A PUBLIC meeting to discuss Brunner Mond’s application for a waste plant was overshadowed by the company’s failure to attend.

Cheshire West and Chester councillors organised the meeting and had hoped representatives from both sides of the debate would join in.

Brian Cartwright and Liam Byrne, from Cheshire Anti-Incinerator Network (CHAIN), gave a presentation at the event, but Brunner Mond sent a statement which said it had not agreed a date or format for the meeting with CWAC, and that key members of their project team were not available.

Clr Mark Stocks, who chaired the meeting, said: “There are a load of issues that haven’t been addressed – the Guardian each week carries stories and letters requesting information or questioning different viewpoints.

“I’m disappointed Brunner Mond hasn’t seen fit to attend as there were a whole series of questions tabled.

“We will guarantee that they will get a response from Brunner Mond.”

The original plan for the evening was for Brunner Mond and CHAIN to each give a 20-minute presentation before questions would be put from both sides and the audience.

Instead, Jon Sutcliffe, CWAC’s planning manager, gave an outline of the planning process for the application, CHAIN gave a presentation and Clr Stocks read Brunner Mond’s responses to some of the questions asked.

In his summary at the end of the meeting, Clr Stocks said: “The fact that so many people came out in the cold weather tonight indicates we made the right decision in running with this meeting.

“Although I know people are disappointed they didn’t get chance to interrogate Brunner Mond, as local councillors we put the format together for a debate to take place.

“I believe Brunner Mond should have been here this evening.

“I believe community representatives required Brunner Mond to attend, and residents would have expected them to defend and justify their application.”