Marina Ahmad, Labour’s London Assembly candidate in Croydon and Sutton, is demanding an investigation into the contracts and deals surrounding the £1billion Viridor incinerator being built at public expense on Beddington Lane, on the Croydon-Sutton borough boundary.
“The incinerator scheme makes Sutton the rubbish dump of south-west London,” Ahmad said.
“The reports about how LibDem councillors in Sutton failed to declare their close links to Viridor, the company which benefits financially from the scheme, and how other councillors were coerced to support it through the planning stage require thorough investigation.
“If I am elected to the London Assembly on May 5, I will demand an independent inquiry into the decision-making process for the incinerator.”
Ahmad wants the inquiry also to examine the details of a heat network scheme proposed by Sutton, and a report commissioned by the local council but which was suppressed when it showed that local residents in Sutton and Croydon face being saddled with heating bills for thousands of pounds extra if they sign up to the deal.
“Sutton’s Liberal Democrat council has consistently refused to be open and honest about the incinerator scheme and the impact that it will have on air quality, the local environment and local residents for generations.
“We cannot allow them to brush this under the carpet.
“Steve O’Connell, the Conservative Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, has not just been asleep at the wheel on the Beddington incinerator – he has actively supported it.
“O’Connell voted in favour of the scheme as a councillor in Croydon, and he did nothing to stand up for the interests of local people against big business when the planning decision was referred to the Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson, who rubber-stamped the project to go ahead,” Ahmad said.
“People are tired of this toxic mix of evasion and indifference from so many of their elected politicians.
“Despite the serious concerns raised regularly by local residents over the effects the plant will have on their health and household budgets, they have been ignored.
“A Conservative-run City Hall after this May would continue to neglect the needs of the people of Croydon and Sutton. Zac Goldsmith has already shown his contempt for local residents. For all his so-called environmental credentials, he is unwilling to step in to challenge the development of this plant.
“I will not let this go. This is about full disclosure of £1 billion-worth of public spending that fundamentally affects people’s health and well-being.”
From Inside Croydon’s incinerator archive:
- Sutton admits incinerator heating scheme could end up in High Court
- The council incinerator report that Sutton didn’t want you to see
- Conflicts of interest exposed over councillor’s old pals’ act
- £1bn incinerator and £275,000 ‘gift’ is back in the spotlight
- Ex-councillor says he was ‘coerced’ over incinerator planning decision
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