Sutton councillor takes on LibDem Brake over incinerator

Tom Brake, the only London LibDem MP to retain his seat at the last General Election following five years as a Tory enabler in the coalition, is to have an extra challenge in his Carshalton and Wallington constituency on June 8 – from a former Sutton Liberal Democrat councillor who wants to make the Beddington Lane incinerator the burning issue on polling day.

Nick Mattey: LibDems expelled him for questioning the Viridor incinerator

Nick Mattey, who continues to represent Beddington North ward as an independent on Sutton Council, has decided to stand at this year’s General Election to force Brake into debating his record on the environment and other local issues, in the midst of what has become known as #SuttonBinShame.

Veolia, the refuse contractors whose rubbish service has been a long-running irritation for Croydon residents, took over the bins contract in Sutton on April 1. It was an appropriately chosen date, and the chaos since has put mounting pressure on the FibDem-run council.

Sutton’s switch to Veolia was a cost-cutting decision made through the South London Waste Partnership, to provide similar services across all four member councils, including Croydon. SLWP is the same barely accountable public-funded quango which is inflicting Viridor’s £1billion Beddington Lane waste incinerator on the public of south London.

The incinerator is in the heart of Mattey’s ward, and it was the councillor’s whistle-blowing about the costly scheme and the environmental damage it will cause for decades which saw Sutton FibDems move to gag him, then expel him from the party.

Mattey has been consistently opposed to the burning of millions of tons of rubbish in the middle of a densely populated London residential area.

It was Mattey who discovered that Viridor was making a £275,000 “charity donation” for a church hall in Brake’s constituency which is often used for LibDem political meetings. And Mattey has also been vociferous about the handling of a £1million council property in Carshalton which has been handed over to EcoLocal, a charity of which Brake is a trustee.

Walking on eggshells: Tom Brake has to defend his parliamentary seat with the streets of Sutton looking like this

Carshalton and Wallington is the seventh most marginal seat in London, a FibDem-Conservative battleground which Brake retained in 2015 by just 1,510 from the Tory heir presumptive to a baronetcy (yeah, soooo 21st Century), Matthew Joseph Constable Maxwell-Scott. Inside Croydon understands that Maxwell-Scott (as he is known for short) has not yet been re-selected by Sutton Conservatives. This may have had something to do with there not being enough space on the ballot paper… The selection meeting is on Monday.

Where the firmly pro-Europe Brake could really come a cropper on June 8 is from his constituents’ liking for Brexit: 56.3 per cent were at odds with their MP last year and voted to leave the EU at the referendum.

Sutton’s 44 FibDem councillors are already under strict orders from the council leader, Ruth Dombey, to provide a Council Tax-payer subsidised leaflet delivery service in Carshalton and Wallington and the borough’s other parliamentary constituency, Sutton and Cheam, which in 2015 was won by the Tory, Paul Scully.

With Labour struggling to find a candidate willing to contest Carshalton and Wallington, where they were a long way back in third in 2015, and the Greens unlikely to decide who will stand for them in the Sutton constituencies until after the May Day bank holiday, it is left to Mattey to make the early running in the contest.

Tom Brake: linked to church which received £275,000 funding from Viridor

“I want to take Brake to task on the way he and his fellow environmental buffoons have made residents suffer,” Mattey said today.

“He might want to talk about Brussels. I want to talk about Beddington.

“I am standing up for marginalised communities. I know that air quality and pollution is going to be a key issue. Tom Brake and the Sutton LibDems did nothing to stop the Viridor incinerator. Worse than that, they lied about its environmental impact.

“I am fighting to have an independent enquiry into how the Viridor charity was used to buy influence. I want to stop Sutton’s incinerator polluting the area for more than its 25 year life.

“My job is to make politicians of all persuasions and Sutton Council understand that if  they try and drag this area down, they will not succeed.”

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This entry was posted in 2017 General Election, Environment, Nick Mattey, Sutton Council, Tom Brake MP, Waste incinerator and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sutton councillor takes on LibDem Brake over incinerator

  1. Lewis White says:

    All the political parties should hang their heads in shame regarding the promotion of the incinerator in Beddington, and the way in which one party in one borough opposed it, while the same party in another promoted it. The SW London Waste Plan was not a plan–it was a cynical game of pass the parcel, with one unfortunate place ending up holding the Pandora’s box when the music stopped. Inside it, an incinerator. Beddington, the lucky winner of the game.

    Landfill is clearly not good for the environment, neither is incineration.
    The way forward must be to stop creating waste that is unrecyclable or cannot be degraded by natural methods.

    I contacted Waitrose recently to ask them to which store I could return my clean polythene food wrapping bags for recycling. Response– none. No wonder the world is drowning in plastic.

    Good on this Councillor for his principled stand. I hope he gets elected.

    • Rob Steel says:

      To be fair Lewis the Greens opposed it very strongly everywhere. It was a Green party member Shasha Khan who took Sutton Council to judicial review. And the Greens had been campaigning against this disaster for several years before Nick Mattey appeared on the scene to take the credit!

      • Is that the same “Rob”, or Bob Steel, who used to teach at Wallington Boys?
        Who’s a card-carrying Green, but also the defender of EcoLocal, the charity of which Tom Brake is a trustee, and which Sutton LibDems handed a £1million property?
        The same Bob Steel who has never condemned EcoLocal, an environmental charity based in Sutton FFS, for failing to speak out about the Beddington incinerator?
        Funny how that’s not been mentioned…

  2. Grace Onions says:

    Thank you Nick for your strong and principled stance.

    As a Croydon resident, I can’t vote for you, but really do appreciate that you are striving to bring to light the ambiguities of how an incinerator has been allowed to be built in these days of heightened awareness of air pollution and its dangers. Here in Croydon, we will suffer the consequences of the toxins pumped into the air that we breathe more than residents in Kingston or Merton, or even Sutton perhaps, so I do appreciate your continued challenge to those who have orchestrated this behemoth spewing out chemicals for our children to inhale. I wish you luck in your campaign.

  3. padsky1979 says:

    The incinerator and wider waste issue clearly needs more investigation and transparency and good on all of those that fight for this.

    Trouble is Carsh/Wall is a 2 horse race for the seat. Therefore I fear a purely local issue could strengthen the Tories nationally, which is worse for the UK.

    I get the impression some labour supporters would take more pleasure in removing the “enabler” even though that can only strengthen the tories both nationally and locally.

  4. Lewis White says:

    Sorry, a bad lapse on my part — I had forgotten Shasha Khan’s fight against the incinerator. He deserves our thanks for all he has done. I should have said “The political parties in power in the 4 SW London Waste “Plan” boroughs. Those were the people who could have queried whether London needs an incinerator placed exactly where it will extend its pall over SW London, and decided to not have one..

    The sudden national media and political concentration on air pollution, and the diesel engine, in recent weeks, fails to ever mention the Beddington and other incinerators around London, demonstrating that there is selective vision in operation on this whole news topic.

    Do we ever hear anything from the BBC or The London Mayor on how we can get rid of waste without incineration? Nope.

    There should at very least be a discussion as to the options.

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