Sunday, March 03, 2013

Viridor in the firing line

Taken from Croydon Advertiser.
I was invited to give a comment on Viridor's tax dodging (above).

Meanwhile, our protest at Viridor's regional office in West Malling went very well. The vast majority of the activists taking part were Green Party members. Upon arriving at the site, we were greeted by patrolling security vehicles, roaming the car parks. Our demo was effective because it disrupted Viridor, not forgetting the press coverage.

With reference to the disruption caused, at one point, I was peering through a window looking into a room, chanting, "Air pollution is not the solution," whilst pressing my 'Viridor Profit UP, Our Health DOWN' placard against the window.' Inside the room there was a training session going - it soon stopped! My attention was drawn to the whiteboard, which had 3 headings. I can only remember two of the headings:  Environment and amazingly, MORAL. Is morality being trained at Viridor?? Alternatively, did the crafty public relations experts employed by Viridor advise them to have strategically positioned things in view of the protesters. Anyway, after the continuous noise and Viridor bashing, the trainer decided to draw the blinds in an attempt to continue the session.

In another room, I saw the bloody tender document for the Beddington Incinerator carrying the South London Waste Partnership logo in the corner! Unbelievably, this was left on the table nearest the window (watch the vid)!!!! Were they goading us?

On a personal note, this demo was my daughter's first! She is only 9 months old. Thank you mum for looking after her :-)

If readers are wondering why we targeted Viridor, here is my comment which went out with the Stop The Incinerator Press release.

Commenting on the demo, Secretary of the Stop The Incinerator campaign, Shasha Khan said,
“Tory MPs in the Houses of Parliament (1) are now speaking out against the ‘off the shelf’ solutions councils are opting for when dealing with their ever-mounting waste problems. Elected politicians have failed to show leadership and instead have shown weakness.  In South London, politicians, aided by council officials, have drawn up a Plan (2) which effectively means that failing to approve Viridor’s solution would result in massive financial penalties. We have also obtained the risk register (3) for the Plan written by the four councils and the greatest risk to the four councils is Viridor pulling out, not for example, pollution exceeding safe levels. “
I would add that this is about the lobbying power of waste companies.

(1)   Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, said at the screening of the film Trashed, shown at the Houses of Parliament, that elected politicians had failed to show leadership and were opting for 'off the shelf' solutions
(2)   South London Waste Plan

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