Cllr David Kendall, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

County Cllr David Kendall

I am very disappointed that there has been a need to bring this motion to Full Council.

If the Cabinet Member, Mr Bentley, had listened to the cross party call for an urgent scrutiny review on all the evidence surrounding these closures, I believe members would have been able to help him make a decision based on fact and reason.

Sadly he has decided to plough ahead with the closures regardless, and, not only ridden roughshod, over the views of the thousands of Essex residents who signed petitions against the closures but also ignored the strong representations made by parish, district and county councillors.

When Mr Bentley took over the waste brief he had the opportunity engage the committee in some pre scrutiny on this issue but chose not to do so. Indeed, it was only due to the call in procedure and petition policies that any serious discussion was able to take place about the closure of the two centres.

During my time as a member of this authority I have heard a lot of fine words from the administration about engaging and listening to the residents of Essex. Well now is the time to talk the talk and deliver on what you say.

Under the next item on today's agenda, the Essex Works Commitment, it talks about "putting our residents first". It says:

"Our commitment to putting our residents first underpins all our activity"

Really? Well you try telling that to the residents concerned about these issues.

It highlights the importance of Increasing Choice. It says:

"Essex County Council will put more choice and control in the hands of citizens and communities"

The fact is this Council can't even put choice and control in the hands of one of it's scrutiny committee so what chance have our residents got?

Finally It goes on to talk about Promoting Local Decision Making and says:

"Our approach will transfer power to those who have the greatest interest in getting decisions right and allow Essex's diverse communities to shape local services to meet local needs"

If this statement is going to mean anything then it demonstrates quite clearly why decisions like these closures must be properly reviewed.

Chair, I call on members across the chamber to support this motion and send a clear message to Mr Bentley and his cabinet colleagues that they really need to start listening to their scrutiny committees and respect the role that they play in the running of this authority.

Thank you