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Row as move for waste vote branded ‘mountain out of molehill’

PUBLISHED: 10:04 04 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:26 04 August 2020

Councillors have been accused of making a mountain out of a molehill after calling for a multi-million pound decision on a new waste services contract to be taken by the entire council. Photo: Getty/iStock

Councillors have been accused of making a mountain out of a molehill after calling for a multi-million pound decision on a new waste services contract to be taken by the entire council. Photo: Getty/iStock

(c) Kzenon

Councillors have been accused of “making a mountain out of a molehill” after calling for a multi-million pound decision on a new waste services contract to be taken by the entire authority.

Dan Roper, leader of the Liberal Democrat group in Broadland. Photo: ArchantDan Roper, leader of the Liberal Democrat group in Broadland. Photo: Archant

Broadland Council is currently examining proposals for a future contract to provide waste services, with the council’s environment panel considering options.

And opposition councillors have called on the Conservative-run authority to refer the final decision on the multi-million pound contract to the full council.

But at a full council meeting held on Thursday, July 30, the bid was voted down after being branded “unnecessary”.

READ MORE: Collaboration issue ‘top of agenda’ for new Lib Dem leader in Broadland

Liberal Democrat councillor and scrutiny chairman Steve Riley proposed the motion, which read: “Future waste provision is a complex issue involving a quality of service level to residents, environmental concerns and appropriate policy together with future proofing.

“Investment over the term of any contract or other provision will involve the spending and commitment of multi-millions in funding by the council on behalf of council tax payers and is of a significant magnitude.

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“I therefore move that cabinet exercises its authority under the above and ask cabinet to refer to the council the final decision on the waste services review.”

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Judy Leggett, Conservative councillor for Sprowston East, said: “I was very surprised to see this motion. Non-members were able to attend the panel. I believe what you ask for is unnecessary.”

And Ian Mackie, Conservative member for Thorpe St Andrew, added: “This is making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill and I hope we all vote it down.”

But David Britcher, Lib Dem councillor for Hellesdon South East, said: “Democracy is not being fully done, as far as I’m concerned.”

And Dan Roper, leader of the Lib Dem group, added: “There are very few services that affect every single household and business premises in our district. It is a decision of major magnitude and it makes sense for all the members to register a vote on that.”

Mr Riley added: “I don’t agree that this is making a mountain out of a molehill. I do not believe that millions of pounds, risk and also something that directly affects residents and council tax payers is to be considered a molehill - quite the reverse.”

The motion was lost with 12 votes for and 28 against.

READ MORE: Council ends year with additional almost £3m in pocket - despite Covid-19


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