Henry at Inside The EA has a couple of recent posts up about conflicts of interest, bribes, favouritism and an inconsistent regulatory approach - describing actions known to him when he was actually inside the EA. Whilst it is gratifying to see our prejudices verified - what is not gratifying in any way shape or form is to see criminal behaviour perpetrated by public officials not being addressed and dealt with.
We are now approaching 5 years down the line, a show-piece project which ticks the "public interest" boxes for green energy, industrial heritage and maintenance of infrastructure - has been obstructed mostly by foul means to indulge the whims of corrupt, arrogant and self indulgent officials - who, in order to spitefully cause harm to the project at North Mill - have connived to award a water licence to somebody that doesn't own the property in question and presently has no legal right, title or covenant in place which allows legitimate work to progress. i.e. they've awarded a paper licence out of - yes....sheer undiluted spite (using your money!).
This was supposed to be a water licence application - but officials have turned it into an expensive circus. The final cost of this mess - to the public purse alone is now likely to exceed £2 million pounds.
The EA officials conniving, dishonest actions were unlawful the first time around and that cost the public a pile of money - they did the same thing again and they have twisted every facet of the water licence process this, second time through the process - to impose an arbitrary and very deliberately crippled outcome.
No doubt the departure of Owen Paterson from DEFRA has signalled for some in the EA a return to the good old days of nil oversight and an ever increasing budget.
There is more woe on the way for EA officials - I hope that instead of "lessons learnt" and back to work - that the quite astounding carnival of abuses of position and process are addressed robustly.
And the question has to be asked - who's going to replace Chris Smith eh?
I offer a takeaway from this mini rant in the shape of a quote from "Henry" that must for the moment serve as a warning to anybody interacting with this bureaucracy:
"The message I would like to get out is how the power given to the Agency is regularly abused, how personal opinions and biases impact real people and businesses with no benefit to the environmental or human health, and that what the Agency communicates to the outside world is usually a far cry from what is encouraged internally". - "Henry" July 2014
To the politicians reading this blog - do you think it's acceptable that abuses like those documented here and in other places are allowed to continue? Are self indulgent abuse of power, contempt for the law and wholesale cheating by unelected public officials/servants (?!) acceptable?