66 Brynhyfryd,

Glynneath,

SA11 5BA

dairichardswales@gmail.com

letter posted individually by hand to:

Councillor Emyr Harris
1 Riverside Gardens
Glynneath,
SA11 5LA

Councillor Martha Cowley,
12 Pontneathvaughan Road,
Glynneath,
SA11 5AR

Councillor John Blower
10 Ynys y Nos
Glynneath
SA11 5LS

4 September 2022

Our ref: 20220904A-LE-GRAC-GTCO-ski.plans

Dear East Glynneath Councillor,

I contact you in my role of chairman of Glynneath Residents Against Contamination and urge you please, in your role as Glynneath Town Councillor, to look into the following chain of events and supporting information provided as part of this communication. I believe the information provided to you here identifies an immoral action (deception) used by Councillor Simon Knoyle that places the residents in this area in danger from poisoning by toxic waste tipped at the Heol y Glyn landfill site. I believe it possible that the actions of Councillor Knoyle in relation to the site may be supporting Planning Department corruption/malpractice at NPTCBC that has and is still causing the death of residents through exposure to toxic waste identified at the site, but not remediated in line with the council's contaminated land policy. 

I refer to the following extract from Councillor Simon Knoyle's letter to the residents surrounding the Heol y Glyn landfill site dated 14 February 2022. 

"The current owner of the land has not indicated any plans to the Local Planning Authority to date and we await any proposals from them" (Appendix 1)

Having checked with several residents who received the letter, on reading this, they believed that there are no plans submitted to the council and awaiting approval for the site. However, we knew this to be incorrect with the plans P2021/0546 submitted on 18 May 2021 awaiting decision. 

It is clear from the terminology used that Councillor Knoyle was 'paltering', and his actions in doing so were immoral. He was using deception to hide the current plans through the manipulation of truth. The rounding off statement "and we await any proposals from them" I believed clearly showed that he intended to deceive residents bordering the site.

As the monitoring officer at the time of our organisation I asked one of our members, Glynneath Town Councillor Jennifer Herbert to follow up on this information with Councillor Knoyle. We suggested to Councillor Herbert that Councillor Knoyle was aware of the plans and that although Short's Brothers owned the land, the plans were submitted to the council by the former owner Enzo Homes. 

On March 1st Councillor Herbert then attempted to clarify this information with the NPTCBC Councillors and copied me to an email that was simple and to the point (Appendix 2) where she asked Councillors Knoyle & Morgan the status of the plans awaiting decision along with copying the majority of the GTC. That councillors Knoyle and Morgan failed to answer this relevant question to a serving Glynneath Town Councillor raised a red flag with Councillor Herbert, she was concerned so she then introduced the subject matter into another Glynneath Town Council internal email chain.

The following is an extract from Councillor Herbert's last email to Councillor Simon Knoyle which I believe is self explanatory: (Appendix 4).

"This is deception Simon, you are deceiving the people who you are representing, you should be ashamed of yourself, after all we went through and all the promises that we made to the people of Glynneath to be honest and fair and truthful, and they donít deserve this.

The land has been tested and found to be contaminated and the developer has just withdrawn the contamination testing because it can be clearly seen to have been tampered with. People are living next to this contamination Simon, and people are dying, these are our people, people who trust us.

You can manipulate and deceive the truth with those people Simon, BUT I WILL NOT, I have sworn to support the people of Glynneath, and thatís what I will do, I will support all the people of Glynneath even if it means standing up and fighting on my own.

NOT THE END. JENNIFER."

To which Councillor Simon Knoyle replied. (extracts for relevance - the full email is at Appendix 4)

"Firstly, let me make it clear that I do not have to reply to your questions but, am doing so in order that this issue is closed out. This is NOT a GTC Council issue, it is a NPTCBC issue as explained previously."

If we refer to the Ombudsman Wales, Code of Conduct in relation to twin hatted councillors and the planning process which states:

"If you are a member of both a community council and a county council you are not prevented from discussing the same matters at both. You may, for example, take part in a discussion about a planning application about which your Community Council has been consulted"

We will see that Councillor Knoyle in his position as a NPTCBC councillor is able to discuss the matter with a member of GTC as part of council protocol, however, from the email we can see that Councillor Knoyle has purposefully refused to discuss the issue with Councillor Herbert so that his 'deception was not challenged'. He stated that "this is NOT a GTC Council issue". To note again, at this point in time Councillor Simon Knoyle is the chairman of the Glynneath Town Council and is also the Mayor of Glynneath. He goes on to state:  

"If you read my letter properly (copy below), you will see that I have stated that "the current owner of the land has not indicated any plans to the to the LPA to date and we wait any proposals from them". This is factually correct and is the current situation."

The term I believe "This is factually correct and is the current situation." is a self admission of 'paltering' and clear evidence that Councillor Knoyle's actions were intended as deception. They were 'immoral' and contrary to good conduct in his role as a councillor who is elected to represent the people of Glynneath. He is aware that the planning application P2021/0546 is awaiting decision. He is aware of contamination that has been exposed and is lying on the surface of the Heol y Glyn landfill site and he has used methods of deception in a letter to residents of Glynneath to hide this information from them.

I believe this to be a matter that the Glynneath Town Council should discuss and be aware of. I would suggest you refer this information please to the Clerk of Glynneath Town Council and that the Glynneath Town Council as a organisation, show a degree of integrity towards the people of Glynneath and provide the residents of Brynhyfryd, Waun Gron and Woodland Park who have been deceived by the Chairman of the Glynneath Town Council, with the correct relevant information in relation to the Heol y Glyn landfill site. Namely that: 

"The current owner of the land has a set of plans awaiting decision that have been submitted by the former owner of the site Enzo Homes. This planning application when approved will allow a developer to move land that has been chemically tested and found to be contaminated closer to your home." 

If you require clarification of anything within this letter or any further information relating to this subject matter, I would be happy to oblige.

regards - David Richards - Chairman - Glynneath Residents Against Contamination (Political Group)

 

Appendix 1:  85-P2021-0546-image.jpg (493146 bytes) Relevant extracts from Simon Knoyle's letter and NPTCBC Planning website.
Appendix 2:  .pdf file - 

CLICK HERE

email JRG to DPR & GTC
Appendix 3:  03-jrg-marked.jpg (400450 bytes) email JRG to Councillor Simon Knoyle
Appendix 4:  10-ski-jrg-communication.jpg (599251 bytes) email Councillor Simon Knoyle to JRG
Appendix 5: 08.jpg (1042770 bytes) 07.jpg (435037 bytes) Councillor Simon Knoyle letter to residents 14/2/22

 

letter delivered by hand to all councillors on 4 September 2022 at 14.50

video evidence retained (20220904A-EV-GTCO-east-cllrs-deliv)