Care home's angry response to council recycling facility claims
7:00pm Friday 31st August 2012 in News
Campaigners against the siting of a £2.5million civic amenity and recycling centre next door to a nursing home have reacted angrily to the claim that its case had not been ignored by Pembrokeshire County Council.
The authority’s head of environmental services, Richard Brown, said last week that it was ‘a total misconception’ that the Brooklands home had not been taken into account when the impact of the site near New Hedges and Saundersfoot was being assessed.
But the home’s co-manager, Darren Umanee, said: “It is a fact that all of this work was undertaken without the knowledge of Brooklands. Perhaps if consultation with Brooklands had been undertaken, we would have been able to make Pembrokeshire County Council aware of the concerns, but the fact remains that we were never asked.”
Mr Umanee said that the first communication from the council was a letter received on July 10th inviting ‘interested members of your household to a meeting’.
Said Mr Umanee: “Possibly 40 members of our household would have like to have attended that meeting, but they unfortunately lack the mental capacity to do so.”
Around 2,000 people have signed petitions protesting about the location of the site, including the latest online petition at www.assemblywales.org. This is due to be handed over on September 26th.
Protestors were out in force outside last Wednesday’s information exhibition, put on by the county council.
Around 100 people attended.
A new recycling centre for south east Pembrokeshire is needed to replace the current civic amenity site at The Salterns, Tenby which is the worst-performing site in the county.
Cabinet member supporting plan had fought battle against waste facility in Johnston
Cabinet member Councillor Ken Rowlands is firmly in favour of the civic amenity site plan - but he has first-hand experience of public pressure overturning a controversial proposal.
Eleven years ago, he spearheaded a successful campaign against plans to put a recycling facility in the centre of his own village.
At the time, Councillor Rowlands was vice-chairman of Johnston Community Council and commented afterwards: “It shows that even when you’ve got an obdurate group of politicians, democracy can be pushed through.”
He described the council’s proposals as ‘obscene’ and added: “It was so obvious it wasn’t the place to do it, I can’t understand how anybody in the authority could even have contemplated it.”
Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson has now told Councillor Rowlands he ‘can’t have it both ways’.
“If it was ‘obscene’ in his area, then it must be even more so, given the close proximity to a residential home for the elderly,"! she said. “Does he really believe this is a ‘more suitable place’?”
Councillor Rowlands said that the Johnston and Saundersfoot proposals were for different types of waste facility.
“It’s like comparing apples and pears,” he said. “A couple of people have come up to me recently and said ‘you’re a fine one, beause you defended your own village vehemently’. Yes, I defended my village, but from a waste transfer station which is completely different.
“I would be very concerned about any unit that causes a problem, but this will not cause a problem for these vulnerable people.
“I can understand people’s concerns, but I know - from what has been given me in facts and figures - it will not affect those dear people.”
Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman Len Mullins added: “The main element of the development planned for Johnston was a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) which would have been accessible to council vehicles.
“The development planned for outside New Hedges is a completely different facility, for use by the general public.”