On June 4th voters here and across Europe will be electing representatives for the European parliament. Thanks to some parts of our news media the British view of the EU is of an institution which seeks to erode the British way of life by banning curved bananas or outlawing the traditional measurement of pizzas in inches.
The fact of the matter is that the EU is here to stay, and more importantly decisions which are taken in Brussels have a direct influence on the quality of life in Croydon.
For instance, both Labour and Conservative MEP’s recently voted to allow waste incinerators to be rebranded as ‘energy from waste plants' in an attempt to persuade people that burning rubbish is environmentally-friendly.
Apparently the main political parties now see incineration as a viable alternative to landfill. But Green MEP’s vigorously opposed this blatant spin, showing that it was misleading and did not put the interests of people first.
‘Energy from waste plants’ will burn anything you put in them - from your own household rubbish to hazardous industrial waste. However, they also emit dioxins and other harmful pollutants into the air all of which have a negative impact on public health, local economies, the climate and the environment.
Furthermore, the private contractors that build these incinerators need a ready flow of waste to ensure set up costs are met and that the whole operation is profitable - and this is when we realise the consequences of failing to offer a comprehensive doorstep recycling service for all by successive councils: In spite of all the health risks and adverse affects on quality of life, recyclable and hazardous waste will now have to be burnt to avoid paying fines for burying it in landfills.
Studies show that for every job created by burying waste in landfills and burning it in incinerators, ten jobs could be created if we instead chose to recycle or reuse our resources, surely a much better solution for everyone in Croydon?
Croydon council is already involved in a consultation with neighbouring boroughs to build a so-called ‘energy from waste plant’ and my concern is that the likely outcome of this will be the building of such a plant in Beddington, resulting in emissions polluting the whole northern half of Croydon. This begs the question: Are Labour and Conservative MEP’s deliberately seeking to mislead the people of Croydon?
Green Party European Parliament candidate for London