GREEN LIGHT FROM CARDIFF BAY FOR WASTEFUL PG
INCINERATOR – CAN WE CHANGE IT BACK TO RED ?
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 http://wales.gov.uk/newsroom/environmentandcountryside/2013/130802pg/?lang=en
SNIC would single out four particularly misleading statements in the communique:
1. ALLEGED COMPLIANCE WITH RECYCLING TARGETS
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
2. ALLEGED COST SAVINGS FOR COUNCILS
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 .
3. ALLEGED TECHNOLOGICAL NEUTRALITY
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.
4. ALLEGED CARBON REDUCTIONS AND BENEFITS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
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
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 http://www.trashedfilm.com or contact Harriet Grecian of Blenheim Films at email@example.com
UPDATE ON WALES AUDIT OFFICE REVIEW
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.
Stop Newport and Monmouthshire Incinerator Campaign (SNIC)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: van Steenis, Huw <Huw.vanSteenis@morganstanley.com>
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:https://www.justgiving.com/DrDickvanSteenis
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
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
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); firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
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:https://www.justgiving.com/DrDickvanSteenis
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 https://www.justgiving.com/DrDickvanSteenis
Huw van Steenis
AT LAST - VICTORY OVER VEOLIA !
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
Chair, Stop Newport and Monmouthshire Incinerator Campaign
breaking news !! SNIC ASKS WALES AUDITOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE PROSIECT GWYRDD ....
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.
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.
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 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pjlqd - 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
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.
Cllrs Ann Were and Anthony Owen
On behalf of Monmouth Town Council.
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”
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.
VEOLIA AND PROSIECT GWYRDD VS THE PEOPLE OF NEWPORT & MONMOUTHSHIRE : THE GAME (SADLY) RESUMES
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
MAJOR VICTORY - VEOLIA'S PLANNING APPLICATION REJECTED BY NEWPORT COUNCIL
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.”
PLEASE SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS OBJECTING TO THE WASTE PROVISIONS IN THE DRAFT NEWPORT PLAN BY 28 MAY 2012 !
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
On 13 April 2012 12:30, LDP Consultation <LDP.Consultation@newport.gov.uk> wrote:
FULL DETAILS OF THE RECORDED VOTE ON THE INCINERATOR IN NEWPORT COUNCIL 27 MARCH 2012
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.
UNDER SECTION 11 “WASTE”
(i) In Paragraph 11.2 after “waste targets in line 2, delete all existing text
“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
FOR A REGIONALLY SCALED WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY ON
LAND SOUTH OF LLANWERN STEELWORKS (4 Ha)”.
(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.
24 TURKEYS VOTE FOR EARLY CHRISTMAS AFTER ALL - COOKING DATE 3 MAY ??
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
PLEASE SUPPORT AN AMENDMENT TO THE LDP TO
STOP A WASTE INCINERATOR
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.
MAKE IT CLEAR TODAY NEWPORT IS GOVERNED BY ELECTED COUNCILLORS WHO ARE THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE. NO INCINERATOR IN NEWPORT ! AMEND THE LDP TODAY !
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 seehttp://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwentnews/9620865.Labour_loses_bid_to_change_Newport_s_local_development_plan/
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.
NEW PROOF THAT TURKEYS DON’T VOTE FOR CHRISTMAS !
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 …….https://sites.google.com/site/stopnewportincineratorcampaign/snic-protest-28-feb-2012
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 http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/9560181.Newport_incinerator_protesters_lobby_councillors/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
SNIC SENDS 12 POINT OBJECTION TO INCINERATOR APPLICATION
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 -
HOW TO OBJECT TO VEOLIA'S APPLICATION
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 http://www.newport.gov.uk/fastWeb/comment.asp?AltRef=11/1303&ApplicationNumber=11/1303 , 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, email@example.com
Your Name & Address
Head of Planning and Regeneration
Newport City Council
Dear Sir or Madam,
OBJECTION TO APPLICATION FOR INCINERATOR AT LLANWERN – REF 11/1303
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:
We would also be grateful if you could forward a copy of this objection to my local Councillor.
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 http://www.newport.gov.uk/fastWeb/welcome.asp 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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:
PG SCRUTINY COMMITTEE TO REVIEW PROSIECT GWYRDD
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 http://www.assemblywales.org/11-003.pdf
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:
Illegal settlements and apartheid systems on the West Bank
CONGRATULATIONS TO MERTHYR AS COVANTA ABANDON INCINERATOR
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 !
NEW SNIC LEAFLET ANSWERS VEOLIA'S CONSULTATION CLAIMS
9 October - WASTE DISPOSAL IN SOUTH WALES - A PLEA FOR SANITY
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)
8 October - PROSIECT GWYRDD – APOLOGISTS FOR ARSON
SNIC activists and protesters gave Prosiect
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.”
be another protest at the Prosiect
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.
VEOLIA'S "CONSULTATION" EXERCISE BEGINS
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
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 !
SNIC PRESS RELEASE - MINISTERS ILL-ADVISED
25 JULY 2011
SNIC PRESS RELEASE - LETTER TO PROSIECT GWYRRD COUNCILLORS
30 June 2011
SNIC TO APPROACH PROSIECT GWYRRD COUNCILLORS
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 !
SNIC WELCOMES STATEMENT BY LEADER OF OPPOSITION
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