Protests at County Hall as councillors appoint Splott incinerator firm for waste contract

February 8, 2013 4 Comments »
Protesters David Prosser (left) and Max Wallace (right) outside County Hall yesterday.

Protesters David Prosser (left) and Max Wallace (right) outside County Hall yesterday.

Protesters gathered outside Cardiff County Hall yesterday as councillors appointed the firm constructing the controversial Splott incinerator as the preferred bidder for a multi-million-pound waste contract.

The Prosiect Gwyrdd Joint Committee met at the council’s offices in Cardiff Bay to accept board recommendations for the 25-year contract to burn about 172,000 tonnes of rubbish each year.

A small group of about 10 protesters waved banners and placards outside County Hall before the council meeting got under way yesterday morning.

The campaigners later made their way into the public meeting as the Prosiect Gwyrdd board outlined their recommendations to councillors.

Councillor Russell Goodway, who chaired the meeting, warned one protester he could be asked to leave the meeting following an outburst from the campaigner as the meeting began.

Coun Goodway said: “There are times as elected members where we are called upon to make decisions that affect the lives of many people.”

Mike Williams, project director for Prosiect Gwyrdd, told the committee that organisations including the Public Health Agency had said the incinerator did not impact upon people’s health, despite concerns from some campaigners.

He said: “They have said that any impacts on health are likely to be small and not detectable. They are saying they can’t actually find that there are health impacts.”

Mr Williams also praised the project’s environmental impact.

He said: “We are moving from something that is not sustainable at the moment to something with a much better environmental performance.

“We don’t believe that it will impact on the partners’ recycling ambitions.”

Pippa Bartolotti, leader of the Wales Green Party, was among those who joined the protest.

She claimed Prosiect Gwyrdd was a “bad deal for Welsh taxpayers” if the councils failed to provide enough waste for incineration.

She said: “Waste is going down, recycling is going up and the amount of non-recyclable materials produced is going down. My prediction is that there won’t be enough waste to fulfil the central obligation for these councils, and if they can’t provide the waste, they will have to provide the money.”

All five councils involved – Cardiff, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, the Vale of Glamorgan and Newport – must now agree to the Prosiect Gwyrdd Joint Committee’s recommendations.

It is estimated the incinerator would save the coalition of councils more than £11m in its first year of operation, compared with the cost of landfill operations.

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  1. Red Ron February 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    So much for Labour's pledge to stop the incinerator. Now they're the driving force. Why were we lied to and will we ever get an apology from Cllr Holland, Cllr Hunt and Cllr Thomas for misleading us?

  2. Michael Ryan February 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    In August 2003, the newly formed Health Protection Agency (HPA) promised to examine health data around incinerators and landfill sites due to public concerns.

    In March 2008, I made a request using FoI to ask the HPA for a list of the incinerators they'd checked relevant data around and the answer was "none" and that appalling fact was reported in both the Dorking Advertiser and the Surrey Mirror on 22 May 2008 as these papers had been covering Capel Action Group's campaign against an incinerator in their village.

    The constituents of Lyn Brown MP will have been downwind of SELCHP incinerator for twenty years this year and she's asked two Parliamentary Questions which have answers on 18 & 22 January 2013 that show the indifference to health effects of incineration:

    Lyn Brown:

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the potential effects on human health in Newham of the operation of the South East London Combined Heat and Power incinerator.

    Lyn Brown (West Ham, Labour)
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the trends in infant mortality rates in Newham.

  3. Michael Ryan February 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    I hope that Chris Mills, Regional Director of the Environment Agency who failed to write to the letters page of the Western Mail and SW Echo after Judi Knights' letter about incineration (pasted below), looks at this graph and admits that we're not protected from harm from incinerators.

    Share the data on incinerators
    (South Wales Echo, 9 November 2010)

    I'VE read the incinerator letters by Chris Mills (October 25) and Michael Ryan (October 20) regarding IPPC permits for incinerators and would be grateful if Chris Mills would confirm that the Environment Agency : Relies on advice/opinion from the Health Protection Agency for health effects of incinerators; has not examined rates of illness and rates of premature deaths at all ages in electoral wards around any incinerator and is therefore unaware whether or not any existing incinerator the Environment Agency is supposed to be regulating is causing any harm to health.

    Norfolk County Council wants an incinerator in King's Lynn and it has assumed that the Environment Agency is an effective regulator, whereas Michael Ryan's letter suggests otherwise. If the Environment Agency has examined relevant data around existing incinerators, could Chris Mills please inform Viewpoints of the locations of the incinerators and the data examined.

    Judi Knights (Miss) King's Lynn, Norfolk

  4. Rob H February 9, 2013 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    HPA is no longer legal adviser on public health for Wales after its abolition on 31 March 2013. WG have been negotiating secretly to retain Public Health England (HPA's successor) as our adviser on Wales. Bye Bevan would turn on his grave. Please protest ! Rob

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