Labour calls for independent inquiry into Marlbrook tip

First published in News

THE Labour opposition on Bromsgrove District Council is calling for an independent public enquiry into the Marlbrook tip.

The former tip and reservoir, in Marlbrook Lane, initially received planning permission to become a golf course but Lickey residents complained too much material was being dumped at the site, over several years.

In December 2011 the authority's chief executive promised the council would learn the lessons after a highly critical report, carried out by Worcestershire Internal Audit, which focused on how significantly more material than had been allowed in planning permission, came to be brought onto the site.

In 2012, Labour produced a minority scrutiny report that said alarm bells were ringing but the authority was “deaf and blind to what was happening".

Last month the Advertiser reported that the owner of the site had been told to add a 300mm layer of restoration soils, then recontouring the finished surface which will then need to be seeded to grass.

Now the leader of the opposition Labour group, Councillor Luke Mallett, has called for the enquiry as the authority, he says, is preparing to tell residents: "that they will be forced to allow the company that overtipped in the first place, to bring thousands more lorry loads of soil onto the site."

A motion calling for the inquiry is be heard at the next full meeting of Bromsgrove District Council, being held on Wednesday, February 19.

It will follow a public meeting held at Lickey Parish Hall yesterday, (February 10).

Coun Mallett said: "This is an absolute travesty for the local community.

"The council has failed in its fundamental duties to local taxpayers and spent tens of thousands of pounds as a result.

"The Conservative leadership of the council and the senior officers responsible for this mess are clearly not capable of carrying out an impartial investigation into what has happened on their watch.

“The problems at the Marlbrook tip are not going to go away and we urgently need a full independent enquiry to establish responsibilities, in order that local people can have any confidence in their council leadership.”

A Bromsgrove District  Council spokesman said: "The Environment Agency has been involved in this for many years and have attended previous public meetings.

"They were also present at the public meeting along with the council’s head of planning and principal solicitor to discuss again the concerns and issues around the site."

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