Hot News



3 August 2013. After sitting on the Prosiect Gwyrdd final business case for 5 months without explanation, WG chose yesterday afternoon – a  Friday in early August - to slip out a statement awarding Prosiect Gwyrdd (which really means a private contractor) £100m of taxpayer’s money in guaranteed subsidies for the unwanted Viridor incinerator in Cardiff.

The statement was more notable for what it failed to mention, for example the risks to public health from incinerator emissions, the risks to the public purse from such long term contracts and the risk of ignoring new and greener  non-burn technology, all of which were made in a detailed report on waste issued by a backbench Committee of AMs only 8 months ago.  That report was followed by a Senedd debate in February 2013 in which every backbench speaker but one criticised or opposed  incineration in Wales.  It’s little wonder that the incineration fanatics in the Bay waited until a Friday afternoon in the summer recess to inform the rest of us of their decision when they are immune from Assembly questioning for the next two months, during which the PG supremo has already told us that he intends to sign a binding contract with Viridor.

With the Assembly safely in recess and local Councillors not meeting in August, PG and its supporters in the Bay have given themselves the green light to commit us to a minimum  sentence of 25 years of waste incineration in South Wales paid for by us, with the only hope of remission coming from future EU Directives to ban incinerators, which of course would also have to be financed by us in the form of compensation to the contractor. It’s a truly Faustian deal

The views of the public, of Newport City Council and AMs are not thought important enough to merit a single word in the deceitful and cowardly communique issued yesterday.  Nor is there any indication of whether the Government has even received or considered the views of the Wales Audit Office which has been considering the PG project for several months following comprehensive written complaints about its value for money (or the lack of it). There is total silence from our Government on the solid statistical evidence of incinerator over-capacity right across Europe, yet more silence on the repeated warnings coming from the European Commission in recent months that incineration is no longer an acceptable solution to residual waste. All we read is a repetition  of outdated and wrongheaded arguments comparing incineration with landfill instead of looking honestly at all the options and especially increased recycling at every level, which is what we had every right to believe the new Minister would do.

The communique can be read at

SNIC would single out four particularly misleading statements in the communique:


WG statement : “The Welsh Government has set the highest recycling targets in the UK and is working towards recycling 52% of Wales's waste this year, increasing to 70% recycling and zero waste to landfill by 2025”.

Critique: Statement deliberately omits the target of Zero Waste by 2050 because they know the PG incinerator directly conflicts with that target


WG Statement : “At a time when councils across Wales are facing an unprecedentedly difficult financial climate and working to improve services with reduced resources, this facility will help councils in south east Wales save money, which can instead be spent on our schools, libraries and roads”.

Critique: Makes wrong comparison – no one disputes that landfill is more expensive because of tax. The question is whether incineration is likely to be better value NOW and IN THE NEXT 25 YRS when compared with other cheaper and more modern and flexible technologies replacing landfill, notably Mechanical and Biological Treatment. This case has been made repeatedly to PG and the Wales Audit Office by a number of community groups. It has never been answered.  Far more could be saved for schools, libraries and roads by abandoning PG in its current form, stepping up recycling  with incentives and re-tendering .


WG Statement : “The Prosiect Gwyrdd procurement went out to tender on a technology neutral basis and, following a detailed and competitive process, the partnership of five local authorities appointed Viridor as their preferred bidder in March 2013.”  

 Critique:  Nothing could be more misleading than this claim. The tender was not technology neutral, as earlier statements by WG representatives have in fact confirmed. Comprehensive details of the inbuilt bias towards incineration have been presented to Assembly Members and WG. They have been ignored – no attempt has been made to answer the evidence presented because it is so strong that it is impossible to refute it. Even the PG Chairman has never denied the inbuilt bias when he told SNIC a year ago, well  before the selection of Viridor, that “the incinerator ship has sailed” and refused even to meet us to hear our arguments.


WG Statement: “Prosiect Gwyrdd will cut Wales’s carbon emissions and help reduce climate change.”

Critique: This is just a big - and desperate – smokescreen. The new incinerator will add enormous additional carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Energy offsets are speculative, and in any event cannot be offset against Welsh and UK emissions under existing EU rules.  Reputable independent  studies have shown that for carbon emissions,  incineration is little better than landfill and that both are far worse than Mechanical and Biological Treatment.  Yet incinerator supporters prefer  to ignore all the evidence that incinerators are expensive, environmentally damaging anachronisms which also present  a risk to public health, farming and wildlife  - all of which can be avoided by selecting cheaper, modern and greener technology already being used successfully by other local authorities.

What happens next?  Watch this space – there is overwhelming evidence that this decision on waste is itself wasteful and wrong for Wales, and our area.  Remember that although we stopped an incinerator in Newport, the emissions, costs and environmental damage from a Cardiff “big burner” will still affect all of us in Newport and Monmouthshire- which is why SNIC (like our brave colleagues in CATI) want to halt the entire project.  We have many allies, including democratically elected and responsive AMs and Councillors across party lines.  We must call on them to give up their holidays and help in mounting a formidable response to this misguided decision. Please let them know how you feel


Message from Chair, Rob Hepworth, 26 April 2013

SNIC helped to arrange the Welsh premiere of Jeremy Irons' compelling full-length documentary on global waste problems including incineration, at the Welsh Assembly on Tuesday 23 April. William Powell AM, who was chair of the recent all-Party Petitions Committee report criticising incineration, kindly hosted the premiere.  8 AMs attended from all four of the main political Parties in Wales, together with an invited audience.

After the film, I convened a panel of Gareth Clubb (Director of Friends of the  Earth Cymru), Professor Vyvyan Howard (the toxicology expert who appears in the film), Penny Goodwin (Chief Executive of Newport Wastesavers) and Will Kirkman (another Trashed interviewee from the "green" waste industry). There was a lively discussion with the AMs about some of the challenges raised by the film.

Trashed is now on general release, and available on DVD - and shortly on ITunes. For anyone who wants their own copy or to arrange a local screening, see the website at or contact Harriet Grecian of Blenheim Films at


We hope the film will be yet another nail in the coffin of incineration in Wales, as well as a stimulus to positive action such as recycling. I am proud to live in a city (Newport) which continues to give a lead through kerbside segregation of waste to maximise recycling. SNIC are pleased that the Wales Audit Office are conducting detailed enquiries about Prosiect Gwyrdd with each local authority in the partnership as a direct result of SNIC's formal letter of complaint in February (see earlier post on this page). We will be offering further, new evidence to the WAO shortly. There is still every opportunity for Wales to avoid a long term commitment to waste incineration and the film provided a myriad of reasons for this. There is a new Minister who hopefully brings an open mind and fresh thinking to a subject too long dominated by “friends of the incineration industry”. In any event we trust he will not approve a final decision by Prosiect Gwyrdd on any contract until WAO have investigated thoroughly.


Dear SNIC supporters or friends,


I am circulating this sad news from Dick's son to SNIC supporters and contacts. I hope to attend the Service on 18th. 

As a medical doctor himself, Dick was an inspiring, knowledgeable and principled campaigner on the adverse health impacts of incinerators (and other issues).When we set up SNIC in 2011 he was an inspiration to me and others. I still remember how he held an audience at Nash village hall spellbound by his exposition. 


As a national as well as local campaigner, Dick had to put up with the slings and arrows fired by officials who were determined to force waste incinerators on the population, and who regularly tried to deride his views. However every reputable medical study that emerges - including the most recent one proving the link between incinerators and cancer in Spain - shows that Dick was right. I hope at least that he was pleased to see the abolition of the ostrich-like Health Protection Agency on 1 April 2013, as well as our victory over Veolia in March.


Rob Hepworth
Stop Newport and Monmouthshire Incinerator Campaign (SNIC)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: van Steenis, Huw <>
Date: 9 April 2013 12:09
Subject: A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Dr. Dick van Steenis. Thursday April 18th, 2013 at 1.30pm. Any donations or appreciations of his life at:
To: "" <>


I'm sorry to let you know my father Dick passed away on Sunday night.  My sister and I were with him.   Until December he was very active campaigning and was never happier than serving campaigns and the community.  We will be holding a service to give thanks for his life on April 18th (details below).  I'd be grateful if you could forward on the email below to anyone you think would be interested

With thanks


Huw van Steenis

----- Original Message -----
From: van Steenis, Huw (Research)
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 11:36 AM GMT Standard Time
To: van Steenis, Huw (Research); <>
Subject: A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Dr. Dick van Steenis. Thursday April 18th, 2013 at 1.30pm.   Any donations or appreciations of his life at:

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Dr Dick van Steenis (2.9.34 - 8.4.13) will be held Thursday 18th April at 1.30pm, Wyesham Christian Fellowship Centre, Chapel Close, Wyesham, Monmouth NP25 3NN.  Refreshments will be served afterwards.

For immediate family only, prior to this, Dick's body will be cremated in the Forest of Dean.

Please let one of us know if you maybe able to join us to celebrate Dick's life.  Alternatively, please feel free to pen a message which could be read out at the service or for the family.    To honour Dick's life we have also set up a donation page for International Needs, an aid charity which Dick was a Trustee and active supporter of.  Having worked as an aid Doctor for the first 2 years of his career, he continued to and on numerous occasions gave advice in the field to set up clinics.   See

Huw van Steenis


Unfortunately we have had to cancel this evening's celebration at Leuktra Lodge at the last minute.

Many apologies if you had already made plans to attend.

We will try and find another opportunity to celebrate in person.... !



PS Don't worry the Llanwern Incinerator proposal is still 100% withdrawn - and I understand the site allocation will now be deleted from the Local Development Plan by NCC ...


Dear SNIC supporters and other friends


Last week, Veolia withdrew their planning application to build a waste incinerator at Llanwern


See Argus story


This is a notable and hard-won victory for all the individuals and communities in Newport and Monmouthshire who opposed an incinerator.


SNIC are holding a celebratory event on WEDNESDAY 27 March to which you are warmly invited.


Details are :


Venue - Leuktra Lodge, Bishton, Newport, NP 18 2 DZ


Wednesday 27 March between 5.30 and 8 pm. Drinks, bites and a little music will be provided!


No charge but we will we passing round a collection box for any voluntary donations to the UK Without Incineration Campaign (UKWIN) which have given SNIC constant and vital support throughout our campaign over the last 2 years. This will help others including those in Cardiff and Gloucestershire who are still fighting live incinerator proposals.


Directions to Leuktra Lodge : 


1.Bishton is accessible from three directions.

(i)            A48 via Llanmartin and left hand turn just before Underwood village

(ii)          From M4 at Magor via right hand turn just before Llanwern steelworks

(iii)         From the Newport Southern Distributor Road via left turn in Llanwern village. 


2. Leuktra Lodge is a grey and white house at the Llanmartin end of the village. If you are coming from the M4/Magor turn right when you reach the T junction in Bishton village. At the end of the village is a public telephone booth - we are up a short drive opposite. We will put up a couple of SNIC signs on Wednesday to guide you. If any problem phone 01633 413253 and we will walk out to meet you.


It would help us with catering arrangements if you could let me know that you are going to attend - we look forward to seeing you! 


Very Best Wishes


Rob Hepworth

Chair, Stop Newport and Monmouthshire Incinerator Campaign


GO TO Referal to Auditor General

Press Release  

 1 Feb 2013

Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign

 Incinerator Fight Not Over Yet

 The badly devised Prosiect Gwyrdd plan to bring incinerators to Wales has taken one more step into the darkness.

Whilst Veolia in Newport has been dropped from the project in favour of Viridor in Cardiff, this does not spell good news for the residents of Newport, because the prevailing westerly winds will bring pollution from the stack in Cardiff onto households and land in Newport.

 Said Pippa Bartolotti, spokesperson for SNIC, the Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign, “Incinerators are being shut down in Europe due to overcapacity. People are recycling more and producing less rubbish. A large scale incinerator South Wales will be redundant well before the end of the 25 + year contract period, yet Welsh taxpayers will be forced to pay more than £1billion for it anyway.

 Robert Hepworth, Chair of SNIC, said, "The people and wildlife of the Gwent Levels in Newport are probably safer as a result of today's announcement. But families and farms in Gwent are still threatened by an incinerator in Cardiff which will cost taxpayers the earth, pollute the air we breathe and undo all the good work we have done in recycling waste.

 “If an expensive incinerator will save Wales £18million, the savings which could be made from safer, greener and cheaper technology such as Mechanical & Biological Treatment would be far, far greater. The campaign now moves on to the Welsh Assembly debate on incineration next Wednesday.

 "We also have to make sure that the rejection of Veolia's planning application at Llanwern is upheld at the Public Enquiry next July. I hope we can finish the job and keep South Wales truly green and healthy."

 Pippa Bartolotti added: “A total rethink is required, and quickly. It is high time the Welsh Government stopped looking at waste as something to be landfilled or burnt. Waste should be seen as a valuable resource to be ploughed back into the economy. We may not have a big burner in Newport, but big burners anywhere are the wrong idea. We will now take our fight to the Welsh Assembly.”

 Newport City Council turned down planning permission for an incinerator in July this year.

 The overall authority for Prosiect Gwyrdd is the Wales Government. Prosiect Gwyrdd had shortlisted 4 incinerator companies. 2 have withdrawn from the process, leaving Viridor in Cardiff, who have already started building work, and Veolia in Newport which is currently appealing its planning permission refusal.


A MOMENTOUS 2013 BEGINS - Chairman's Message and Latest News !!

4 January 2013. SNIC wishes all our supporters and followers throughout Newport, Monmouthshire and beyond a very Happy New Year ! Blwyddwyn Newydd Dda

2013 will see some crucial events. First up we have to get in our outline case against the Llanwern incinerator proposals to the Planning Inspector by 15 January. Then we will be preparing for a debate in the Wales Assembly/Senedd in January or February to discuss  the Petitions Committee Report on waste incineration published in December (see earlier announcements on this website).  PLEASE HELP BY ASKING YOUR AM TO TAKE AN ACTIVE PART IN OPPOSING INCINERATORS DURING THE DEBATE! SNIC are already working  with colleagues throughout South Wales to sending briefing to all AMs.

 In March we are told to expect a "preferred Bidder" from Prosiect Gwyrdd . SNIC will continue to press for full re-tendering irrespective of any announcement that the unelected officers of PG and the WAG civil servants who fund them,  “prefer” to use our money to inflict a giant 25 year poisonous   waste incinerator on the residents of our area. The recommendations of the WAG Petitions Committee, and the grotesquely poor economic and environmental case for incineration will be an important part of our case. We will also be publicising the latest health evidence including the new report from Spain showing increased cancer mortalities amongst residents living near waste incinerators.

By the way, reports have just appeared that Denmark has the highest recorded cancer rate in the world – could this be related to the fact they also make more use of waste incinerators than virtually any country in Europe ?

After February we will focus on finalising our written evidence and identifying key expert witnesses for the Planning Inquiry into Veolia’s application to build the Llanwern incinerator which will start at Newport Civic Centre on Tuesday 9 July 2013. SNIC have been accepted as a so-called “Rule 6 " body which means we are invited to put in our detailed case in writing and  to attend pre-Inquiry meetings with the Planning Inspector and his team alongside the applicants and Newport City Council. We will also be able to cross- examine witnesses as well as present evidence orally at the enquiry.  By the way other bodies including Community Councils will also be able to give oral evidence to the Inquiry (9 – 19 July) if they wish, without having to be a Rule 6 body, and we very much hope they will do so !

We are very pleased by the latest news that St Modwens, the lead developer for the residential and light industry regeneration at Glan Llyn, Llanwern  will also be a Rule 6 body at the Inquiry as their evidence was a crucial factor in persuading  Councillors to reject Veolia’s application last year. The Christmas period brought further encouragement in the form of an excellent letter from Monmouth Town Council calling on Prosiect Gwyrdd to re-tender. The text of the letter is reproduced immediately below.

Felicity Evans of BBC Radio Wales "Eye on Wales" interviewed me in December as part of an end year "what happened next" series broadcast last Sunday. See - the bit about the Llanwern incinerator is at about the 25 minute point.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have points or want to offer support or financial help for our ongoing campaign. See "Contact Us" page.

My thanks to all including several AMs who have contacted SNIC with supportive messages in recent weeks.

Very best wishes again for 2013 – if we work together we can finally stop the incinerator !

Rob Hepworth, Chair, SNIC

TEXT OF LETTER DATED 21 DECEMBER FROM Monmouth Town Council, Shire Hall, Agincourt Square

Monmouth, NP25 3DY, Tel: 01600 715662  Email:,

21 December 2012

(To) Prosiect Gwyrdd Joint Committee members representing Monmouthshire County Council

Cllr Phil Murphy, Cllr Bryan Jones

Dear Prosiect Gwyrdd Officers,

Thank you for your response to our letter regarding our concerns with Prosiect Gwrydd.

However, we are disappointed with the superficial nature of the comments made in relation 

to the issues we raised.

We are dismayed that you deny the existence of more environmentally friendly methods of 

waste disposal than incineration and that you quote a five year old report from Friends of 

the Earth as showing support for your position. Friends of the Earth made it clear in the 

report that there was not enough evidence available at that time to make an accurate 

assessment. A recent report from Eunomia – premier waste experts - confirms that 

pyrolysis and gasification have a much lower environmental impact than incineration, 

particularly with regard to greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the South East Wales 

Regional Waste Plan places MBT with gasification above incineration in its hierarchy for 

preferred waste management processes.

We are also unconvinced by your inaccurate claim that the process was technology 

neutral. Other technologies had far more hoops to jump through, they did not benefit from 

the recycled ash bonus (which it now seems is not yet available) and they were not 

licensed as in the rest of the UK to use CLO. Furthermore, the gate fee subsidies were 

predicated on an EfW solution.

Your claim that we are not in a position to comment on value for money demonstrates little 

understanding of waste management and the waste hierarchy. Guaranteed minimum 

tonnages, as made available to the public, imply that either recyclable material may have 

to be used as feedstock, or the tax, and Council taxpayers, will supplement the 

contractors’ profits by paying to not have waste burnt. This would be particularly relevant in 

the event that waste streams were lower than predicted. 

Statements from the Health Protection Agency do not inspire confidence. Last year the 
HPA issued a statement claiming that no further research into incinerators was needed as 
they had little effect on pollution and were not a danger to public health. Less than a month 
later under pressure from the growing weight of global evidence to the contrary, the HPA 
had approved a new study to “further extend the evidence base as to whether emissions 
from modern well run Municipal Waste Incinerators affect human health.” As you must be 
aware, the HPA will cease to exist next April

The recent report from the Petitions Committee in response to the petition signed by over 
13,000 people all of whom have serious concerns regarding incineration of waste, and 
Prosiect Gwyrdd in particular, supports many of the points raised by the petitioners. 
Specifically those raised in connection with the length of the contract offered and the 
health issues surrounding mass incineration. The Petitions Committee has made several 
recommendations to the Welsh Assembly Government and these will be debated in the 
Senedd early next year.

Regrettably your response has done nothing to allay our concerns regarding both the 
environmental and financial merits of the two remaining short listed bidders. In fact, it    
has only served to cast further doubt on the credibility of Prosiect Gwyrdd
Monmouth Town Council stands by its original statement and believes that the Prosiect 
Gwyrdd management team should restart the tendering process to ensure that the best 
environmental and financial solution is offered to the council taxpayers of the five local 
authorities in the consortium.

Yours sincerely

Cllrs Ann Were and Anthony Owen
On behalf of Monmouth Town Council.

Statement by SNIC – 6 December 2012


 SNIC supports the main conclusions in the National Assembly for Wales Petitions Committee Report The Incineration of Waste published on 6 December 2012 and thanks the Committee members and officers who prepared the report. SNIC were proud to give evidence to the Committee

 The process and recommendations in the AMs’ report allow Wales to give a welcome and distinct impetus to the debate about waste and recycling which is going on throughout the UK, and which affects other important issues such as climate change and public health.

 SNIC look forward to an early and productive debate in the Senedd which is now well placed to take the issue forward and provide direct advice to Ministers.


 The Committee have grasped the essential message about the public reaction to incinerators – that the public are concerned about the health risks and that they have solid grounds for that concern

 We entirely agree with the Committee’s conclusion that “health concerns are very real to the people of Wales who will be living in the vicinity of the incinerators” and that “as long as those fears remain, there will be strong resistance by the people of Wales to new incinerators.”

 Campaigners including SNIC have repeatedly asked for the Welsh Government to conduct further research on health risks. We naturally welcome the Committee’s recommendation in favour of the Welsh Government supporting new and comprehensive research on the effects of emissions of invisible minute particles from incinerator chimneys. We urge Welsh and UK Ministers to take the lead on this in the public interest, using the abolition of the Health Protection Agency next April as a catalyst for a fresh look at the facts, and taking account of new research published since the Committee took evidence which demonstrates a probable link between incinerator emissions and cancer in Spain, and between reduced atmospheric particle levels and longevity in USA .

 The Committee were right to quote Professor Vyvyan Howard’s specific advice on health (Para 51) : it is accepted, for instance, that there is no safe level of exposure to particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameter. We know that [incineration plants] will con tribute to the local loading of that sort of particle. So, there is still work to be done and, in the meantime, I would suggest that, on a precautionary basis, it would be better not to add more plants to the list

 SNIC also appreciate the Committee’s parallel concerns about toxic and hazardous ash - the main visible product of incinerators - which have been neglected in other studies.


 SNIC are also pleased that the Committee has focused on a second major area of concern – that 25 year contracts could undermine recycling targets. We believe this is now certain – new reports released since the Committee took evidence show that there is already excess incinerator capacity in UK. We are pleased that the Committee quoted what SNIC’s Chairman said in his evidence to the Committee on this :

“Would you be willing to commission a commercial service like that for 25 years while technology is developing? There are clear doubts about a number of aspects, not just in relation to health, but also the effect on recycling and carbon emissions. The alternative technology, mechanical biological treatment, in particular, is cheaper and more flexible and does not involve 25 year contracts.”

 SNIC applauds the conclusion reached by the Committee that they “share the petitioners’ concerns that local authorities will be locked into long contracts that will demand a higher level of residual waste than is naturally produced as recycling rates continue to improve over time.” SNIC call on WG and local authorities to take this conclusion on board, and halt further outdated, PFI –style, 25 year contracts in the light of the Committee’s warning that “ such long contracts could also be a danger to other emerging technologies that are unable to secure funding from local authorities when they are locked into contracts with energy-from-waste providers”.

 SNIC commends the Committee’s twin recommendations that “the Welsh Government does its utmost to ensure that the 70% (recycling) target is met by 2025 and that “the Welsh Government ensures that local authorities are not impeded by long term contracts in meeting the 70% (recycling) target by 2025.”


 SNIC has always argued in favour of practicable alternative technologies to incineration which are available now on a commercial scale from UK-based manufacturers. We are pleased that the Committee recommends that “ the Welsh Government seeks opportunities to support emerging waste treatment technologies that could, in time, offer a viable alternative to incineration”. The main alternative is Mechanical and Biological Treatment. MBT plants in the West of England and elsewhere have now proved their worth and in our view changed the game. Prosiect Gwyrdd can now re-tender in the light of the Committee’s Report which we believe will result in alternative technologies demonstrating they have decisive health, recycling, carbon, cost and reliability advantages for SE Wales and beyond.


“The Committee have spoken for the people of Wales in questioning incineration on health and recycling grounds. The call for WG involvement in new research on health risks from small particles must be met, and not swept aside on the grounds of cost or reliance by Ministers on outmoded advice from the Health Protection Agency which will have no statutory responsibility for these issues in Wales after its abolition in April 2013”

“ We now call on the Welsh Government to level the playing field for grants so that local authorities can realistically consider alternatives to incineration. We also call on the Councillors from the 5 local authorities that run Prosiect Gwyrdd including Newport and Monmouthshire to take their lead from the Committee. Our Councillors have a duty to act on behalf of local people by insisting on a full re-tender so that contractors offering alternatives to incineration come forward with proposals under the new rules of the game. This is now completely realistic and will also save taxpayers wasting huge sums on redundant and unhealthy incineration plants”

Incinerator Project is "Sinking Ship" - SNIC welcome Welsh Assembly report - December 2012

Media Release - 6 Dec 2012 SNIC welcomed today's report from the National Assembly for Wales Petitions Committee, which casts serious doubt on the Welsh Government's decade-long support for waste incineration by raising crucial questions about health risks and recycling. 

The report asks the Welsh Government to do its utmost to ensure that the target of 70% recycling by 2025 is met. This means that the burning of recyclable materials is to be minimised not promoted by a new generation of waste incinerators. 

Incinerators are by their nature expensive to build and run, and their investment payback period is long. They need to have a high and regular flow of combustible materials such as plastics and biomass to make them work efficiently. 

Two further recommendations are to actively support emerging technologies and to undertake a study of health risks from the emissions from incinerators. 

Robert Hepworth, Chair of SNIC said, “The Committee has spoken for the people of Wales in questioning incineration on health and recycling grounds. We now call on the Welsh Government to level the playing field for grants so that local authorities can realistically consider alternatives to incineration. We encourage the 5 local authorities involved to insist on a full re-tender. This will save taxpayers wasting huge sums on redundant and unhealthy incineration plants which we could be stuck with for 30 years.” 

“ The Report is perfectly timed as we see that Wales’ only existing waste incinerator at Crymlyn Burrows has again been closed down this week after breaching its emission limits - how many more reports and practical lessons are needed to make our Government see sense and ban more incineration ? ”

Pippa Bartolotti, SNIC spokesperson, added: “This is excellent news for our campaign. In the light of the consistent increase in householder recycling, the entire incineration project is looking very shaky indeed - indeed a sinking ship. The clear signal from the Petitions Committee is that incineration is not the way forward for Wales.” 

“Campaigners across Wales have always argued in favour of alternative technologies to incineration which are commercially available from UK-based manufacturers. Now is the time to investigate these alternatives and give the people of Wales a method of waste disposal which is less harmful to the environment, and properly in tune with a zero waste strategy. The incinerator ship is sinking.”

NOTES for EDITORS : Campaigners have repeatedly asked for the Welsh Government to conduct further research on health risks, and to update the incineration project’s recycling figures in line with reality. Veolia are appealing the refusal of planning permission in Newport. Viridor have started work in Cardiff pending the award of contract from the Welsh Government. SNIC are in possession of QC advice that re-tendering can take place without financial or legal penalty and the arguments for doing so in the public interest, and as a result of changes in the facts on the ground - notably reduced waste flows, new policy statements from the EU against use of incineration and advances in alternative technology. The new report from WAG is a further incentive to re-tender.


Rob's letter pointing out the parallels between the West Coast Main Line rail fiasco and Prosiect Gwyrdd's biased waste projections made it to the Argus on 10 October - a copy is attached. Inevitably the letter was edited so here is the full text we sent in - the bits that were edited out are highlighted in red :

The Editor

South Wales Argus

Shambolic  and secretive handling of rail bids has cost the taxpayers of England and Wales over £40m already.  It’s not likely to be a one-off. Here in South East Wales the Prosiect “Gwyrdd” incinerator project displays the same secrecy, and naïve acceptance of  assurances given by waste companies bidding for long term public contracts. Civil servants who run Prosiect Gwyrdd are out of control. This so-called “green” partnership is racking up huge bills which ratepayers of our 5 counties will have to meet for the next 25 years . What will we get in return ? Incinerators which  destroy our recycling policy, risk our health and pump out greenhouse gas. 

Prosiect Gwyrdd officials know their “dodgy data” on future waste levels is wrong. They know they have written inaccurate reports about the health risks of incinerators, and bounced Councillors into accepting them as true. They know they have ignored all criticism, blatantly sided with incinerator companies against the public interest and denied us the right to discuss our concerns at their meetings. Fact : officials have held only ONE meeting of the Prosiect Gwyrdd steering committee so far in 2012 despite the fact that over £1 billion is at stake – probably the most expensive single investment in our region. To avoid public scrutiny the officials have quite deliberately held countless informal meetings to decide policy  in secret over the same period, many without Councillors present. Fact : they have now told our five Councils – already facing the worst expenditure cuts in decades – to shell out £250,000 extra to cover overspending this year on consultants, for which they have provided no justification. Let’s hope our elected councillors, AMs and MPs can stop this Project before it ruins our health, our environment and our local finances.

Rob Hepworth

Chair, Stop Newport & Monmouthshire Incinerator Campaign

(Edit post) | Attachments:  Argus Ltr 10.10.12.pdf


Posted on  8 October 2012

After a strange 2 month lull Veolia have appealed against Newport’s near-unanimous decision to reject their incinerator planning application at Llanwern.  What happened during that lull will be a subject for investigation, as will the amazing “co-incidence” that the Prosiect Gwyrdd officials told stunned Newport Councillors at the Prosiect Gwyrdd meeting  only 3 days before Veolia’s appeal that they had decided to postpone decisions on the incinerator tenders by almost 12 months !  Unfortunately we gather that the Cardiff and Caerphilly councillors didn’t seem quite so stunned – as far as we can see they have decided not to make a stand against the pro-incinerator officials in PG and the Welsh Government and to claim instead that they are powerless because their predecessor Administrations were also taken for a ride by the same officials, and signed all the Councils' rights away. This is simply not true – we have QC’s advice that PG can re-tender without financial penalty, and this time ensure that the terms of reference really are technology-neutral instead of being grossly loaded in favour of incinerators.  

Our struggle to make Prosiect Gwyrrd genuinely green will go on. We really appreciate the way that the Newport Councillor representatives are speaking out against the assumptions of the incinerator lobby, and challenging PG’s incredible bid for £250,000 extra cash for consultants from taxpayers at a time when basic local authority services like education and social services are under such financial pressure. We hope that the Councillors on PG from Monmouth and The Vale will join them and cut PG officials down to size.

We are working flat out again in SNIC to get back into full combat fitness for the planning enquiry expected in early 2013. We have received many messages of support from local communities and individuals and we know that we will have strong allies at the Enquiry. SNIC held a meeting of key supporters last week and we have a clear plan of action over the coming weeks. New documents are being prepared and the case we can mount against an incinerator on planning grounds gets stronger with every passing week.

As we’ve said before, we are up against untrustworthy opponents who have abandoned even the pretence of transparency – Prosiect Gwyrdd now seem to be operating though personal briefings to try and bamboozle individual Councillors. Their Steering Committee has held only one meeting open to the public in 2012 and their new Chairman has refused repeated requests that voluntary environmental groups opposed to incineration should be able to put their views to the Committee in person.

Please feel free to contact SNIC  if you want to learn more or offer your support in any way.   


Message from the Chairman, Rob Hepworth posted on 30 July 2012


Very warm greetings to all existing and new readers of our SNIC website

You may have been wondering why there have been no updates in the last few weeks as we prepared for the momentous Special Planning Committee at Newport Civic Centre on 25 July.

It was intentional. This is a fight against unscrupulous and, at times, fanatical advocates of incineration. Over the last year, our opponents have published fictional accounts of meetings, ignored the majority views of scrutiny panels, libeled distinguished doctors and scientists, browbeaten elected Councillors, and thrown all the rules on civil servant objectivity out of the window - all in pursuit of a solution they believe they have the right to impose on the rest of us.

In response we have learnt though bitter experience to “box clever”. We don’t (and won’t on my watch ) ever join our opponents in their foul play. But we will use all our skills legitimately. One of these is to keep our opponents guessing where we are going to strike next – and about which argument we are going to use in each arena. So we have not been advertising these in advance on the SNIC website.


As you probably already know, there was a magnificent result in the Civic Centre. The Planning Committee rejected Veolia’s planning application for an incinerator at Llanwern by 8 votes to 1. This was not just victory for SNIC but for the entire City and the surrounding towns and villages in Monmouthshire. The quality of debate was superb. Councillors expressed our passions but also applied the planning rules in a targeted and scrupulous way. The conflict with the City’s agreed plans for Glan Lyn, the impact of thousands of HGVs on the Motorway and local road network which is already overcrowded, the failure to use existing freight rail links, the risks to the entire Levels/Estuary ecosystem, the direct impact on a European Protected species, and the failure to meet mandatory flooding criteria – all these arguments were deployed with deadly effect.

I gave evidence for SNIC, focusing on wildlife, flooding and Glan Lyn in the 3 minutes I as allowed under the rules. It was hard that there wasn’t time to deploy all the relevant arguments, including health. However in my final paragraph I hope I succeeded in showing the true absurdity of selecting this site for an incinerator:


How could anyone have chosen such a site for regional waste incinerator? Right next to one of the finest wildlife sites in Europe and its endangered species. Right in the middle of a high flood risk zone. In an area categorised as an Outstanding Historic Landscape. Less than a mile from the most important new housing and light industry regeneration project in Newport which has to attract and retain our future families and wealth creators? Where there are archaeological deposits likely to be in superb condition like the Roman Boat. Not far from the prized Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve – an oasis for walkers, nature lovers and local families – a reserve itself created here as compensation for the wildlife lost by the Cardiff Bay development.

“ We ask you to reject the application and strike a blow for the long suffering people of Newport who have tolerated several generations of the most polluting industries in Britain and have paid for that in shortened lives. Don’t ask them even to risk having to pay a similar price again. We deserve a greener, healthier and more prosperous future - without the waste incinerator.” 

Our statement was followed by a persuasive objection from Tim Gent of Savills on behalf of St Modwens, the overall developer of Glan Lyn, showing how the incinerator proposals put this critical,  £1 billion + regeneration project at risk.

Several Councillors spoke superbly in opposing the incinerator – and we applaud the well-argued speeches of Paul Hannon and Martin Kellaway. Just as important were the briefer but well directed criticisms from Richard White, Noel Trigg, Paul Huntley and Malcolm Linton. There was also a very helpful intervention from the Chairman Ron Jones who that Glan Lyn was a priority for the whole Council, and how unique it was that a developer (St Modwens) working in partnership with NCC had to come to the Planning Committee to stop an incinerator which would jeopardise the project.

The resulting vote was crystal clear. Not just an 8-1 vote to reject Veolia’s application, but cross-party consensus from the Conservative, Independent and Labour members on the Committee. The City has spoken with one voice on this issue. We hope Veolia, Prosiect Gwyrdd and the Welsh Government will not for one moment contemplate trying to force incinerators on the people of Newport after  such a decisive, democratic rejection, based on sound planning arguments. But if they do, SNIC will fight to uphold that rejection, alongside the City Council and St Modwens.

 In the meantime SNIC will be supporting our colleagues in the rest of SE Wales in calling for the flawed tendering process of Prosiect Gwyrdd to be halted. The Prosiect Gwyrdd Steering Committee comprising two Councillors from each of the 5 local authorities in the region, has other options viable. One is to re-start the tendering process with terms of reference which allow non-incineration solutions like MBT to compete fairly.  Another is to dissolve the current PG arrangements so that each Council can decide on more locally –based solutions to residual waste, either individually or in smaller partnerships (eg Newport and Monmouthshire).

Last week’s success deserves celebration and we are planning a party, probably at a local hostelry on the Gwent levels. Watch this space!!

Thank you to all our supporters and sympathisers – we could not have done it without you !


Extract from South Wales Argus website,  Thursday 17 May 2012. Thanks to David Deans for covering the issue. Bazookas out everyone (see final sentence) :>)

Campaigner hopes election will halt Newport incinerator

A CAMPAIGNER who has fought against a proposed incinerator in Newport says there is a chance that the scheme can be stopped following the May elections.

Now most of the councils in the controversial Prosiect Gwyrdd consortium have changed hands, Rob Hepworth of Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign said there a “huge opportunity” to stop the proposed incinerator schemes in South Wales.

Prosiect Gwyrdd is looking for a contractor to process non-recyclable waste and is considering two proposals to build waste burners in Llanwern, Newport, and Cardiff.

But ruling administrations in Caerphilly, Newport, the Vale of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire and Cardiff have all suffered blows - with either the Labour party winning a majority from the incumbents or with parties left with no overall control.

The Newport Labour group was vocally against the incinerator proposals while in opposition.

Mr Hepworth said: “As far as we’re concerned we look to the new Newport Labour council to deliver its promise, and to work with new councils in Caerphilly, Cardiff and the Vale to change 

P r o s i e c t Gwyrdd.”

He said there was a good possibility Prosiect Gwyrdd could be changed to look at alternatives to waste burners.

He said there were two objectives for campaigners in Newport – getting the council to turn down the planning application on the Llanwern proposal, and to modify the local development plan to exclude incineration.

“It’s a really optimistic climate,” he said, adding: “I’m not complacent. These companies will carry on.

They are used to getting into their armoured vehicles and taking the flak.”


Dear SNIC Supporters


See consultation letter below. SNIC would ask all our supporters, including Community Councils to respond to this if they can and ask for the deletion from the plan of

(a) All references to a regional waste disposal or processing site at Llanwern (ie an incinerator although the I word is not used)

(b) Any implication that the Plan will support the construction of a mass-burn incinerator

(c) Any reference to a strategy based on Prosiect Gwyrdd’s current shortlist

If letters to Newport City Council are also able to call for the LDP to include a waste strategy based on alternatives to mass-burn incineration that would better still!

I don’t think letters need to make a meal of this, particularly from those who have already objected to the Veolia application. Letters  commenting on the LDP can refer back to an earlier objection to Veolia's planning application, and say that the same arguments apply to both objections. SNIC will also be sending in a collective objection on these lines.

Recent postings below on this site may also be helpful 

Please contact me if you need further information

Cheers and thank you for your continuing support


Rob Hepworth

Chair, SNIC

On 13 April 2012 12:30, LDP Consultation <> wrote:

Dear Sir/Madam


Newport City Council has approved the Deposit Local Development Plan for consultation purposes. The Council has been speaking to communities and other stakeholders about their land use aspirations for Newport since 2007 and this work has culminated in the publication of the Deposit Local Development Plan. The plan will guide the development of the city over the period to 2026, and this in an opportunity for any interested person to comment on the deposit plan.


The Deposit Local Development Plan is available on the council website at: together with representation forms. These can be filled in by hand or online. All documents are also available at the Council’s Information Station (the former Newport Train Station), in all Newport libraries or on request. Copies of the plan will also be made available at other convenient locations such as Newport University Campus in Caerleon. If you know of any other locations where it would be useful to have additional copies of the plan please let us know.


Also available are the Sustainability Appraisal Report on the plan and the Habitats Regulation Assessment, carried out independently for the Council, upon which comments are also welcome.


The consultation period runs for just over 6 weeks from 13th April until 28th May 2012. You can make a comment, support or object to any part of the plan. Comments need to be made in writing and should be on the forms, available on the Councils website (, to be received by the Council no later than 5pm on Monday 28th May 2012, by post, online, or emailed  For further information, including on how your community can be involved, please email that address, or write to the Policy Team at the Civic Centre, or telephone them on 01633 656656.


Yours Faithfully


Lucie Taylor


Planning Policy Liaison Officer

Direct Line - 01633 232832



Here is an extract from the draft Council Minutes for 27 March. SNIC have reproduced it verbatim, except for the addition of the wards and parties of all Councillors who voted, and the footnote on absentees

<< The following amendment was moved by Councillor Truman and seconded by 

Councillor Bright: In moving the amendment, Councillor Truman referred to 

the history of the City Council’s involvement in Prosiect Gwyrdd, and the 

acceptance by the current administration of a £3m penalty clause for r

emoving itself from the arrangements.


(i) In Paragraph 11.2 after “waste targets in line 2, delete all existing text 

and substitute 

“Newport City Council will review its future waste policy in 2012-13 and select 

economically affordable options which avoid mass-burn incineration and 

provide the greenest, safest and most flexible solutions.  The health of our 

inhabitants, the need to build, maximise recycling and minimise carbon 

emissions will be paramount considerations”. 

(ii)  Under “W1 Waste Site Allocations”, delete “LAND IS ALLOCATED 



(iii)  In Paragraph 11.4 after “landfill gas engines” and before “and a waste 

transfer station”, insert “a possible mechanical and biological treatment 


(iv) In Paragraphs 11.5 and 11.6 delete all. 

(v)  In Paragraph 11.8, line 5, delete the sentence “Additional information 


to Newport’s waste related land use requirements are set out in the Waste Background Paper" and the related footnote.

The required number of members requested a recorded vote. The voting was as follows 

Members voting in favour of the amendment were: 

Councillor             Ward                    Party 

R Bright                Ringland               Labour

P Cockeram         Shaftesbury           Labour

K Critchley           Lliswerry               Labour

V Delahaye          Bettws                   Labour

G Giles                 Caerleon               Labour

J Guy                    Alway                   Labour

I Hayat                  Pill                        Labour

G Jarvis                Bettws                   Labour

R Jeavons             Lliswerry              Labour

RW Jones              Pill                       Labour

M Kellaway           Llanwern             Conservative

W Langsford          Malpas                 Labour

M Linton            `   Ringland              Labour

A Morris                 Lliswerry              Labour

R Poole                 Shaftesbury          Labour

J Richards             Lliswerry              Labour

H Thomas              Gaer                     Labour

R Truman              Alway                   Labour

M Whitcutt             Gaer                     Labour

D Wilcox               Gaer                     Labour

 a total of 20 votes. 

Members voting against the amendment were: 

Councillor             Ward                      Party 

D Atwell                Langstone              Conservative

J Bird                    Malpas                   Conservative

H Clark                  Beechwood           Liberal Democrat

A Cooksey             Rogerstone            Conservative                           

M Cornelious         Graig                     Conservative

PHC Davies           Stow Hill                Conservative                                        

V Dudley               Rogerstone             Conservative

JP Evans               Beechwood            Liberal Democrat    

M Evans                Alt-Yr-Yn                 Conservative

C Ferris                 Caerleon                Conservative   

G Ford                   St Julians               Liberal Democrat

J Fortey                 Ringland                Liberal Democrat

D Fouweather       Alt-Yr-Yn                 Conservative

M Hamilton            Victoria                  Liberal Democrat

D Hando                Beechwood            Liberal Democrat

M Hussain              Victoria                  Liberal Democrat

AC Jones               Caerleon                Conservative

SE Jones               Rogerstone             Conservative

W Routley              Stow Hill                Conservative

A T Suller,              Marshfield             Conservative

C Townsend          St Julians                Liberal Democrat

 E Townsend         St Julians                Liberal Democrat

 R White                Marshfield               Conservative

 D Williams            Graig                      Conservative

 a total of 24 votes 

The amendment was, therefore, lost. >>

PS 4 Councillors were absent for the recorded vote :

M Brunnock          Tredegar Park         Conservative

S Lane                   Langstone               Independent

D Mayer                 Malpas                    Labour

N Trigg                  Bettws                     Independent

Had they attended and voted for the amendment, the result would have been a tie, 24-24.


Posted on 2 April 2012

SNIC supporters were back in front of the Newport Civic Centre last Tuesday as the Newport City Council Executive and Officers insisted on bringing back a revised version of the local Development Plan for members' approval (see post below of 2 March). If anything, the new version was even more pro-incinerator, although it tried to conceal this with soothing words about the need to take account of environmental  impacts, echoing Veolia’s application.  SNIC supporters distributed this leaflet to every Councillor as they went in:

Stop Newport & Monmouthshire Incinerator Campaign (SNIC)

Request to all Councillors on 27 March 2012


·          As a City we must reject a giant black bag waste incinerator at Llanwern on health, environmental and cost grounds

·          This is your chance to be seen to cast your vote AGAINST an incinerator before the Council Elections in May

·          The Local Development Plan (LDP) before Council today gives 100% endorsement to a waste incinerator under Prosiect Gwyrdd. Section 11 of the LDP earmarks a site for Veolia’s waste incinerator at Llanwern. In contrast, the amendment will keep all options open to Newport EXCEPT mass-burn incineration .

·          Please do NOT believe any assurances given to you by officers that agreeing the plan as it stands does not endorse incineration. It does. Worse still, the amendments which officers  added since February are designed to help justify Veolia’s planning application later on, and make it more difficult for Councillors to turn it down.

·          SNIC have been advised professionally that any plan endorsing incineration – even a draft plan – will be useful to Veolia in their bid to build a mass-burn incinerator in Newport. Newport City officers have admitted this to us.

·          SNIC seeks all-party opposition to an incinerator. Elections are imminent, and electors will want to know where their Councillors stand on this crucial issue. This is YOUR chance to support Newport’s people, especially our children and older people who are exceedingly vulnerable to incinerator emissions.


This time the Labour opposition were well prepared and briefed. Labour put down a clear amendment which would have removed all references to the Llanwern incinerator from the plan, and put Newport back on its previous path towards environmentally-friendly recycling and waste disposal rather than a mass-burn incinerator.

There was an intense and at times "fiery" debate. Executive members and senior Officers were repeatedly unable to answer questions about how the LDP could specify the Llanwern site for a regional incinerator under Prosiect Gwyrdd while the Council claimed to be “technology neutral” !

The final vote was revealing. 19 Labour and 1 Conservative Councillor ((Cllr Martyn Kellaway, a strong SNIC supporter)) voted for the amendment and against the incinerator.  The 2 Independents were not present for the debate, and thus abstained by absence.

All the remaining 24 Conservative and Libdem Councillors present voted as a block to defeat the amendment. SNIC's leaflet above given to all Councillors made it clear that such a vote had to be interpreted as a vote in favour of a waste incinerator.

Despite the Council's narrow rejection (24-20) of the anti-incinerator amendment, SNIC would like to thank the 20 Councillors who stood up for the people of Newport last week. Several Coalition councillors, including the Leader claimed that the LDP would not be adopted for two years and had no bearing on Veolia's application. SNIC  reject this. Once adopted the plan will be retrospective to 2012. It supports Prosiect Gwyrdd specifically and to the hilt.  The fact that one Conservative who opposes an incinerator crossed the floor to support the amendment shows the reality.  

The Argus reported this on Thursday  see 

The pro-incinerator Councillors have identifies themselves and they have a fight on their hands ! The LDP will now go out for 6 weeks' public consultation in mid-April. It's vital that all SNIC supporters, and especially Community Councils, object to the Plan's support for waste incineration

By the time the public consultation has ended, the elections will have taken place. We will now have to see what verdict the Newport electorate give.  Whatever the composition of the new Administration, SNIC will continue with its all-party campaign. 

It’s vital that the people of Newport now have their say on the LDP and Reject ANY MASS-BURN WASTE INCINERATOR IN OUR CITY.


Newport Council Coalition Backs Off from Endorsing Incinerator Plan

Posted on 2 March 2012. 

Tuesday was another amazing day on the SNIC campaign. The ruling coalition on Newport City Council attempted to rush through their Local Development Plan (LDP) which specifically earmarks Veolia's site in Llanwern for a giant waste incinerator, if chosen by the mis-titled "Prosiect Gwyrdd" later this summer. Acceptance of the LDP would have been acceptance of a poisonous waste incinerator in Newport for the next 25 years.

We were tipped off, and a group of SNIC supporters went to the Civic Centre to protest. We gave every Councillor a leaflet making it clear that a “Vote for the Plan was a Vote for a Waste Incinerator at Llanwern”.  For a copy of the leaflet and a photo of our protest go to …….

After complaints from the Opposition about the failure to give Councillors enough time to consider the plan document, there was a coffee break at about 11.00am ostensibly to allow officers to get their PowerPoint presentation of the LDP ready. Than after hurried backroom discussions amongst themselves, the leaders of the ruling Coalition apparently decided to pull the LDP off the agenda straight away, and they announced this immediately after the coffee break without even allowing officers to give their PowerPoint  !

SNIC are relieved but not complacent. Officers and Executive members were thwarted in their plan to obtain rushed endorsement of an incinerator in the LDP.  Clearly our demo worked because the Coalition immediately avoided a vote which (a) they might have lost and (b) would have revealed the identity of any Councillors supporting an incinerator.

Thanks to all SNIC supporters who came on Tuesday  -  without SNIC’s  intervention there can be little doubt that the Plan would have been voted through. Thanks also to all those Councillors (from more than one Party) who were ready to vote down the plan if it had been put to the vote

We attracted some positive coverage in the Argus too - see

The next Council meeting is at the end of March - theoretically the LDP will then return to the full Council for initial endorsement.  It’s very important that we remain vigilant. City Council Officers and Executive members who are wedded to incineration may well try again to see if they can catch Councillors off guard and get them to sign up to Local Development Plan which paves the way for a “big burner”. The next Council meeting will be the last before the May Elections. If the Plan is on the agenda, SNIC will once again alert all Councillors to the fact that a vote in favour of the plan in its current form can only be interpreted  as a public endorsement of a waste incinerator.

Rob Hepworth, Chair, SNIC

PS - If you haven't sent in your objection to Veolia's application yet (or even if you have) why not drop a line to the Executive Member in charge of the Local Development Plan (Councillor Ed Townsend) and ask him to remove the Plan's current endorsement of a waste incinerator ? Email him at


posted by Rob Hepworth 24 February 2012

Today SNIC submitted our comprehensive objection to Veolia's planning application, together with a covering letter to Newport City Councillors and a press release.

You can find all the documents here -


updated 24 February 2012

There is still time for any individual or orgnsiation to send in an objection - over 1000 have already been submitted ! To assist you we've prepared a model letter. All you have to do is add your name, address and date, edit it if you'd like to add or remove points, and send it to Newport City Council at the address shown. The full text is below

Alternatively you can go on the web to the Newport City Council Planning , and copy the letter with your adjustments onto the comments page page; remember to mark the box saying you are objecting, and send it straight in online ! 

If you'd like a  poster or sign objecting to the incinerator, please let me know - I've got a supply ! 

Rob Hepworth, Chair SNIC,

                                                                                             Your Name & Address                 


Head of Planning and Regeneration

Newport City Council

Civic Centre


South Wales

NP20 4UR                                                                                                                                                                           


Dear Sir or Madam,


With reference to the above application, I would like to register my objection based on the following concerns regarding the planning application from the French multinational Veolia to build a huge mass-burn waste incinerator at Llanwern, near the boundary between Newport and Monmouthshire.

 I ask that Newport City Council reject this planning application because:

  1. The application site is only yards from one of the most important ecosystems in the country – the Gwent Levels and the adjacent Severn Estuary. Besides containing many rare plants and dragonflies, this ecosystem with its huge variety of habitats is vital for thousands of migratory  birds.  It is strictly protected under national, European and international laws. Contamination of this delicate protected area with toxic emissions via the burning process and the toxic ash waste products could be irreversible.
  2. Toxins released onto farmland absorbed into cattle and the food chain represents an unacceptable impact to health, and a threat to the livelihood and prosperity of local farmers
  3. The HPA admits there is a risk to health it is unacceptable to expose residents and wildlife to this level of pollutants.
  4. Permission has already been granted in recent years for the Biogen gasification plant and 2 biomass power stations. Uskmouth coal and gas power stations are also nearby. The Oaktree (tyre burning) pyrolysis plant at Nash is soon to be included, and adding an incinerator to the list is wholly unacceptable.
  5. The proximity the villages of Goldcliff, Redwick, Llanwern, Nash, Magor, Bishton, Langstone and Underwood is unacceptable in terms of the possible health impacts from incineration. Children and older people are especially vulnerable. Reputable research shows that incineration fumes increase cancer and other dangerous diseases. Many emissions will be in the form of a potentially poisonous aerosol, invisible to the naked eye.
  6. The proposals is totally incompatible with the agreed City Council policy of redveloping the former steel smelting site and adjacent land for residential housing over the next 20 years. The first housing estates are already being built. There will also be associated social development, including 2 new primary schools within the  close radius of the  incinerator and its potentially toxic emissions. The health of incoming residents will be at risk. Property values  will be reduced, and essential development for the city blighted.  
  7. The area is designated as a landscape of historical importance and an incinerator with 50/60 metre stack will have an overly excessive impact and is unacceptable.
  8. The application is in contravention of TAN 21 which says that waste should be treated within the area in which it is produced, not taken by lorry from the whole of South East Wales to be burnt in Llanwern.
  9. The area has a history of flooding which will increase the risk and effects of toxins through run –off and drainage entering the local and sensitive reen system of the levels.
  10. No amount of mitigation will lessen impact on rare species of wildlife once impacted they are impacted.
  11. The proposed increase in heavy traffic would serve only to put further pressure on the road system in a rural area further decreasing the quality of the air throughout the area, and increasing greenhouse gases. Every single ton of waste going in will be taken by lorry. The railway which serves Llanwern steelworks will not be used.
  12. Thousands of tons of dangerous and toxic ash would be produced by the incinerator – and once again every single kilo will be transported out of the Llanwern Incinerator by lorry. The consequences of the inevitable accidents will affect  local residents and the priceless habitats and landscape of the area.
  13. The proposals will also add to traffic pressures on the most congested part of the M4 and the Newport Distributor Road
  14. The application goes against the Newport community strategy 2010-2011 in terms of better quality of life by increasing pollutants in the area. Unpleasant odours,plus windblown ash and rubbish are likely consequences.
  15. The resulting increase of poor health would be an unacceptable burden on the NHS.
  16. Recycling a plastic water bottle saves 26 times more energy than burning it in an electricity producing incinerator. Choosing to burn poisons the air we breathe and destroys the potential of the next generation to reuse what we could not.
  17. The plant will hugely increase greenhouse gas emissions, both from the incinerator itself and the thousands of vehicles carrying waste and ash.  Studies show that other waste treatments such as Mechanical and Biological treatment (MBT) have a much lower carbon footprint.
  18. Veolia’s plan to generate cheap heat is a smokescreen – their main customer is Tata’s hot steel mill which has just been closed for the second time in two years. No one is prepared to sign up to take the incinerator’s waste heat for the 25 year contract period. This will drastically reduce the efficiency of the plant in energy terms.
  19. Waste is evidence of a mistake. The £1.1 billion allocated to Prosiect Gwyrdd should be used to minimize the creation of waste products, and maximize recycling, which has already risen to almost 50% in Wales.
  20. The proposal contradicts Newport’s agreed published waste strategy which favours Mechanical and Biological treatment, and not mass-burn incineration.


We would also be grateful if you could forward a copy of this objection to my local Councillor.


Yours faithfully,


Your name


Happy New Year 2012 & LATEST NEWS from 

Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign

 3 January 2012

The Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign (SNIC) has reached a busy time. The planning application for the Llanwern incinerator was lodged on Christmas Eve. The documentation is more than 1000 pages long – how many of us even keep that much paper! 

To read the application go to and type in the Application Number 11/1303.

A sliver of good news is that we managed to get the outrageously short deadline for Statutory Consultees extended. We have also asked Newport Council for hard copy of the documentation, but so far this request has been ignored.

Rob Hepworth our Chair is currently in Nairobi but is keeping in daily touch with SNIC and the growing campaign by email and phone. Being away has at least given him more time to read through the planning application - he is confident that he has spotted many new flaws ! He has also been able to draft and then finalise our environmental evidence to the PG Scrutiny Panel which was sent in yesterday.


January 3rd is the deadline for the Call for Evidence on Health and Environmental concerns from the Prosiect Gwyrdd  Scrutiny Committee. SNIC has sent in two submissions - one on health and the other on the environment. We will be posting these on the site shortly. We are also very pleased that health and pollution specialists such as Professor Vyvyan Howard and Dr Dick van Steenis have also sent in compelling evidence. 

The deadline for the Welsh  Assembly Petitions Committee  which is reviewing waste and incienrtaion  is also 3 January.  SNIC sent in our evidence last month - please contact Rob ( if you would like a copy. Both the PG and WA reviews have been as a result of pressure of the various groups in Cardiff and also Merthyr as well as ourselves. The Cardiff group have taken Prosiect Gwyrdd to the Ombudsman for lack of transparency, and you will have heard that the Merthyr groups magnificently won the day when Covanta pulled out of building an incinerator there.


On 7th December Rob, Pippa and Martyn  represented SNIC at a 2.5 hour meeting with Jasper Roberts, Deputy Director for Waste and Resource Efficiency at the Dept of Environment in WAG, together with his staff and advisors including Dr David Russell (HPA). SNIC went through all the arguments, and it's still clear that public health is still the one that carries most force and resonance. It is probably the key to stopping waste incinerators. The outcome of this meeting was that although Jasper Roberts stated that he “didn’t particularly want incineration” he was standing by the HPA. Yet this body appears to be discarding peer reviewed  papers which pointed to the increasing health risks of incineration, and putting all their eggs in one basket – that of the WRATE software modelling tool. Modelling tools such as WRATE are supposed to contain scientific measures of safety, even though the method used has no more than a 30% accuracy of predicting pollutant levels correctly, and ignores the important problems of secondary particulates and chemical interactions. (The Health Effects of Waste Incinerators, 4th Report of the British Society for Ecological Medicine,2006). As with all modelling packages, it is what you put in which determines what you get out. The information put in is not in the public domain ! After the meeting our Chair wrote to Jasper Roberts to say 

" It was noteworthy that we had little on which to disagree about the long term objectives for reducing the creation of  waste or indeed the need to maximise kerbside recycling now and in the future. The differences are largely about dealing with the black bag residue in the medium-long term. I would also tend to agree with you that in the end they turn on the health question - and whom the public trust on these issues. 

" One personal idea I did not mention yesterday was whether PG would be prepared to make an incinerator operator insure against the health risks - after all if they are as minute as HPA claim, wouldn’t it be possible to insure at a reasonable price against the risk of members of the public contracting diseases which can be traced to an incinerator - probably on the civil test ie "balance of probability”? I leave this thought with you."

Jasper's reply is eagerly awaited ! In the meantime we hope he and WAG colleagues read SNIC's evidence to the PG Joint Scrutiny Panel on health which quotes a range of expert sources to show how risky incinerators are to human health.

Our meeting also revealed that WAG officials are still reluctant to accept how favourably other  options - especially Mechanical and Biological treatment - compare with incineration when we take account of all the arguments - health, recycling, carbon emissions, flexibility and costs. The truth is that the incineration juggernaut has ploughed on in Wales without realizing the major advances in technology and knowledge about modern waste disposal in the 21st century.  Incineration is fast becoming a dangerous dinosaur - born in the 19th century and with no future. That's why so many incinerator proposals are being rejected throughout the UK at the moment. 

The £1.1 billion of taxpayers money burning a hole in Prosiect Gwyrdd's back pocket should be spent on minimising waste and maximising citizen responsibility. We could be very close to zero waste by 2020, yet WAG and our Councils still perversely demand that we make 256,000 tons of waste every year for the next 25 years to feed a barren and polluting burning machine. Come on WAG, come on Newport Council  - wake up and smell the coffee ! It's incineration which should be consigned to the dustbin !

We urge Newport Councillors to reject Veolia's planning  application unanimously for the sake of our health, and for the sake of the next generation. We also ask all SNIC supporters and sympathisers in Newport and adjacent areas (including Monmouthshire) to write to their Councillor to oppose the application.

 Pippa Bartolotti and Rob Hepworth on behalf of SNIC


P.S.The full link to the planning documents is:




9 November 2011


On Monday 7th November 17 of us travelled to Caerphilly for a meeting of the Prosiect Gwerdd  Joint Scrutiny Panel.  


That there was significant public interest in the meeting clearly concentrated the minds of both the councillors present, and the civil servants.

The main achievement of the meeting was to confirm that the Panel would be reviewing the health and environment aspects of the project, and seeking evidence from a series of experts and interested groups, including SNIC. The panel also accepted our original recommendation to seek evidence from Professor Vyvyan Howard, a distinguished toxicologist who is highly sceptical about incinerators.


Technical parts of the proposed agreement between the 5 Local Authorities and the Incinerator company were discussed. We were visibly shocked to hear that that any shortfall in black bag waste tonnage would have to be made up by the LA responsible in guaranteed cash deposits . We fear in reality that local authorities will actually fill the gap with recyclable waste, such as paper and the contents of the Newport Orange Bins, as they have in other areas.  This is the exact opposite of what Veolia said to us. Veolia said they would be taking all the risk. Now we see that any LA working to recycle more (the best option from Climate Change point of view) will be financially penalised.

One of the features of the meeting - and of PG as a whole - is the increasing domination by local authority lawyers who know very little about health, waste, or the environment, but are determined to uphold EU competition laws and ensure that a multinational gets to build an incinerator in our area. One Newport Councillor opposed to incineration asked whether the project managers had considered the risk of local residents suing for damages if their health was damaged by an incinerator. He was simply told - by a legal official - that he was “not following the officers” presentation”  and that this was a matter which could not properly be discussed at this meeting !!


The Localism Bill was briefly discussed. Members were advised that this would not affect Wales. This information  (like so much given in this ill conceived project) is wrong. It does affect Wales


Concern was expressed that another incinerator company was likely to drop out, and that this mode of self –selection was not getting the best deal for Wales. There was no contingency plan. When directly challenged officers admitted that they were as a last resort willing to consider awarding a £ 1.1 billion contract by single tender negotiation.


We were stunned to hear officers seriously recommending that more recycling = underachievement = cash fines + less voting rights. A violation of common sense! It therefore remains our conviction that PG are not interested in recycling, pollution or carbon emissions. It’s just burn burn burn and to hell with the consequences.


One of the features of the meeting - and of PG as a whole - is the increasing domination by local authority lawyers who know very little about health, waste, or the environment, but are determined to uphold EU competition laws and ensure that a multinational gets to build an incinerator in our area. One Newport Councillor opposed to incineration asked whether the project managers had considered the risk of local residents suing for damages if their health was damaged by an incinerator. He was told - by a legal official - that he was “not following the officers” presentation”  and that this was a matter which could not properly be discussed at this meeting

All five Councils are timetabled to sign off this arrangement in autumn 2012. Failure to sign and the project fails

So lots of issues for campaigners to get involved in:



Carbon emissions

Financial penalties

Illegal settlements and apartheid systems on the West Bank

Increasing recycling



24 October 2011

Huge congratulations on behalf of SNIC to everyone involved in the campaign against the Merthyr Incinerator. The writing is on the wall for big burn incinerators. We don’t care in which order the skittles fall - and as they go down there is a greater chance they will knock each other over. 

Yes we do have to redouble our fight in Newport and Cardiff, but this shows what can be achieved by a campaign which attracts mass support. 

At the very least Prosiect Gwyrrd must now re-open the tendering process to obtain the 4 fully fledged bids that their own rules require - and both these should be non-incineration options. PG could save a lot of taxpayers’ time and money by at last accepting that the people of South Wales want an alternative to incinerators ! 


What’s amazing about Prosiect Gwyrrd is that they claim, entirely falsely, to be neutral about what waste technology is used. Yet they excluded EVERY SINGLE BIDDER offering cleaner, greener, and safer technology using non-incineration techniques. They even rejected the enterprising British firm which has built the new MBT plant in Avonmouth from scratch in 18 months and has been recycling the black bag waste from Bristol, Bath and neighbouring areas cheaply and efficiently since April this year. 

Meanwhile Ministers at WAG and ruling Councillors from Cardiff, Newport and Monmouthshire are misled by a set of incineration-obsessed officials. They are frittering away millions of our money on planning for an incinerator that will poison our children and not actually be operational for another 5 years. 

But please have no doubt that the politicians, Project Greenwash, Veolia and the rest of the incinerator industry are badly rattled. We need to be ready for all the buck-passing, personal attacks and “divide and rule” tactics that losers employ when they have lost the argument. We’ve seen quite a bit of it already in recent media reports. If you can grit your teeth and spare time to attend the Newport Council Chamber, you can hear a lot more that doesn’t get reported. Watching national and local politicians lying through their teeth, and blaming each other, is not a pretty sight. There’s no need for it either. All they have to do is take a deep breath and start again with an open mind - but this time by acting in the interests of the public not multinational incinerator companies.  An MBT plant can be built in 18 months flat to serve all 5 counties in SE Wales. It would be operational 3 years BEFORE an incinerator.  It can be operated by the private sector or the public sector – that’s a matter of free choice for citizens and their elected Councillors. Just let them get on with it – and don’t waste another penny on dangerous and wasteful incinerators to feather the nests of multinationals or politicians.  (Oct 2011)


SNIC activists and protesters gave Prosiect Gwyrrd Greenwash a run for their money at last week’s “drop-in” meetings at Llanwern Village Hall.  The normally rather sleepy village resounded to the sound of SNIC supporters exposing the fibs and fiddles which are the trademark of this project. PG is fronting  a “waste grab” by multinationals who want the public of SE Wales to sacrifice their future health - and pay for the privilege of doing so under a 25 year guaranteed contract for a mass-burn incinerator.

At Monday’s meeting SNIC Chair Rob Hepworth tackled PG’s chief PR officer on alternatives to incineration. In return he received a waste-stream of “knocking copy”  about the new Mechanical and Biological Treatment Plant in Avonmouth which is actually cheaper, greener and healthier than an incinerator.  PG also said that they were not “choosing” an incinerator. Oh no. They said they were just adding up scores under their pre-fixed criteria and that whichever proposals come out on top would get the contract.  Just like that. Magic. When our Chairman said that elected Councillors should make the final decision on whether incinerators were better for health and the environment, he was told that this was illegal under EU competition rules (which is not actually the case).

On Thursday Pippa Bartolotti spoke for about 30 SNIC supporters making a collective protest outside the Llanwern Village Hall. Pippa was quoted in the Argus – There were a lot of glum faces coming out [of the hall] that couldn't believe this was happening around here.”  She also said “ Prosiect Greenwash  is beginning to look more  like corporate greed, and less like democracy.  Councillors in Wales should be putting the health of people at the top of their list.”  

PS There’ll be another protest at the Prosiect Gwyrdd Greenwash  roadshow  session in Major Square on October 22 – contact us for more details.


4 September 2011

SNIC have issued a new leaflet which gives a further "Health Warning to Newport" in direct reponse to Veolia's glossy brochure.
The leaflet has a new nickname for the incinerator proposal ie 
VEOLIA = Very Environmentally Objectionable LLanwern Incinerator Application !

The leaflet can be downloaded from this site - please go to Posters and Leaflets  It will be distributed throughout Newport this month.

SNIC are advising all residents who are against a Giant Waste Incinerator in Newport to get in touch with their local Councillors and ask them to refuse the Planning Application. We hope you will also contact the Leader and Deputy Leader of Newport City Council, Matthew Evans and Ed Townsend, and ask them to STOP  the incinerator project. Before it ruins our health and makes Newport the "dirty air capital" of Wales. It's not too late.


16 August 2011

Veolia have chosen the peak holiday season to start their consultation exercise on their incinerator, which they refuse to call an incinerator. Over the last few days residents living very close to their propsed incinerator site at Bow lease Common Newport have received a glossy brochure with a stack of misinformation about emissions, smell, recycling, traffic, greenhouse gas, energy recovery etc.

If we may paraphrase Veolia all we seek is planning permission to charge you and all the ratepayers of SE Wales hundreds of £millions over the next 25 years to build a facility which even Project Green officers admit is not an ideal health or environmental option.  Fingers crossed your children’s or pensioners' health won't be affected by emissions from the chimney stacks which will be at least 60 metres high. By the way we'll put a grass roof and a few solar panels on the roof of the incinerator  whoops 'energy recovery facility' to make you forget what’s going on inside, and what’s likely to be blowing  up the chimneys and all over Newport and South Monmouthshire.

SNIC will be taking Veolia’s leaflet apart in the next few days – if you are planning to respond to Veolia please watch this space as we’ll be able to give you some suggestions later this week !


25 JULY 2011

Are our government advisers illiterate, or stupid? Environment Minister John Griffiths says he is advised that ‘Incinerators are no health threat’, but nothing could be further from the truth.


Said Pippa Bartolotti, spokesperson for SNIC, ‘This announcement flies in the face of all the evidence. For example, asbestos-related disease was identified in 1908, yet employers and Government concealed the information until the 1970’s. Millions suffered needlessly. They are pulling the same trick on us again. The fine particulates in incinerator emissions are extremely harmful to our health, and with each new publication on the subject the risks are becoming clearer.’


SNIC believe that the Precautionary Principle should be applied at the very least. No incinerators should be built until our air is properly monitored. In the US they have been monitoring their air since 1988, and monitoring the fine particulates since 1997. In Germany there are public air quality displays in the cities so that people can see at a glance what they are breathing.


Said Rob Hepworth, SNIC Chair, ‘Wales is lagging behind the rest of the world. We have been promised comprehensive air quality studies in this country since 2003, but nothing has happened. Recently another study has been promised, but the intention seems to be that Wales will incinerate regardless. 

A comprehensive review by the Health Research Board states that ‘acute and chronic respiratory symptoms are associated with incinerator emissions’, and the EU Environmental Commissioner said ‘Incinerators are not the answer to waste management… Incinerators only reduce the volume of waste but the environmental impact of incineration is significant’. He also said that the Commission does not support incineration.

SNIC will continue to question the ethics of Prosiect Gwerdd in selecting an incineration only solution for Wales. There are several alternative technologies available, and SNIC believes these have not been properly considered.


‘We are talking about human suffering. Outmoded waste treatments should not be put before the lives and health of our children.’

Rob Hepworth added " The health risks of incinerators are well understood by a number of distinguished  scientific experts. I hope the Minister will look carefully at the new evidence emerging about them and advise the City Council to think again before they are sucked into a potentially disastrous and expensive mistake. At the very least, the current subsidies for incinerator ash disposal should be withdrawn as they are totally distorting the market"


Contact Pippa Bartolotti 01633 822922 or  07981717757


30 June 2011

Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign asks for a review of waste disposal policy


In a letter sent yesterday to Mark Stevens, Chair of Prosiect Gwyrrd Joint Committee, and his 9 colleagues, the SNIC campaign asks that councilors use the unexplained 12 month delay in announcing a contractor, to review the entire waste disposal strategy. In the letter, SNIC chair Rob Hepworth says:


‘We understand the final decision on a contractor has been delayed one year and is now due in Autumn 2012.  We urge you as Chairman of Prosiect Gwyrrd to use this breathing space in the genuine interests of residents throughout the region by reviewing the entire project specification, possibly by seeking new bids from the many contractors who are able to supply non-incineration technology. We believe this is justified by the emerging health risks, and the projected reduction of residual waste.


Incineration is increasingly unnecessary and uneconomic as well as dangerous. If compensation has to be paid to put this project back on the right track, we would argue this is a small price to pay for the improved health of generations of people living in SE Wales and beyond.’


Said Pippa Bartolotti SNIC spokesperson: “The next few years will see us recycling much, much more. Last year Switzerland recycled 52% of its waste, Japan is even higher. Packaging manufacturers are at last getting the message and developing compostable wrappings. The future will be cleaner, so lets not go backwards with these dinosaur incinerators.”


Media Contact : Pippa Bartolotti 01633 822922 or  07981717757. Copy of letter below.



28 June 2011


At their meeting in Newport yesterday, SNIC members were enthusiastic to continue with their programme of public information and protest  against incinerators in Newport and elsewhere in SE Wales, building on the successes achieved in the first 7 weeks of active campaigning. Plans to strengthen links up with the campaigns in Merthyr and Cardiff, and to hold a further public meeting were agreed. There will  be active engagement with local MPs, AMs and the Welsh Assembly Government. The Chairman was asked to write to all 10 members of the Prosiect Gwyrrd Joint Committee, who are mostly councilors nominated by the 5 authorities in the partnership, including Newport, Cardiff, Monmouthshire, Caerphilly and the Vale of Glamorgan. SNIC will call on the Joint Committee to review the project and seek safer, greener, and ultimately more economic solutions to residual waste, which is declining right across Wales as local authorities and the public recycle more and more "waste".  Incineration is increasingly the wrong solution to a diminishing problem !



19 June 2011


SNIC welcomed last week’s announcement by the Leader of the  Opposition on Newport City Council, Councillor Bob Bright, that Labour are opposed to the Veolia bid for a waste disposal incinerator in Newport.


SNIC also support the letter which the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Group have sent to the Labour Minister for Environment in Wales, John Griffiths AM, requiring a review of waste incineration as a method of landfill recycling. The letter points out that there are "better ways of achieving recycling targets". A copy is attached below.


SNIC Chairman Rob Hepworth said “This is an important breakthrough for SNIC - and for all people opposing incineration in South Wales under Prosiect Gwyrdd. We hope that all Parties will now swallow their pride and do the right thing for the health of our City and our region. Now is the time for the newly re-elected Government in Cardiff to give a national lead."

SNIC Media Spokesperson Pippa Bartolotti called on the ruling Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition on Newport Council to “Wake up and smell the pollution! Newport City Council has to persuade the Welsh Government and Prosiect Gwerydd to rethink their waste strategy and investigate cleaner, cheaper and safer options. People’s health must come first!”

posted 11 Oct 2012, 07:05 by Robert Hepworth   [ updated 11 Oct 2012, 07:18 ]

posted 15 Oct 2009, 08:02 by Robert Hepworth   [ updated 16 Jun 2011, 10:30 ]

posted 15 Oct 2009, 07:59 by Robert Hepworth   [ updated 30 Jun 2011, 14:31 ]

1-3 of 3