8 Apr 2011

Anger at incinerator decision

javelin_park_allAngry, disappointed and disillusioned are the sum of my feelings regarding the decision by the County to go for an incinerator - this blog has covered all the twists and turns since 2006 and even argued against those who said the County want an incinerator. I didn't want to believe them - but the evidence has grown despite the fact that the arguments are so strong against an incinerator.

Photo: Green councillors with FoE in 2009 at Javelin Park helping to launch a petition

Why be technology neutral - other Councils have not chosen that route? Overwhelmingly people do not want an incinerator - how could our democratic process fail us so badly? Anyhow I wont repeat all the aruments here but this is my letter this week to the local press:

In 2006 at a meeting attended by Cllr Sarah Lunnon, Stan Waddington proclaimed there would be no incineration in Gloucestershire.  So impressed with this was the Green Party councillor, she made a note of it. I imagine that Cllr Lunnon and others who heard this pronouncement are more than a little surprised with the decision by the Tory-led County Council to build an incinerator. Cllr Waddington, as the cabinet member with responsibility for waste, has overseen the tendering process which every interested party and industry expert has predicted will end with an incinerator. Now in 2011 we have the proposed incinerator with Cllr Waddington holding up his hands and saying I was technology neutral, its not my fault.

What we needed between 2006 and now was innovation and leadership to provide Gloucestershire with the best value whole life waste disposal option. However what we got was neutered leadership and a belief that the market will provide. Well it may provide the best option for profit now, but not for us or our environment and indeed maybe not even for our pockets in the future. The County accepts we cannot predict future waste tonnage which is why it is extraordinary to not go for more flexible sustainable solutions.

What is worse is that the criteria for judging the proposed bids has not truely taken account the wishes of the residents of Gloucestershire and certainly not the wishes of the residents of Stroud District; so much for localism. The incinerator at Javelin Park will waste up to 70% of its energy input as un-useable heat, unlike other technologies which would have less environmental impact. The Liberal Democrats are right to call in this decision and here at least, it is a decision made for the benefit of the residents of Gloucestershire and not made with an eye on the elections calendar.

Cllr Philip Booth (Green Party),

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