Ombudsman probes county council over 3 decisions

Waste incinerator and two schools plans face investigation

Published Date: 30 April 2009 By Helen Lambourne

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE County Council is being investigated into how it dealt with three major developments in Mansfield and Ashfield.
The Local Government Ombudsman is probing residents’ concerns about the council’s planning department in relation to the new building for Mansfield’s Samworth Church Academy, the proposed incinerator in Rainworth and the new post-16 centre at Kirkby’s Ashfield School.

Council chiefs insist they have acted properly but if the ombudsman finds the county council has carried out any wrongdoing, it can ask it to take action to put things right or even pay compensation to those affected.

The complaint about the proposed waste incinerator relates to the committee meeting in January where councillors backed the plans by Veolia Environmental Services — which will now go to public inquiry.

Keith Kondakor, waste statistician and supporter of People Against Incineration (PAIN), gave the meeting figures about the amount of waste sent to landfill but says he was accused by a planning officer of getting the details wrong.

He said: “The planning officer claimed at the meeting that my statistics were wrong and undermined our valid arguments at the meeting.

“The officer just assumed that my facts must be wrong and made it impossible for elected members to trust what the objectors were saying. It was in fact the planning officer that was getting all his facts wrong.”

The next meeting of PAIN takes place on Wednesday 6th May at Rainworth Methodist Hall at 7pm and there is also a tea dance on Sunday 10th at Rainworth Village Hall from 2.15-5.30pm, with tickets at £4.

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