Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire

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Sutton Bridge Parish Council
Archived Meetings News for 2014


Mar 122014

Notes on the Sutton Bridge Parish Council Meeting held at
The Curlew Centre on 25th February 2014

Open Forum

Most of the Open Forum was devoted to questions about the PC's lack of support over opposition to proposed incinerator.

Brian Collins-McDougall said: "Along with most of the village I was outraged that the Parish Council had voted not to fund the legal action against SHDC on the PREL planning permission. The Parish Council reneged on the commitment made at a public meeting and let the local community down. The meetings to discuss this matter were held in private with only parish councillors present. It is a fundamental principle of democracy that those who are elected to public office should be accountable to their electorate. I am therefore asking each parish councillor to tell us how they voted and their reasons for voting the way they did.

As Michael Booth, Simon Booth and Chris Brewis are members of SHDC who are parties to this dispute, they arguably have a conflict of interest. We want to know if they participated in the discussion and the Parish Council vote on this matter. Did these councillors seek external advice on the legitimacy of taking part and if so from whom?"

Why were Cllrs Booth and Brewis present at the secret meeting since, as Cllrs who had made no effort to support the PC's objections at the SHDC Planning Meetings, they clearly had a vested interest in having the decisions of the SHDC meetings upheld?

It was pointed out that according to Biofuelwatch 'Air pollution in the UK reduces average life expectancy by two years and contributes to up to 200,000 early deaths every year, according to a government advisory body. Biomass expansion alone has been predicted to cause the loss of up to 1.75 million life years by 2020, according to a study commissioned by the Government. The Supreme Court has confirmed that the Government is in breach of EU requirements to reduce air pollution levels...'

Quotation from the Spalding Guardian of 16th March 2009:-

'...Residents and community groups were asked what benefits they would like to see as a result of the development. Cllr Brewis said the facility was an exciting prospect. He said: 'The principle of us using our landfill waste and getting more energy from waste and recycling materials has got to be a good one... It's a very interesting idea. It's an exciting prospect if it meets all the criteria...'

Does Councillor Brewis think that it now meets all the criteria, whatever he thinks they might be? Is it still an exciting prospect for him? Has he discussed all this with the PC? Can he list the problems which have been identified?

At the APM 19th April 2012 Cllrs Booth & Brewis were publicly thanked by Ms Rome for delivering PREL leaflets... At the suggestion that this might mean that they supported the Incinerator it is recorded in the minutes that Cllr. Brewis made a strong objection. He said that the 'PC would give the planning application a very thorough going over...' When did that ever happen? It hasn't.

Have we ever really found out what will be burnt in the incinerator? We've been told different stories by the PREL PR people. Once it was said that people in the area who had wood offcuts were queuing up to supply them; food waste has been mentioned and agricultural waste and treated compost then wood pellets. At the APM 19th April 2012 Cllr Booth thought he'd be able to dispose of his surplus straw that way. (Cllr Brewis later commented that the fuel source was not a material consideration in SHDC's commitment to the biomass project).

At a public meeting the PC voted against the incinerator but when it came to the SHDC Planning Committee our two 'active' District Cllrs completely failed to give any support to the PC. In what Gammba-Jones described as a 'fulsome debate'. Better debates take place in your average chicken coop. The planners were rooting for PREL and the chairman made comments that no proper chairman should have made. A challenge to the conduct of the hearing was agreed by the PC and fighting fund of £10000 was agreed. The residents deserve to know why the PC refused to go ahead with this.

There were calls for the resignation of members of the PC.

In his defence, Cllr M Booth volunteered the information that he was not resigning since he believed in democracy and in any case all the BATI talk about toxins was simply scare-mongering. The PC could not agree to giving an open cheque to the solicitors. Craig Jackson pointed out that there was no open cheque—the PC had agreed to set aside a £10,000 fighting fund; the question was—Why has this been reneged upon?

Agenda Items

1. Simon Booth was absent.

6. The Clerk's report contained a reference to rave-ups, 420 tree saplings from the Woodland Trust and a King's Lynn Advisory Group to the Wash European Special Area of Conservation meeting on 3rd March which would include, amongst other things, a reference to the impact of tidal surges last December.

8a. Accounts for payment: Noteworthy is the fact that £3600 was paid on account of Cemetery Development Services for 'drawings'.

8c. £500 grant for SBPFOS for attention to Arnie Broughton Walk & Memorial Park.
£1000 has already been paid to a contractor for clearing Arnie Broughton Walk but more money would be needed.
Naming of an area in Memorial Park as 'Remembrance Wood' to be addressed in next agenda.
WW1 memorabilia to be exhibited in the church.

9a(i). Letter from SBIB re the use of old toilets as storage space.

12A. The church graveyard is looking lovely—thanks to Kevin

12E. The Parish Newsletter—report next month.
12F. Thanks to Cllr Hills for making progress over the Burial Ground

13. Sutton Bridge LIVES Cllr Croxford reported that there had been two volunteers—more needed. SB Youth Club—'ticking over'. A full-time youth worker had been appointed.

14. In secret session the PC had resolved not to pay for further solicitors' advice over the advisability of going for Judicial Review. The chair expressed the view that they should lobby the Environment Agency to let the PC know that there were no health risks relating to the proposed incinerator and no danger to residents.

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Standing Orders were suspended at this point. Craig Jackson pointed out that there were many unanswered questions regarding the SHDC Planning Process. If the PC had agreed to spend another £2000 on getting solicitors' advice these could have been answered. What about the lawfulness of SHDC's decision? Was SHDC a competent body to make a decision about anything other than OK-ing a building? There were many other variables. Sustainablitiy of fuel-stock was certainly a material consideration. The Chairman's faith in the EA was totally misplaced.

Standing Orders were re-established... Cllr Croxford pointed out that there will be health issues and that they will start burning waste when the pellets run out. Who had approached whom over siting the incinerator in Sutton Bridge? At the APM it was suggested that SHDC had approached PREL. Somebody is lying. He presented his formal resignation to the Chair, saying that he regretted not being at the secret meeting when a majority decided not to carry out the wishes of the PC. He said firmly that the issue had not been handled properly. There was a round of applause and a note of regret that the wrong person had resigned.

15. Power Station B. Cllr Rowe was the only Cllr who had read most of the Feasibility Study. The Chairman remarked that he couldn't get his head round it.

Cllr Rowe said it was important to find out how many times the existing power station had breached emission safety limits in the last five years.

Sutton Bridge B is on a green field site and another green field site might well be needed for CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) which looks like a huge building. The document itself does not include the CCS. The feasibility study states the European Union directive that Power stations need a CCS only came into force on 25 June 2009. EDF say they are not sure they will have to adhere to that's why their feasibility does not include it.

The map on page 42 does not show the Wingland Industrial site boundary—it only shows the boundary for SSB A and CCS. Very misleading as it looks as though all that land is designated for industrial use.

Cllr Rowe suggested that the PC request extension for time to comment as our Council were not informed the application was in. It only came to the notice of the Parish Clerk when she was talking with a clerk in a neighbouring village.
She asked about the consultation period for local plan and said that there should be an independent EIA for Sutton Bridge B.

Cllr Brewis supported Cllr Rowe's suggestion about an extension for time to comment and said that emissions rules were constantly changing, in fact that the increasing risk of floods meant that the whole thing would have to go back to the drawing board and the consultation would have to start again. In any case a consultation would only start when the PC is notified..

19. Section 106: through the Freedom of Information Act, the Clerk had ascertained details of the S106 monies held by SHDC and it would appear there is some difference between actual interest earned and interest paid to SB.

Marina Project: if the allocated S106 money is not used by them by July 2014 it was suggested that it should be returned to the pot.

NOTES FROM THE PUBLIC GALLERY:

+++++ | STOP PRESS | +++++

After a Public Meeting on the 27th February 2014 in support of Cllr Giles' stand, it was announced later that, rather than suffer the Judicial Review, SHDC had quashed the permission for the gasifier/incinerator on the grounds that sustainability of fuelstock had not been addressed properly. Cllrs Brewis & Booth might like to comment on this since they argued that this was 'not a material consideration'.

At the end of the Public Meeting there was a show of hands on two counts:-

1. That the Sutton Bridge community was the subject of victimisation by SHDC. The feeling of the Meeting was that Sutton Bridge has been, and is continuing to be, used as a dumping ground for obnoxious industrial developments.

2. That in view of the decision on the part of a majority of those present at the Extraordinary Meeting on February 13th, 2014, not to continue with a Judicial Review, a vote of no confidence in the current Sutton Bridge Parish Council should be recorded.

Both these informal motions were carried unanimously.


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Aug 22013

Notes on the Sutton Bridge Parish Council Meeting held at
The Curlew Centre on 30th July, 2013

Archived notes for previous Parish Council meetings held in 2013 can now be viewed HERE


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