Thursday, 21 February 2008

Split Personality (but not a lunatic, yet!)

If today’s front page of the Gazette is anything to go by, Labour Leader Councillor Paul WAGGGOTTT seems to have developed some form of spilt personality.

Some time ago I covered the issue of the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership , outlining the problems associated with the tripartite venture between Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside Council’s.

The topic has now attracted the attention of the press and on the issue on a waste incinerator (which could be built in South Tyneside) WAGGGOTTT has said for the record:

"I am not in favour of an incinerator, even if it ends up being the technology that seems to offer the best value for money on paper…I will run another campaign if there is any proposal to build an incinerator as part of our joint solution to find a cost-effective, sustainable solution to waste disposal in our area”.

(If you are so keen to dispel the concerns of the public, Councillor WAGGGOTTT, why has a specific question to Council members on the subject been blocked by Mr Brian T Scott, Head of Corporate Governance? More of this later no doubt).

However, WAGGGOTTTS confessional may have come as a surprise to South Tyneside’s two other bed fellows re the project. A stakeholders agreement readily highlighted by the internet (and requiring WAGGGOTTTS signature) sets out the following terms:

To set out in simple terms the way that the Partners to this Agreement will work together on the setting up of a formal waste management partnership and to jointly procure new waste management services with private and voluntary sector partners.

To establish guidelines for taking joint working forward to the next stage of establishing a robust and accountable joint decision making process to deliver the agreed joint waste strategy approved by the Partners

Actions and decisions must be made in the best interests of the Partnership.

Consult with Senior Officers of Gateshead, South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council on matters of policy, direction, finance and content of the project

So in reality Council Leader WAGGGOTTT, you cannot say that there will not be an incinerator in South Tyneside WITHOUT THE AGREEMENT of Sunderland and Gateshead Councils. Judging by today’s press coverage, you have acted without their permission or knowledge. Oh dear, another transgressor who will be punished by the Headmistress).

No doubt this stance has nothing to do with the fact that a favoured site is a certain plot of green belt land in a certain Council’s Leaders Ward whose residents had the audacity to campaign (successfully) against a certain business development (need I be more unspecific!)

Roll on the election, when said Council Leader will find his majority “incinerated!”


two down one to go said...

Peter, what you have got to remember about WAGGGGOTTT is he tends to forget things. Like when challenged at a packed meeting in the Deneside club, 8.3.2005 over controversial plans for a business park "thats irrelevant". Bang go two of his collegues and he will make it a hat trick in May.

Ahmed said...

So there will be no incinerator on Wagggottt's watch! Does that mean nothing is going to happen for the next 3 months because after that he’s history?

Now I wonder whether the same can be said for Curly's odds on favourite to replace him Malcolm and his ally Clare (whose portfolio includes waste management), especially as Malcolm's lobbying company represents Premier Waste and several other companies with an interest in energy? I think not.

However the most telling point in yesterday's article was the inference that the final decision might be a political one which many will interpret as being the get out of jail card for Wagggottt and his successor.

One final point Wagggottt if you know it is a political decision what are you the labour leader of our council represented by 2 labour MPs (including the Foreign Secretary) in a country run by a labour government doing to stop such a decision being made? I suspect nothing as you already know it is going to be built and more than likely know where.

Given your posturing in last night's Gazette the finger looks to be pointing at Fellgate and you probably think that by coming out against such a plan now (albeit with the 'political' get out of jail card to let your successor off the hook) that you might cling on to your seat after all you don’t want another Fellgate on your hands! That’s where you kept your mouth shut about the business park until it was too late as I'm sure your mate Edith will testify... roll on May.

Bryan said...

Paul Waggott’s comments have implications way beyond the next three months and well beyond the borders of South Tyneside, especially when combined with Michael Clare’s statement at the Riverside CAF that “no incinerators will be built in South Tyneside".