Just heard a damn funny story. I've heard it twice now. First reaction was not to believe it. Surely the Chief Executive of Powys County Council hasn't 'wasted' over £30,000 of Council Taxpayers money - just to keep in the 'good books' of the Environment Agency. There must be some credible explanation for this.
I'll just post what I've been told. A good while past, the Council's Planning Authority refused permission for Mr and Mrs Trevor of Guilsfield to build over 40 houses near the village. The Trevors appealed and on the first day of the inquiry, the Council withdrew its opposition - which was a damned odd thing in itself. But the Environment Agency ploughed on with its objection. The Trevors won, hands down - and the Inspector awarded costs against the Environment Agency, including the Council's which have been conservatively estimated as 'over £30,000'. This is big money - and big embarrassment for the EA. Is it going to be big embarrassment for Mark Kerr as well.
Anyway, I'm told that the Council's Chief Executive has decided that the costs awarded to the Council will not be claimed - in order not to discomfort the Environment Agency. Now what on earth are Powys' hard pressed Council Taxpayers going to think of this - especially when they see their small rural schools being closed to save money. This has got the makings of an unholy punch-up at County Hall.
Now, how do I know this you might ask. Well, the Powys Council 'whistle blower' has been on the phone again. Don't suppose the Council's Press Officer is going to be too happy when he reads this post. The Council might even waste another £5,000 on a 'Whistle blower inquiry'. Time for FOI requests methinks. I wonder whether the Council will make any comment when the media ask about this today.