July 22 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Gelder
Saturday, June 14, 2014
A councillor has accused Havering Council of “deliberately” witholding information and giving “untrue” answers to an FOI request he made, as he fights plans to expand an existing waste site.
Independent Residents’ Group councillor for South Hornchurch, Cllr Michael Deon-Burton, has spoken out against a two-year project that will increase the size of Ingrebourne Hill, a large community woodland and waste site, and create a link with Hornchurch Country Park.
A leaflet he published before the May elections contained the headline “Treachery: The Outright Treachery.”
In it, Cllr Deon-Burton “reveals” the “ongoing deal to dump other people’s rubbish” on the site, and accuses the council of “deliberately” withholding information by protecting it using the “Local Official Secrets Act.”
He also claims the council gave “untrue” answers in respone to an FOI request he made about plans to dump waste 15 metres high in Hornchurch Country Park.
He says he is “legally gagged” from discussing the matters - hence the taped mouth in the accompanying photo.
Contractors Ingrebourne Valley Ltd bought the land off the council in November 2011, a decision that caused controversy as residents and politicians fought to preserve one of the borough’s few large green spaces.
Last week, pre-planning work started on the site, which the council say will be filled with inert material that does not decompose and is not reactive (such as sand and concrete).
“People think this is a done deal,” said Cllr Burton. “But I don’t think it is. The Tories don’t have the majority they had before. I think we will be able to stop it.”
A Council spokesman said: “On some occasions there are details within reports that relate to a transaction or contract that may be commercially sensitive which is why they are put in exempt reports.
“We would be happy to advise Cllr Deon Burton further on which part of the report he wishes to discuss. There are no plans whatsoever to use the area as a landfill site for general waste, decomposable material or anything that will damage the environment.
“There will be no loss of land on the park or any adverse effects on or around the area.”