Tory council candidate who ran illegal landfill operation now campaigning on green credentials
A Conservative council candidate in Devon who is promoting his green credentials paid £82,000 to a local environmental group after being found guilty of running an unpermitted landfill site on his farm.
Makes a mockery of;
Tory local election Pledge 3 Standing up for our environment. You have told us how important protecting green spaces and the natural environment is to you. We will make this a priority for this Council.
David Parsley inews.co.uk
Richard Parr, who is standing in May’s local elections to become an East Devon District councillor for the Exmouth Halsdon ward, claims in his campaign literature that a vote for him would protect the environment.
However, Mr Parr fails to mention that in 2021 he was found by the Environment Agency to have run an unpermitted waste operation on land near Exeter between June 2016 and March 2018.
In a campaign leaflet that Mr Parr shares with fellow Conservative candidate Pauline Stott, he highlights the protection of the environment among his and Ms Stott’s six key pledges to local people.
Richard Parr shares his campaign leaflet with fellow Tory candidate Pauline Stott (Photo: Supplied)
The leaflet states that the pair will be “standing up for our environment” if elected and will “protect our seas and rivers”.
The leaflet adds: “You have told us how important protecting green spaces and the natural environment is to you. We will make this a priority for the council.”
When asked about his unpermitted waste operation, his campaign partner Ms Stott told i: “I don’t even know him.”
She added: “I am all for protecting the environment and I am utterly shocked by this.”
Mr Parr claims that he will protect ‘green spaces and the natural environment’ (Photo: Supplied)
Following the investigation, the Environment Agency accepted an Enforcement Undertaking from Mr Parr, which is a type of civil sanction and a voluntary offer to put right the effects of the offence.
As part of the settlement of the case, Mr Parr also agreed to pay £82,000 to the North Devon Biosphere Foundation, which runs a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.
He also committed to carrying out restoration work on his farm, to obtain advice from an external consultant, to cease all waste movements into the site, complete construction of silage clamps and to cover the Environment Agency’s costs associated with its investigation.
Dan Wilson, who is standing as a Labour candidate in the same Exmouth Halsdon ward, said: “For the Conservatives to send out leaflets that claim they’re ‘Standing up for the environment’ whilst simultaneously standing a candidate who has been investigated for polluting, shows a complete lack of decency and integrity.”
When i approached Mr Parr for comment, he said: “I have held and operated waste permits since 2008 and it wasn’t until the end of 2016 that an issue occurred.
“I applied for planning permission, again to make improvements to the farm and on this being approved, I mistakenly took in stone without ensuring my waste competent manager had completed the recovery plan for the capacity on the waste exemption for this new area.
“Since this incident, we have taken guidance from the Environment Agency as to how we can enhance the farms improvements further.”
The East Devon Conservative Association did not respond to requests for comment.
Richard Parr committed his offences in Thorverton, Mid-Devon.
Tories must be desperate as in no way can they claim this is a candidate who can represent the people of Exmouth.( and Budleigh Ward has a candidate from Exmouth)
Struth, knowing that the Environmental Agency prefers to “work things out” with a miscreant whenever there is a breach of regulations, – this must have been a very serious pollution incident.
The £80k fine is really a top end fine for a pollution incident in Devon
a great choice of candidate.
One would have thought that after former Exmouth Tory Councillor and Mayor John Humphreys had been sent to prison for 21 years for terrible crimes, East Devon Tories would have been ultra careful in selecting candidates for public office. But we learn that a Tory candidate for Exmouth in the 4 May EDDC elections had to pay £82,000 to an environmental group in 2021, after being found guilty of running an unpermitted landfill site. Did the Tory party fail to carry out due diligence in selecting Richard Parr? Or did they know what he had done, but recklessly decided to put him forward before the Exmouth Halsdon electors regardless? And if they did know of his record, how could they possibly make the claim that he would ‘stand up for our environment’? There are very serious questions here that demand answers from the Tories before the 4 May election.
Richard Parr has been proposed and seconded by the Elson sisters, Lynne (Cons Halsdon for Exmouth Town Council) and Jill (Ex Conservative on EDDC.) It may be wise to make a note of that for future reference.
Surely one of the Ms Elsons should have introduced the new candidate to Pauline Stott who is hoping to retain her seat or at least discussed, the qualities, character and suitability of any new candidate with her.
Disconcerting l that she has denied knowing him.
On known form Pauline Stott would probably deny knowing her old trolling chum Humphreys, not to mention her superhero photo opportunity chum Matthew Tregale, currently facing sexual offence charges, just as she denied accusing members of the public of conducting a “witch hunt” and being “bigots” when conducting a robust defence of a farcical explanation for some missing money a dozen years ago. Coincidentally this overpayment was kept secret through an election campaign in 2011, one of three, when the tories also produced a leaflet saying how they were the best party to give us value for money.
Actually she is trying to regain not retain her seat, having been booted out by the voters in 2019. Following which this always very partisan Conservative was appointed as an “Independent Person” on the Standards Committee by the rather compromised pair of Cllr Hughes and former Monitoring Officer Henry Gordon Lennox, despite her previous brush with Standards and her protection by an archetypically dodgy Darsley investigation. And was made an Alderman later in 2019 along with said trolling chum Humphreys andParr supporter Elson. Presumably she has renounced this honour in order to stand.