Dear Croydon Labour: It’s time for you to act on incinerator

Beddington Lane could have as many as 12 incinerators, according to one Sutton councillor, including a 300ft stack from the main Viridor plant

Beddington Lane could have as many as 12 incinerators, according to one Sutton councillor, including a 300ft stack from the main Viridor plant

The issue of the Beddington Lane incinerator spreads, like the toxic emissions likely to be emitted from the proposed plant’s 300-foot-high chimneys, right across south London, and into Croydon.

Here is an open letter to “Clean and Green” Stuart Collins, Croydon’s Labour council’s cabinet member responsible for environmental matters, sent by  DAVE PETTENER, of Stop the Incinerator Campaign

Dear Stuart,

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to you about the Beddington Lane incinerator.

Following on from the revelations this week about how self-serving this planning process has been, isn’t time that you, the Labour Party, and the SLWP [South London Waste Partnership] took a stand against the bullying tactics being used by the Sutton LibDems and Viridor?

Surely the fact that Steve Fenwick was coerced in to changing his vote at the planning committee, the fact that John Drage is not only personal friends with the MD at Viridor but also his church received a substantial donation from Viridor, the fact that Viridor themselves now consider the plan unsatisfactory. Is all this not sufficient for you to finally do something?

We know that there are more revelations to come which will only be more damaging in the long run if you persist with your inaction over the incinerator.

You have for a long time quoted financial penalties within the contract as your only reason for not pulling out. However, we have it on very good authority that there is no such clause in the contract.

The fact that you have personally quoted me figures ranging from £60 million to £80 million shows there is a lack of understanding over what the penalty clause really is.

Councillor Stuart Collins: time to end his inaction

Councillor Stuart Collins: time to end his inaction

I put it to you that this figure relates to estimated costs involved in scrapping the incinerator and starting the planning process from the beginning, rather than what Viridor will fine you for pulling out of the contract.

I would appreciate a direct answer to this, because I have a feeling you have been misled. This in itself is not surprising, however I am surprised you have taken these figures on face value and have not challenged them.

That aside, you know for a fact that other forms of waste treatment are cheaper and it wouldn’t take long to recover these costs if a more favourable contract was drawn up that involved the council selling recyclables, rather than giving them away for free to Viridor to make money from.

You have a duty of care to protect the public from harm. You know in your heart that the incinerator will be damaging to the environment and in the long-term the economy as well due to increased strain on health services and sick days from work.

You also know that the Beddington Farmlands incinerator is not the only one that Sutton Council wants to build in the area. The accumulative effect of increased traffic and emissions from these incinerators will be devastating.

I received a leaflet through my door yesterday from Emily Benn and it made me think what Tony Benn would have done about the incinerator. I’m pretty certain he would have been with us shoulder to shoulder throughout and not simply give up on this contentious issue as soon as he was elected.

Are those who stand by and do nothing just as complicit as the perpetrators of a crime? Only you can decide. Are you willing to stand up and do the right thing or are you like the LibDems and simply want to protect your own self interests?

What price do you put on the health of the people you serve?

I believed you when you said that you were behind our campaign. I believed you when you said that you were against the incinerator. I believed you when you said that you really cared about this issue. Please don’t prove me wrong.

I am begging you to take action and not to sit back in the hope the legal challenge will do the hard work for you. Please help us.

I look forward to hearing from you, in particular your response to the financial penalties in pulling out of the contract.

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10 Responses to Dear Croydon Labour: It’s time for you to act on incinerator

  1. Peter Rogers says:

    But it’s ok if you need to sort out the ice cream van scandal first. Priorities…

  2. arnorab says:

    If only there was one Croydon Councillor with the courage of a certain Sutton one! There isn’t, though: they are all poodles who take orders from bosses and officials, an odd genus but vibrantly alive in Croydon.

  3. mandolin456 says:

    I have heard a lot about the potential dangers but I don’t hear about the collapse of the world around the other incinerator sites especially the ones in south London I pass frequently.

    As far as I am aware if these facilities are run correctly they are fine and used extensively used in Germany for Calorie Capture as the market for recyclate is falling as supply increases and the Chinese don’t want ours anymore.

    Where is the impartial evidence? one way or another rather than NIMBY comments
    As for the commercial deal it seems we want the woman who stiffed the Olympic authority to get the stadium almost for free for her football team and even got made a peer

    • You are clearly ignorant of the issues and have not read the original scientific papers that are shamelessly used by DEFRA,the EA and the old health protection agency to say modern incinerators are safe.
      To put it simply…look at smogbads post in stop the incinerator….there you will find the RAISED INFANT MORTALITY RATES since Colnbrook/Grundon/Viridor started their burn.These provide a freeze-frame picture of the effect of an incinerator….they cannot be said to be due to working class issues,smoking and teenage pregnancy…common “explanations” of the undoubted effect of raised infant mortalities downwind.
      This website does not allow me to send an image of those graphs…but you might find something of interest here:
      you might also like to read my submission (accepted in evidence) to the EAC of Parliament,where the dirty little secret of brain damage to children,caused by air pollution, is laid bare:
      Who’s paying you to write the drivel you have ?

    • croydonres says:

      Hi Mandolin,
      The world might not be collapsing around these other incinerators, but it often stinks of burning plastic. I speak as someone who passes one of these every day, and has done for decades. The effects of breathing in even small amounts of the very weird chemical combinations given off by the burning process cannot be known for decades. Would you like to live down wind of an incinerator, and above all, would you like to live in a 200ft tower block down wind of the chimney stack.? And open the window and let your baby breathe in the “fresh air”. If the incinerator were to be built in Coulsdon, Purley or Sanderstead, I would guess that thousands of concerned people would be protesting, and would have been for years, and voting out their politicians over this deeply flawed proposal.

      The SW London Waste Plan was like a grotesque game of pass the parcel played by the 4 local authorities. When the music stopped, the recipent borough would be left holding the parcel. Inside, a grossly polluting source of toxicity!

      Poor old Beddington of course is inside Sutton, but the exhaust plume will flow over the poorest areas of Croydon, It’s pretty wrong, isn’t it?.

      I was not against the incinerator until I started to think about the hidden effects, and read up about the science.

      One of the key worries of the principle of incineration is that it undermines recycling and — efforts to minimise waste. I for one would say that–if we really do need to incinerate waste to get rid of it-we should not be burning it in or close to major settlement.

      A Boris island for burning rubbish would be safer for all of us.

      I would urge everyone to look at the issues, and draw conclusions.

  4. mandolin456 says:

    My, My , Abuse, Bigotry and Venom all in one post, no wonder you have lost the argument, you have clearly lost the plot.
    Billy Bray

    • Maybe we’ve missed something. But where’s the abuse (are you a little thin-skinned, perhaps?), where’s the bigotry and venom?

      You asked for evidence. Presumably you were too lazy to do a simple search of this site’s archives, never mind going to all the trouble of Googling other, more scientific sources. And someone has provided you with ample links to such evidence.

      And then you accuse them of being abusive and bigoted? You’ve clearly not “lost the plot”. You never had it.

  5. davidcallam says:

    The incinerator is the product of Localism.
    Just as the Department of Health actually deals with chronic sickness and the Ministry of Defence is much more concerned with attack, so Big Eric’s localism is primarily a smokescreen for centralisation.
    The incinerator and the new Waddon flyover are both examples where local people have been told what will happen, rather than being consulted.
    I suspect the widening of the A23 will be similarly handled, whoever wins the General Election.

  6. If the Tory chairman Mr.Green can successfully stop the incinerator in Hatfield surely our Mr. Clean Green can stop it too.

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