Saturday, 24 May 2008

A new Council year begins

Thursday evening saw the first Full Council of the new year, with our new mayor, local lad Ian Hazeldine. There was little of interest or controversy on the agenda, though former Tory leader Tony Richmond, perhaps remembering Veronica Copeland's hesitant response to my question to her a year ago when she took over the Environment portfolio, mischieviously asked her what her top five priorities would be in her new Adult Services Portfolio. Of course, she was completely thrown by this, and promised to let him know in due course!

I welcomed Nick Wallis to his new Environment Portfolio (his third within a year) however long this job lasts. No matter how many jobs Nick puts between himself and his Transport days, to me he'll always be Bob the Builder, who promised to bring the Eastern Transport Corridor in on time and on budget.

I asked Nick if he would look at Trade Waste. With no access to the Whessoe Road recycling site and no kerbside recycling collections, businesses in Darlington - and especially retailers in the town centre - have no means of recycling the huge amounts of cardboard, packaging and food waste which we generate. At a recent meeting of independent retailers, held in the Town Hall, there was much indignation that we were refused access to the Borough's recycling facilities. Business wants to be part of the Green Agenda, but this Council does nothing to help us.

There are two cardboard compactors in the Indoor Market, and virtually all their waste is recycled, so why can't independent businesses in the town centre have access to this facility too?
Cllr Wallis replied that there had been progress in this area during the past year (not that I've noticed any!) and that he would be happy to meet a delegation from independent traders to discuss how they can contribute to the greening of Darlington.

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