts in waste management being told they should have only a couple of minutes to explain to Cllr Yamanaka how to do the job properly in the future.These expert witnesses had been invited to address the panel under the main agenda item on the West of England Waste Management and Planning Programme. Such invitation may have been extended by the previous chairman of the panel before he was whisked away when the present coalition executive was cobbled together.What worries me most is that, if an executive member such as Cllr Yamanaka is totally confused on simple points such as present and future or public participation and expert evidence, how much more confusion there must be in dealing with really complicated issues such as waste management. I would heartily recommend that the acknowledged experts should be permitted to explain the finer points and the public duly informed of their opinions.CLLR MIKE KELLAWAY-MARRIOTT - Central Ward, Weston Town Council* Editor's note: This correspondence is now closed.

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