Sunday, October 11, 2009

23 years later Coun Jason Perry spokesperson for the authority once again

In 1986 a younger version of Shasha Khan (aged 14) attended Purley High School For Boys.
Purley Boys had the look and feel of a grammar or public school but was in fact a comprehensive. Giant honours boards adorned the walls of its main hall. The elderly headmaster, Mr Akers, was a no-nonsense strict disciplinarian. His appointed prefects were selected for their abilty to mete out the schools' punitive measures. The cane was a popular option. Records show that in the 70's nearly half the pupils who attended the school got the cane!
The head prefect/head boy was Jason Perry. He stood to the left of the headmaster during assembly each morning, up on the stage like a lieutenant monitoring his regiment.
23 years on, I am again being monitored by Jason Perry. This time he is the Conservative cabinet member for Planning and Conservation and de facto spokesperson for the the councils' incinerator plans, and I am the Green Party activist who is the bothersome individual who is raising awareness of his plan. I know he doesn't remember me from those days at Purley Boys as I was a well-behaved pupil scared of authority!
Recently, we've been having a minor spat about the incinerator in the media. In response to his letter to the Croydon Guardian, querying the need for Stop The Incinerator campaign, I sent in the letter below which was published this week.


Dear Editor,

Does this Conservative Council think that we were all born yesterday? Three weeks ago Sutton Council, publically stated that their preferred site for the incinerator was Beddington Lane, a couple hundred yards across the border in Sutton. Unless the council has found a technology to prevent emissions from entering Croydon airspace, the area that will be affected will be the wards downwind from the site; i.e. north Croydon. Cllrs Perry and Thomas only succeed in embarrassing themselves when they say, “there are no plans for an incinerator in Croydon.”

The Green Party has always stated the most plausible location for an incinerator is Beddington Lane and never sought to scaremonger. We have been proved right before when we obtained the procurement contract asking for bids for ‘refuse incinerator construction’ and right again on location. Would the Tory council accuse the Conservative candidate for Carshalton and Wallington, Ken Andrew, for scaremongering? He has publically stated he opposes the scheme. I do however agree with the councillors over Labour’s antics. Claiming to have a found a document that the Tories want to build an incinerator in Factory Lane is outrageous to the extreme. In fact Croydon Labour’s position looks increasingly ridiculous given that the Labour government forced an incinerator on the people of Bexley in 2006, against the wishes of the Conservative councillors in the area!!

What this whole sorry episode is beginning to uncover, just like many other issues before it, is the complete lack of principle shown by the Labour and Conservative parties. They are tying themselves up in political knots and falling over themselves trying to maximise gain or minimise loss on this issue. In fact, the only principle on view is: the market will deliver. However, private contractors are not going to consider social and environmental costs when calculating their bottom line. That is why the Green Party says government must intervene to ensure a sustainable and fair solution. The principle of reduce, reuse, recycle and compost must prevail which is why the Stop The Incinerator campaign was launched.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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