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
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.
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.
- Environment Secretary Davey helps Brake dine out with Viridor
- Ex-LibDem councillor claims coercion over £1bn incinerator decision
- Tom Brake link to church donation from incinerator company
- Dear LibDems: I remain a liberal, a democrat and a councillor
- The brave letter that got Sutton councillor suspended
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