We regard the manner in which Cllr Sam Adeniji caved in at the Cabinet meeting, and declared that ESCC had met the demands made by closing Cradle Hill for 4 days out of 7, as a betrayal of what the 10,460 signatories believed they were petitioning for.
The petition did not ask for reduced opening times, which is how Adeniji has chosen to reword it, under Tory Party pressure. As other speakers observed, none could recall such a massive public response to such an issue, demonstrating that the council had woefully underestimated Seaford residents’ wish to retain our local tip.
We shall have to consider how best to take this forward, but do not intend to be emotionally blackmailed by speeches such as the one given by Cllr Ensor (Council Vice-Chairman). It entirely missed the fact that the council’s own proposal paper states that savings needing to be made in the household waste sites budget will have to come from that budget – not the social services budget.
That a county councillor should have gratuitously denigrated Seafordians in such a manner (implying we are all very selfish and referring to us driving to the tip “in their lovely cars” etc) is a disgrace.
Campaign Coordinator Seaford
Cllr Sam Adeniji:
It is erroneous to claim that I caved in at the East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Cabinet meeting. ESCC advised us that the result of a debate at a full council meeting is not legally binding and that the final decision on the future of the Cradle Hill site will be made by the Cabinet Committee, because it is deemed as an ‘executive decision’.
The honest reality is that a full council debate wouldn’t change anything as the final decision rest with the Cabinet Committee. The Cabinet made their decision on the future of the site and there was nothing I could do to influence or change that decision.
It is absurd to accuse me of yielding to Tory Party pressure, because I have a proven record of defying and in many cases publicly disagreeing with my Conservative colleagues in doing what I think is right and in standing up for Seaford.
I am committed to working the Cradle Hill site open 7 days a week and therefore exploring ways to get Veolia to allow a third-sector organisation to run the site on the remaining four days a week.
I am also pressuring both ESCC and Lewes District Council to introduce door step green waste collection in Seaford.
Response from Cllr Michael Ensor: I consider that the subject of the proposed closure of the waste tip at Seaford was considered in some considerable detail over the past months. In fact the whole issue of waste collection and disposal has been subject to considerable scrutiny over the past years by ESCC. It is with some regret that Lewes District Council opted out of the Countywide waste collection contract. Currently ESCC are under considerable financial pressure to cut costs, and it has not been easy to determine the priorities across all of the services that ESCC provides. When contrasting the difficulty many elderly are having to cope with when finding their care support has been cut, or when children’s services are reduced, with the inconvenience of the occasional travel to the Newhaven recycling centre, then I consider that the compromise of keeping the Seaford tip open for three days a week, Friday to Sunday, is an appropriate decision by the Conservative led Cabinet. The views of the residents of Seaford were indeed heard loud and clear, the options were vigorously debated, and a change to the proposal was agreed. I would like to thank the residents of Seaford for their positive and forthright campaign.