Void group disputes role of councillor

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A campaign group which fought against waste plans for the former Bentinck Colliery site has disputed a councillor’s claim that he helped the fight.

It took campaigners 15 years to overturn Nottinghamshire County Council’s decision to allow more than a million tonnes of waste on the site.

Chad last week highlighted the victory for campaigners and featured comments from Coun Jason Zadrozny.

But members of the Ashfield Against Landfill claim the councillor had little to do with the fight.

Secretary of the campaign, group Margaret Anstock, said: “Our group or the Selston Area Residents’ Association do not have any knowledge of any input from Coun Zadrozny whatsoever.

“It is unfair as we worked so hard for so long and for someone to claim they did the work we did just isn’t right. People gave up so much time and put in so much effort and I am speaking on behalf of the group when I say we aren’t happy about this.”

The group organised marches, lobbying campaigns and carried out research to present in planning meetings to show the detrimental effect the site would have on the health of people living in the area.

Coun Zadrozny had told Chad that he ‘was proud we won’.

Coun Rachel Madden was part of the fight and said he had been a strong supporter from the day he became aware of the campaign.

She said: “Being a local resident, it impacted on him and his family so he got heavily involved. In fact, I first met Jason at an Ashfield Against Landfill meeting at the Wagon and Horses.

“Since then, he has been an unstinting supporter and helped us enormously when - in 2007 - one of the first things he did as council leader was push through £100,000 towards the fighting fund against the landfill.

“I am quite frankly astonished at any suggestion that Jason didn’t do his bit. Jason was one of thousands in our community that contributed to this David v Goliath fight.”

Coun Zadrozny said: “Let me be quite clear. Thousands of people from our area were involved in the campaign against the Bentinck void application. From the day I became aware of the monstrous proposal I was heavily involved. For example, when I became council leader, it was my idea to set aside £100,000 towards the fight.

“I changed the policies at both Ashfield and Nottinghamshire Councils - ensuring that the councils were fully against the proposals. I also raised it in the local press including this newspaper, the national press, debated it on the radio and knocked on hundreds of doors encouraging residents to join our fight.

“I am saddened that there appears to be some misleading going on. For that reason, I am happy to provide evidence to back up my actions including council minutes. If the Chad was to publish the names of everyone who helped in the campaign - there would be little room for anything else.”

“I was always proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many local residents on this issue, and I would never dream of claiming that it was anything other than an enormous team effort by so many fantastic local residents.”