Barrister Justine Thornton has been engaged by south London’s Stop the Incinerator campaign to provide legal advice and guidance to oppose Viridor’s plans to build a waste incinerator at Beddington Lane.
Thornton is married to Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour party.
Thornton’s advice could lead to the campaign seeking a judicial review of the process that led to the incinerator decision being given planning permission by Sutton Council last month.
In parallel to this legal approach, the Stop the Incinerator campaign is still encouraging as many residents, business owners and others who will be affected – by the increased levels of road traffic, trucking in millions of tons of other people’s rubbish to be burnt; and by the smoke and fumes from an incinerator – to send a letter to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, asking him to exercise his powers to halt the development.
Strong legal arguments and the prospect of a judicial review may also influence the Mayor’s decision-making.
While borough councils and local authorities are free to call-down funds to pay for top legal advice, all paid for by the Council Tax-payer – ie. you and me – public campaign groups such as Stop the Incinerator have to dig into their own pockets to pay for even the briefest of legal briefs.
Stop the Incinerator has already paid thousands of pounds towards the hiring of Thornton. A judicial review could cost up to £40,000, and so the fund-raising has started in earnest, with an event at the Green Dragon pub on Croydon High Street from 7.30pm on Friday, June 28.
- To find out more about the Stop the Incinerator campaign, to download a draft letter for Boris Johnson, to make a donation to the legal fund, or to do all three, click here
- Ashes to ashes: Only Boris can stop Viridor incinerator now
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- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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