SIR, — I expect many fellow readers of The Herts Advertiser two weeks ago would have spotted the inconsistencies between what Cllr Mike Ellis, Portfolio Holder for wheelie bins among other things, and his officers told this newspaper, and my letter publis
SIR, - I expect many fellow readers of The Herts Advertiser two weeks ago would have spotted the inconsistencies between what Cllr Mike Ellis, Portfolio Holder for wheelie bins among other things, and his officers told this newspaper, and my letter published in the same edition pertaining to the resolution passed by the Scrutiny meeting on the granite paving in Street, St Albans.
Now the minutes of that meeting have been published it is clear for one and all to see someone at the council was being somewhat "economical with the actualité". This of course could have been due to the fact that Cllr Ellis left the meeting before the granite paving was discussed and was reliant on council officers for information. The committee did not ask the cabinet to seek restitution from the county council but through them to Mouchel. As you pointed out in your Editorial, we have had enough of squandering taxpayers' money.
The all party committee actually resolved:
"The Committee notes and agrees with the officer views that the treated surface is not noticeably different to untreated areas and therefore that the provision of protective sealant not be pursued.
The Committee notes the officer view that the light colour of the material selected means that it is not possible to keep the granite stain free.
The Committee consider that the light colour of the material selected, renders it not fit for purpose in that St Albans District Council will experience ongoing costs for cleaning the surface. The Committee recommend that the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability asks Hertfordshire County Council to approach the contractors for recompense."
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Or as ex-President BillClinton might put it - it's the wrong paving, stupid!
My understanding of the word recompense is to "give satisfaction". The only way satisfaction can be achieved in this situation is replacement of the paving with something suitable.
I can understand to some extent why some may feel that the county council will never pursue Mouchel even if this district council's cabinet can for once take the sensible advice they have been given by the Scrutiny committee and make the formal request. Or that Mouchel would ever pay up. Well for a start if you don't ask you don't get. Secondly Mouchel have being working very hard on their image as specialists in working in the historic environment and this continuing stain on their reputation is not going to help them in this pursuit. I have read their contributions to good practice manuals and heard their lectures with English Heritage on the same subject. I kid you not.
Finally what could possibly induce the county council to even listen to the district councils request for restitution from Mouchel? Well perhaps the fact, as the minutes show, the leader of the district council's Conservative group Julian Daly actually proposed the main body of above resolution. That leaves the cabinet and another, now regular contributor to these letters pages, County Councillor Stuart Pile, in a bit of a pickle doesn't it?
Tennyson Road, St Albans.