Sunday, February 07, 2010

Incinerator meeting at Beddington Village Hall

Sutton Lib Dems: Councillor Colin Hall and Tom Brake MP

Sutton Lib Dems called a meeting with the residents of Beddington Village yesterday. The local Tories, who sat at the back of the hall, have positioned themselves as defenders of the Beddington village community, and used yesterday as an opportunity to attack the Lib Dem panel: Tom Brake MP and Councillor Colin Hall (Environment), on the incinerator issue. They kept on asking why the Lib Dem ward councillors were absent from the meeting and how Brake and Hall should convey the residents anger to their "counterparts"; at which point I couldn't control my frustration and asked the Tories to speak to their "counterparts" in Croydon for accusing me of scaremongering every time I raised awareness of this crucial issue in Croydon.

This whole incinerator contravesry is another example of how the main three parties are void of any principle. Opposition Lib Dem, Tory and Labour politicians position themselves as against the South London Waste Plan, whilst just a few hundred yards across the borough boundary, their elected counterparts are in favour of it!

Some key points made:

1. Rising landfill tax - a stick being used by the government that faces massive EU fines if the percentage of waste sent to landfill is not "reduced to 35% by 2020" - was given as the main reason why an alternative solution was needed.
2. Councillor Hall suggested that gasification was "similar as incineration"
3. The four contractors on the shortlist for are:
  • Resources from Waste - which seems to be a front for John Laing
  • Veolia - Croydon's present contractor
  • Viridor - Sutton's present contractor
  • Waste Recycling Group - a Spanish operator.
4. The only technology not on the table is an "old fashioned mass burn incinerator"
5. An additional consultation has now commenced which covers 8 new sites, including Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. These have been suggested via the second consultation. However, Tom Brake MP all but said this was just a legal requirement so that a future challenge was not made to the South London Waste Partnership.
6. Councillor Hall said that radioactive waste was part of the mix but from memory referred to "microwaves and televisions". When I asked him about waste from future decommissioned nuclear reactors, he could not say one way or the other.

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