Our Sutton reporter, BELLE MONT, on a sudden council U-turn
Sutton Council has backed down over its decision to name the access road to the Viridor incinerator in Beddington as “Corn Bunting Lane”.
The LibDem-controlled council announced the U-turn this morning, following the widespread derision they had brought upon themselves through the Spoonerism possibilities of the original choice of name, which had been the first choice of incinerator operators Viridor.
First, Inside Sutton lampooned the name choice, while highlighting the bitter cynicism laden in the preferred option, since that the number of corn buntings nesting in the Beddington Farmlands had decreased significantly since Viridor had been operating on and around the site.
Then Wretch, the media group which publishes the Daily Mirror, nicked our story for their local news aggregation website, managing to plaster “Born Cunting Lane” across its site for several days. Whoops…
And Private Eye picked up on this gaffe, helping to bring Sutton Council into disrepute yet again.
Sutton’s LibDems have a problem with the correct meaning of words as far as incineration is concerned. They refuse to refer to the incinerator as… well, an incinerator, preferring the euphemistic and blatantly meaningless (to most people) acronym ERF.
And they wanted to extend this “call it something else and perhaps people won’t notice” game for the name of a road which will be used by hundreds of heavy lorries each week, carting in rubbish from south-east England to be burned in the incinerator’s industrial furnaces, and then carrying away the resultant ash by-product.
“Corn Bunting Lane” would clearly divert people’s attention from the 300,000 tons of rubbish being incinerated there every year. Of course.
Viridor was handed a £1billion contract to build and operate the incinerator for 25 years by the South London Waste Partnership, SLWP, formed by Croydon, Merton, Kingston and Sutton councils. Sutton’s LibDems controversially gave planning permission to build the incinerator on Metropolitan Open Land – which is supposed to have the same planning protections as Green Belt, and land that was supposed to be used to make south London’s largest country park. Wild bird numbers in Beddington Farmlands have decreased drastically in the past few years.
Last week, Sutton Council indicated it was having second thoughts about going ahead with Viridor’s preferred name for the service road.
The council suggested that “Corn Bunting Way” might be a better path to take, as it were.
Then, just after 9am today, an email was sent out from Sutton’s Street Naming department.
“We are planning to start a new consultation with councillors, regarding an alternative street name,” said the brief note. “We are just preparing the details and will communicate with you later this week.”
Inside Sutton would like to offer a handful of suggestions to be put before the local councillors for more suitable names for Beddington’s newest thoroughfare.
A proper title, surely, for a road which not only leads to the rubbish-burning incinerator (which has been test burning since last July, yet for which Viridor refuses to release any emissions data), but which will also carry thousands of heavy lorries, each producing even more lung-damaging traffic pollution.
RUTH DOMBEY WAY
In honour of the leader of the Sutton LibDems who has been so determined to inflict the incinerator on south London, all helped along by £1.5million-worth of cash “gifts” from Viridor’s “environmental charity” and handed to causes in Liberal Democrat constituencies, including that of “Sir” Ed Davey, the sometime minister for energy and climate change (seriously), and of St Vince Cable, Dombey’s revered ballroom-dancing party leader.
COLIN DRUMMOND BOULEVARD
Named after the Viridor industrialist who made it all possible, ably assisted by leading Sutton LibDem John Drage, who somehow forgot to mention his and his wife, Elaine Drage’s, lifelong friendship with Drummond, the chief exec and chairman of Viridor, when he was on the South London Waste Partnership committee which was awarding the company the juicy £1billion public contract.
TOM BRAKE CUL DE SAC
A dead end, through the effects of air pollution perhaps for hundreds of Londoners, to better remember the role of the hero of the LibDems’ “green” policies, the MP for Carshalton and Wallington, who has robustly defended the incinerator being built at Beddington Lane, especially after Viridor Environmental Credits coughed up £275,000 to repair and refit a church hall in Brake’s constituency, a church attended by his generous donors John and Elaine Drage, and used by LibDems when campaigning to get Brake re-elected.
Of course, there may be other possibilities for a suitable name for the road to such a prestigious development. Take part in our poll here, and help the officials at Sutton Council to make the right choice…
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