MHKs unhappy over kerbside row

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ONCHAN’S three MHKs have waded into the row over the commissioners’ decision to pull out of the kerbside recycling scheme.

Onchan Commissioners have been slammed for their decision to opt out of the trial two years into a three-year trial.

The shock announcement was made last week, but has been branded ‘premature’ by Department of Infrastructure member Graham Cregeen and slammed by environmental campaigners.

They have challenged claims by the commissioners that the scheme is neither cost effective nor actually benefiting the environment.

And they have branded commissioner Brian Stowell’s claims that the energy from waste plant was forced to close due to a lack of materials to incinerate last year as simply untrue.

Now Peter Karran, Adrian Earnshaw and David Quirk have spoken to the Isle of Man Examiner about what they think.

Mr Karran said: ‘I think it’s very disappointing that they have taken the decision they have taken.

‘I think the point is that with the issue of global warming and the issues of recycling it is an own goal for the commissioners.

‘But it is a local authority issue and it has to be left to the democratically elected people of the local authority.’

Mr Karran said he may organise to speak to the commissioners about the issue.

‘I think their decision is wrong,’ he said. ‘I personally think that if anything we should be more aggressive in recycling terms.’

Mr Earnshaw said: ‘I’m disappointed. I realise it’s not the easiest job in the world being a commissioner and you have to take difficult decisions. this is not a black and white subject.

‘I’m disappointed at the moment and a lot of other residents will be as well.

‘Sixty seven per cent of the district are involving themselves in kerbside recyling and I think it’s important that people adopt the ethos of environmental issues. I think this (kerbside recyling) helps and I think people like to play their part.

‘I participate in it and have done since it started. What I’m sorry about is that Onchan Commissioners are not seeing this through to the end of the process.’

Mr Quirk said he had written to the commissioners on the matter of the cancellation of the kerbside recycling scheme.

‘I had written asking qustions: how much was the extension, what was the impact on rates, what are the figures, any alternatives commissioners looked at before making a decision.

‘I’m quite surprised it was announced on radio, before commissioners met as a whole body, that the chairman made a statement that they are withdrawing from the scheme.’

He said a survey was carried out in Onchan in relation to kerbside recyling collection, but he wasn’t aware of any figures to have come from that to say whether ‘people are for or against it’.

He wonders how the commissioners came to the decision to opt out of the scheme. ‘Every commissioner except one had turned it down,’ he said.

Mr Quirk wrote to the commissioners asking whether there would be a change in the rates as a result of the scheme’s cancellation.

He said he had had a letter from commissioners’ chief executive Malcolm Hulme to say that ‘no provision was made in our rate setting exercise for continuation of kerbside collection. Members had previously resolved should kerbside collection go ahead the cost would be funded from reserves’.

‘[This is] bringing me to doubt whether commissioners favoured it originally or [were] just playing along with Douglas and Braddan,’ he said, explaining that he has asked the commissioners if they had any intention to take the funding from reserves to continue the scheme.

‘He has also written to the commissioners to consider other methods of recycling and has specifically asked them to look at composting.’

l Kerbside collection is to continue in Douglas and Braddan with both the corporation and the parish commissioners having restated their desire to extend the service until at least March 2012.

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