What do you, Inside Croydon’s loyal reader, want your council to do about Sutton’s plans to build a waste incinerator right next to Croydon, on the Beddington Farmlands Metropolitan Open Land site?
Do you want Croydon Council to back the £1 billion 25-year deal with private industrial contractors Viridor?
Or do you want them to cancel their part of the contract, and to put pressure on Merton, the other Labour-controlled local authority on the South London Waste Partnership, to do the same?
In short, do you want them to do the right thing?
Today, we are launching our own online poll, so that the politicians who run our corner of south London can be in no doubt about what the borough’s residents want them to do. After all, when they wanted your votes and needed your votes in May, they even made a promise about it.
Earlier this year, Tony Newman and Croydon’s Labour group took control of the Town Hall for the first time in eight years, with a manifesto that claimed to be “Ambitious for Croydon”.
Newman’s Croydon Labour manifesto said that they opposed the building of an industrial plant waste incinerator at Beddington Lane. Many people will have voted for Labour as a result of that policy.
Some residents, particularly in the north of the borough, including the previously Tory-held Waddon ward, were angry that the Conservatives had been elected in 2010 on a clear promise to prevent any incinerator being built “in or on the borders of Croydon”. Once elected, the Tories broke that promise and all voted in favour of building just such a waste incinerator.
Surely Labour cannot be about to behave in exactly the same way over the Beddington incinerator?
In their 2014 manifesto, under the chapter heading “Cleaner and Greener” Newman’s Labour group said, “Our goal is to make Croydon the cleanest and greenest borough in London.”
As Newman, and his deputy, “Clean and Green Stu” Collins, know very well, becoming London’s greenest borough will take more than a bit of fly-tipping prevention.
“Croydon Labour is ambitious to make Croydon the cleanest and greenest borough in London,” they said when they needed your votes.
“A Labour council will improve our local environment and make Croydon a more pleasant place in which to live, work, shop and visit,” Newman and Collins promised, apparently ruling out even the possibility of any industrial plant belching fumes and potentially noxious particulates over the borough for decades to come, as the Viridor deal implies.
“Croydon’s Conservative council has ignored the views of local people by … supporting an incinerator at Beddington Lane. Labour has always opposed this; a truly green council would never support the building of an incinerator that will be a potential health risk on its border, particularly one so close to residential areas.”
Seems clear enough, doesn’t it?
But since being elected, Newman and Collins have been relatively quiet in public on the incinerator issue, even though the matter has been argued in the High Court at a Judicial Review. It has been as if they were hoping that legal action by someone else would determine the future of the incinerator. Somewhat Micawber-like, they hoped “something would turn up”.
There may yet be a legal appeal.
Now is the time for more than a few easy slogans and cheap T-shirts. The whole Viridor incinerator contract could be cancelled if Croydon, and their Labour mates in nearby Merton, another borough in the South London Waste Partnership, acted on their manifesto commitment and took action to pull the plug on this toxic project.
It is estimated that paying Viridor to build and run the waste incinerator will cost Croydon ratepayers at least £10 million every year for 25 years, under the contract which Mike “#WadGate” Fisher’s Tories signed up for. Meanwhile, the cancellation of a similar, as-yet-unbuilt incinerator scheme in Norfolk has proved to be much less costly in terms of compensation to the commercial contractors than the council officials there had predicted, amounting to a little more than £20 million in total.
So, people of Croydon, what do you want your council and your councillors to do?
Can anyone put a price on breathing clean air?
The poll is open for one week. Let Tony Newman and Stuart Collins know your view.
- £5,000 – by Monday: help pay legal costs of stopping the incinerator
- Judge gives all-clear for Viridor to build Beddington incinerator
- The Stop the Incinerator Campaign still needs money for its legal battle. You can donate online here
- Visit the campaign website here
- Read Inside Croydon’s archive of articles about the environmental catastrophe that is the Beddington incinerator by clicking here
Coming to Croydon
- Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby training, Frant Road, Nov 9
- Brook recording studio open day and party, Nov 9
- East Croydon Communities meeting, Oval Tavern, Nov 10
- David Lean Cinema, Paths of Glory, Nov 11
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- David Lean Cinema, Ida, Nov 13
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Nov 14
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Wandle Park community garden work day, Nov 16
- Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby training, Frant Road, Nov 16
- Personal safety training for volunteers, Nov 17
- David Lean Cinema, Effie Gray, Nov 20
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- David Lean Cinema, Lilting, Nov 22
- Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby training, Frant Road, Nov 23
- David Lean Cinema, Wakolda, Nov 27
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- Coulsdon Yulefest, Dec 6-7
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Dec 7
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 407,847 page views (Jan-Jun 2014) If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org