They give the impression of being in office but not in power. Both of them sit on Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s cabinet; and both receive allowances in excess of £16,000 annually.
Cllr Lesley Whybrow (Green) is the Cabinet member for the environment and air quality and in her time has chaired the Climate & Ecological Working Group and produced a carbon action plan which will plant less trees annually to capture air pollution which damages the health of residents and our environment. Nor does her report make clear how she will create a net gain in biodiversity and how this will be monitored and evidenced.
Cllr John Collier (Con) is the cabinet member responsible for contaminated land in our district. He’s also the Cabinet member who’s portfolio is responsible for monitoring old landfill sites.
In conversations with Council officers it has come to light that Folkestone & Hythe District Council will now release the Contaminated Land Register and publish it on their website. This has come about due to our blog post at the beginning of April, where we made it clear the council did not have such a register for 28 years. Given the law stated they had to have one, it’s quite an admission by the Council to state they’ll now publish a register they’ve never had. We applaud them for finally doing what they should have been doing 28 years ago.
The next step is for Cllr Collier to ensure all old known landfill sites be monitored regularly and the findings reported back to council and published.
But it doesn’t stop there.
On March 13th 2021 we ran the post:
In short that blog was about The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 which deal with Environmental permits which are a key component of UK and local business regulation. They’re designed to control and regulate activities which have the potential to cause air pollution of the environment or harm to human health.
We understand that our Council has looked at how other council’s have displayed their permits on their websites and are now working towards something similar. That is progress and welcome news.
We are not in office, nor are we in power, however our reporting on the issue of the contaminated land register and environment permits has caused a change in behaviour by our council. Any change which means our council comply with their statutory and legal environmental duties is always welcome.
Good journalism changes things.
It’s just a pity both those Cllrs who receive an allowance of £16,000 plus, didn’t bring about these changes, even though they have been elected by you the residents.
Are they value for money? We’ll leave you to ponder that.
The Shepway Vox Team
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