Councillor requests risk assessment after public banned from recycling meeting for ‘health and safety’
A councillor requested a risk assessment from Sheffield Council after they banned the public and press from attending a special meeting on recycling due to ‘health and safety’.
Coun Douglas Johnson, leader of Sheffield Green Party, said it was a ‘ridiculous’ decision and that he was now concerned for his colleague, Coun Paul Turpin – who is on the committee.
Usually all scrutiny meetings are held in public to allow for questions from the general public.
However, on Tuesday the economic and environmental scrutiny committee will meet at the incinerator on Bernard Road for a tour before debating a report on how the city’s waste is handled.
In an email sent to the the council’s policy and improvement officer, who is overseeing the meeting, Coun Johnson said: “I am writing with an urgent request for details of the health and safety assessment for the E&E scrutiny meeting next week.
“I am informed there is a health and safety risk so that members of the press and public can’t attend. I presume this is because it is being hosted at Veolia’s premises at the incinerator.
“Has there been a risk assessment? It’s important that we know what our members are to be exposed to.
“Should this meeting be moved back to the Town Hall, which would be a far more appropriate venue anyway?”
He added the tour should be held at a different time as it could put the public off questioning at the meeting and cut down the amount of time committee members have to debate.
People will now have to send questions for the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.