Incinerators – the rhetoric is of localism, the practice is dictatorial

The applause for a member of this week’s Question Time audience who said the burning of waste was not wanted stopped the programme for quite a while – the longest rally this viewer has seen on Question Time.



Powerful lobbying for ‘waste to energy’ projects led to the licensing of 103 incinerator sites in 2010 . . . Incinerators are being imposed on communities by government, with DEFRA often expressing strong support, in conflict with the report by the Commons Environmental Audit Committee in 2009-2010 which pointed out that the costs and health impact of PM 2.5 is estimated to cost up to £20.2bn. These companies say that emissions are low but the should read about one of many examples of flawed monitoring which mean that emissions can rise above acceptable levels. 

A few examples of threatened communities 

In Cornwall

In March this year the Government won a Court of Appeal challenge against a ruling which quashed its decision to grant planning permission for a £117 million waste incinerator project in Cornwall. Last year the Secretary of State granted permission. The company says the incinerator will generate enough electricity to supply 21,000 homes by burning 240,000 tons of non-recyclable household waste a year. Lawyers for SITA have said that if the project was halted, or delayed, the total cost to council taxpayers from landfill tax and other costs would rise to well in excess of £200 million. 

In Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire County Council’s scrutiny committee blocked the ‘call-in’ of a decision to award a contract to Urbaser Balfour Beatty. Cllr Stan Waddington said DEFRA had insisted Gloucestershire still needed to cut its landfill rates. There are charges that information about “gate fees”, the amount companies will be charged to burn their waste, was kept from opposition councillors. 

In Worcestershire

A delay in granting planning permission to EnviRecover to build an incinerator will “hit rate payers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire in the pocket” to the tune of £16 million in landfill tax charges, according to Mercia Waste Management. The company, which is contracted to manage public waste for both counties, wants to build a £120 million facility at the Hartlebury Trading Estate in Worcestershire. 

And two in Norfolk

Proposals for an incinerator in King’s Lynn gather pace and there are plans for Cory Wheelabrator to build another, smaller, plant at a site in Snetterton.

And these impositions come from a government which said on its official website, that through its Localism Bill and other measures, it “trusts people to take charge of their lives and will push power downwards and outwards to the lowest possible level, including individuals, neighbourhoods, professionals and communities as well as local councils and other local institutions.”

Posted on May 27, 2012, in Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Government, Lobbying, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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