All posts by stb

Corrupt Council Demand More Money

Solicitors acting on behalf of Sutton Council have contacted Richard Buxton solicitors demanding that Shasha Khan pay costs of £5000 plus £400 in accrued interest within 14 days.

Sutton Council spent tens of thousands of pounds defending their decision to grant planning permission for the South London incinerator in the High Court. Normally the defendant can recover their costs if the judge rules in their favour. However, the member states of the EU have signed up to the Aarhus Convention which ensures all citizens are able to obtain access to justice on environmental issues. Under this convention, when the claimant, in this case Shasha Khan, is an individual, the recoverable costs if the High Court challenge is unsuccessful are capped at £5000.

The South London Legal Partnership sent an email with a copy of the court order to Richard Buxton on 16th November 2015.

Reacting to the demand, Shasha Khan said, “I am a bit stunned by the demand. I don’t have £5400 readily available.

“As soon as Justice Sales refused permission for an Appeal back in late April I spoke to my (now former) solicitor about the £5000 capped costs that I was liable for. I was advised that there was a potential that the defendant wouldn’t come after the £5000. So we decide to wait.

“Seven months have elapsed and suddenly Sutton has decided to come after £5k, with interest! I am wondering if they’ve done this deliberately to accrue as much additional cash as possible – far better than putting the £5k in the bank. It’s like rubbing salt in the wound. I have continued to fight the granting of planning permission despite losing the judicial review. Since the decision in April, a whole series of damning corruption, intimidation and transgression revelations (1) have come to light about what went on behind the scenes, and a few of us haven’t given up forcing Sutton and the South London Waste Partnership to come clean on their dodgy behaviour. Maybe this is their way of saying, ‘don’t question us peasant!’

“I have contacted the South London Legal Partnership but the ‘team leader’ is on annual leave and no one else can help me. This leaves me just 11 days to raise all the money.”

(1) http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Sutton-investigates-claims-ex-councillor-coerced/story-27794377-detail/story.html and http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/12893354.Lib_Dem_linked_church_received_more_than_quarter_of_a_million_pounds_from_company_hoping_to_build_South_London_Incinerator/ and http://insidecroydon.com/2015/09/16/conflicts-of-interest-exposed-over-councillors-old-pals-act/

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Waste Lorry Overturns on Purley Way

A lorry transporting waste to or from the Beddington Lane landfill site overturned this morning on Purley Way.  The accident happened at around 08:00 on Friday 14th August closing the main A23 in both directions.  The north bound carriageway had reopened by 09:15 but the south bound carriageway remained closed with traffic following a diversion around the Ampere Way roundabout.20150814_104020

The Heverin articulated lorry was carrying a full load of residual waste.  Once all of the incinerators planned for Beddington Lane are operational there will be over 1,000 lorry movements to service them EVERY day.  Drenl have stated that they plan to use 20 ton lorries for their gasification plant at the site previously occupied by Country Waste.  The potential for more accidents is all too obvious.  If any other vehicle had been caught under the lorry as it tipped over the consequences are frightening!

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Justice Sales in to the distance

Today Lord Justice Sales ruled against our application to appeal the Judicial Review judgement.

outside court 1Campaigners outside Royal Courts of Justice

From a legal point of view we may be running out of options (the European Court of Human Rights is the next step) but we can assure you Stop the Incinerator will NOT cease their campaign.

It is not the first time in this long battle that we have been knocked down and we will simply get up, dust off the toxic nano-particles and carry on the fight!

taking on viridor

You can read how the appeal hearing was reported in the press by clicking on the pictures below.

news 1news 2

As Inside Croydon points out there are other avenues that need further exploration, in particular the malpractice and bribery that went on in Sutton council.  This will not be the last revelation that comes out of this dirty business.

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Disorder in the Council Chambers

Or How to upset the Lib Dems. Sutton Council was clearly rattled by the demonstration we had at the full council meeting on 20/04/2015. You can see highlights of some of our favourite moments in this video – watch the Lib Dems struggle to answer the allegations of bribery and justify themselves as a green borough.

You can listen to the full meeting here:

Of particular interest to this campaign group are the questions Maeve asked about infant mortality and traffic, you can hear the council’s response at about 32mins and 12 seconds.

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Appeal Protest

When

We will be holding a peaceful demonstration outside the main entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice from 9am on the 28th of April.

THE HEARING TIME HAS BEEN CONFIRMED. It will be in COURT 63 Before Lord Justice Sales at 10 o’clock.

You are welcome to watch the proceedings but there is only limited space for about 20 people in the public gallery.

You are welcome to stay for as long as you wish but we envisage the demo only lasting about an hour.

Please note that the oral hearing will only last maybe 30-45 minutes and is a request for our appeal to be granted, not the actual appeal hearing itself.

It is vital we get a good number of people there as it will show the courts how serious we are.

Where

Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL.


View Larger Map

How do I get there?

Tube: Temple on the District and Circle lines, Holborn on the Central and Piccadilly lines and Chancery Lane on the Central Line.

Bus: Bus numbers 4, 11, 15, 23, 26, 76, 172, and 341 stop outside the RCJ. Bus numbers 1, 59, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 243, 521 and X68 stop on Kingsway and Aldwych. Go to www.tfl.gov.uk for more detailed travel information.

Car: If you have a disabled badge, you can park by prior arrangement, giving 24 hours notice. See here for more details.

Otherwise there is parking available in Lincolns Inn Fields and Maltravers St. The nearest car park is in New Court, Carey Street, with additional ones at Drury Lane, Holborn and Shoe Lane.

The RCJ have a handy FAQ page here.

What should I bring?

Just bring yourself and your enthusiasm. We will provide placards and banners etc.

This demo is about showing the Judge we oppose the South London Incinerator but also a celebration of what we have all achieved.  We have all campaigned long and hard and keeping the legal fight going is no small achievement.

dalek victory over croydon portrait

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That was the week that was

It’s been an interesting 7 days for local politics in Sutton. Democracy has been tested this week and it’s come up short. Whilst we have been allowed to protest and speak freely, those who have done so have not been fairly treated and have faced hostility.

The Battle of Rose Hill

It started with Nick Clegg’s Visit to St Helier’s Hospital on Monday the 13th of April. It was rehearsed and carefully stage managed, with Mr Clegg receiving adulation from a crowd that had been whipped in to a religious fervour by his PR guys.

This led to a very unpleasant atmosphere where the Lib Dem supporters were determined to form a physical ring of protection around their leader which inevitably resulted in pushing and shoving.

Anyone without a Lib Dem placard was unceremoniously herded to the back and if you were holding up a protest sign you were physically blocked and pushed by the ever more determined Cleggites.

I have taken part in a good number of protests with Stop the Incinerator over the years and I have never faced such vitriol and contempt for having dared to oppose their glorious party.

You can read more about the day and see how the media reported it here.

The truth is out there

According to the news Nick Clegg’s visit was overwhelmed by angry protestors and he left early.

According to local Lib Dem Councillor Mary Burstow (who voted in favour of the incinerator), it was a wonderful 20 minutes full of flag waving and cheering.

One of the protestors who was there, visually impaired Labour candidate Emily Brothers, asked for an apology after the harassment she received from the Lib Dems.

Instead of apologising they offered their regret that the incident had happened but they too had been subjected to pushing and shoving, with disabled Lib Dem Councillor Jean Crosby demanding an apology for being abused by protestors.

The Whistleblower

We found out this week what happens to a whistleblower, when Lib Dem Councillor Nick Mattey dared to challenge his council over the incinerator.

His open letter was published on the 15th of April and by the following day he was suspended.

This is a classic piece of misdirection by The Lib Dems in an attempt at keep our attention away from the truth.

The truth is that Lib Dem Councillor Stephen Fenwick was ‘coerced’ in to changing his vote from a ‘no’ to a ‘yes’ on the incinerator. (1)

The truth is the Lib Dems are receiving financial incentives from Viridor.

The truth is the Lib Dems are using whatever tactics they can in order to force through a plan that no one, not even Viridor, are happy with.

References

(1) The following is taken from Stephen Fenwick’s comments added online in response the Sutton Guardian report on Cllr Nick Mattey’s suspension.

In 2013, when I was a Lib Dem Cllr, I voted AGAINST the incinerator as I was residing in Beddington North. I had no such action taken against me by any high ranking member of the party; Cllr Ruth Dombey didn’t bat any eyelid towards any suspension against me for at that decision. Although I voted for the incinerator at the 2nd Development Control Committee (I was coerced into doing so by certain members of the group no longer present), I still had some issues with the environmental impact the incinerator would cause, even though I was by that time living in North Cheam.

The problem that Cllr Dombey and her hierarchy have is that they cannot take criticism or effectively handle issues without burying their heads in the sand to protect the supremacy and power of the Lib Dem and the Borough’s two MPs. For example, in 2014, I was forced to plead guilty to an assault issue by the Chair of the local party and Cllr Dombey, despite the lacklustre evidence and that the Met Police made this a political issue when they learnt of my position as a Councillor. The decision taken to suspend me behind closed doors and supported by Paul Burstow was to protect the Lib Dem control in Sutton during local elections in 2014.

It seems apparent to me that Cllr Mattey’s suspension is the Sutton Lib Dems burying their heads in the sand like all turkeys do, but with the intention of keeping their tight grip on the power theyare slowly losing. This time it’s to keep Tom Brake in a seat that he has largely neglected since taking up the role of the puppet to the Leader of The House in the Coalition, unpopular to many Lib Dems in Beddington since 2010.

If Tom Brake is returned as MP, Cllr Mattey will be returned to the Lib Dem group (with NO investigation into his conduct!). If Tom Brake loses to the Tories, prepare for a Council by-election in Beddington after May.

How long will it be before Sutton is twinned with Pyongyang?

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Protest forces Nick Clegg to run from the truth

Stop the Incinerator were outside St Helier Hospital today in an attempt to get Nick Clegg to listen to our concerns.

His Lib Dem council are so in favour of incineration you can only assume their party leader is as well.  However, he wasn’t there to answer questions but to rally his troops in a carefully stage managed show for the cameras.

Only it didn’t go quite according to plan and in spite of pre-arrival rehearsals and some heavy handed tactics from security and his supporters, the noisy protesters forced him in to cutting his visit short.

You can read more about it here in the Sutton Guardian or click on the pictures below to follow the other links.

ITV Newsitv news report

The National Guardian

The intention was to meet Liberal Democrat supporters outside the St Helier hospital in Tom Brake’s constituency of Carshalton and Wallington, but Nick Clegg was instead greeted by angry protesters.

Some wenational guardianre there to campaign against NHS cuts, and others – including Lib Dem councillor Nick Mattey – were there to protest against plans to open further waste incinerators in the area.

Clegg spoke to a small group of friendly supporters for a few minutes in a field facing the hospital, while his guards struggled to keep the demonstrators at bay.

The Lib Dem leader was then whisked into his official car and driven away, no more than five minutes after arriving.

 

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Keeping up the pressure – how you can help

Following on from today’s Stop the Incinerator Meeting, we have been asked how people can help the campaign.

We have an imaginatively entitled How You Can Help page on our website that gives you some ideas.

Spurred on by Councillor Nick Mattey and his ongoing campaign to shame Sutton council in to changing their immoral and environmentally reprehensible plans we recommend contacting your local MP and councillors directly.

At the foot of this post is what Nick wrote to Sutton Council.   Please email the leader of Sutton Council Ruth Dombey and ask why she thinks Beddington needs so many polluting ‘energy from waste’ plants: Ruth.Dombey@sutton.gov.uk

Submit questions at the next full council meeting – you can do so at any of the four boroughs involved (Sutton, Croydon, Merton & Kingston) as long as you live or work in the borough.

Details of how you can do this, the deadlines and a list of possible questions can be found here.

Nick Mattey’s Email to Sutton Council

Email To All Sutton Liberal Democrats Sent 10/04/2015 9AM

As you may be aware a huge cloud of pollution is sitting over our country. One of its principle constituents are oxides of Nitrogen. Sutton Council in their wisdom have given permission for the construction of two and I will use the euphemism Energy From Waste plants(just in case a freedom of Information request is submitted) to be built in

Beddington Lane. They will be jointly spewing out 450 tonnes of oxides of nitrogen per year. Making sure that Sutton plays its part in the horrendous air pollution that will threaten the health of our residents for a generation. I am sure that Councillors McCoy and Whitehead will tell you that the risks to health have been fully investigated and there will be no harm to health. In addition the pollution caused by ferrying 600,000 tonnes of waste to be incinerated in these two plants each year will be insignificant.

I can tell you now that the stench of burnt fuel polluting the air in my garden in Beddington is terrible and I am forced to shut my windows. This is before the plants have even started operating . What is Sutton doing about this threat ? It is advertising for a Media Manager to tell every one that the Viridor Incinerator will make Sutton one of the best places to live in.
I am sure the irony of this crass statement will become more and more evident as we become one of Londons major sources of pollution, a Pariah Council who will go to court to defend a companies right to pollute.

These are not the actions of a caring council and our relationship with incineration needs to re thought we are a token Green Council who have lost direction on environmental matters.

No amount of PR will help parents whose children are plagued with respiratory complaints.

Please act now to get the council to help the people who elected us .

kind regards

Nick

Councillor Nick Mattey
Beddington North Ward

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Waste Heat is a lot of Hot Air & Nonsense

The biggest lie of the South London Incinerator is that it will provide safe, green, renewable energy. This simply isn’t true. It is very unlikely the heat will ever be used and if it is, it will be more expensive and environmentally damaging than conventional heat sources.

Per KW of energy Waste incinerators produce more CO2 than a conventional fossil fuelled power station. They are an incredibly inefficient way of producing energy due to the variable fuel stock that goes in (anything from car parts to food waste) and the heat they produce is simply too expensive to be worthwhile using.

Don’t take our word for it.

Viridor, the company building the incinerator (also known as a Combined Heat and Power Plant, an Energy Recovery Facility or Energy From Waste Plant), admit in the planning application that no heat will be used for at least the first several years.

It is so unlikely any heat will be utilised they even used this fact as a legal argument in the Judicial Review for not having done an Environmental Assessment for the heat pipes outside the site.

Even though Viridor claim the Felnex redevelopment will take the waste heat, according to Savills (who were the development manager for Felnex ) “no decision has yet been taken to commit to this.”

In other words Viridor have NOT secured an end user for the heat, which means even if they are able to supply it, there is no one who wants it.

To get around this Viridor are offering £50,000 towards setting up Combined Heat & Power working group to find an end user, Sutton Council have set up a private company to promote the use of the waste heat and the Government are funding a PR manager to spin the whole thing in to looking like a good idea.

Sutton council want to build a number of incinerators on Beddington Lane where the heat produced will be part of a district heating network.

This Which report on district heating shows from the consumer’s perspective what the problems are : “district heating customers have no opportunity to switch suppliers or right to redress should the service fail to meet expectations.”

The response to this report from consumers backs it up; with one user being charged £25 a month before they’d even used any heating or hot water.

The Evening Standard has also done an article on the high costs and low satisfaction with district heating.

Read this article for more on why investing in energy from waste is economically and environmentally costly.

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Savills Distance themselves from incinerator

You may remember we had a demo outside Savills estate agent recently due to their involvement with the Felnex development which is being pushed in to taking the waste heat.

It took the demo to force Savills in to responding to our repeated requests for a meeting. In their written response (see below) they are keen to point out they are no longer involved in the process and (like everyone else) confirm the use of waste heat has not been agreed.

Dear Mr Khan

Thank you for your letter dated 21 March 2015.

We can confirm that Savills was appointed in 2006 as planning agent and development manager for the Felnex redevelopment in Hackbridge.    Savills’ appointment as development manager on the Felnex redevelopment ceased in early 2014.

During Savills’ appointment as planning agent, Savills, acting on behalf of the Felnex  redevelopment, was obliged  to include green energy proposals, in line with Greater London Authority and the London Borough of Sutton Council policy.  Such proposals were due in part to Hackbridge plans to become the UK’s first sustainable suburb.

One of the several options put forward in the planning proposal was to take ‘waste heat’ from the Viridor plant on Beddington Lane. Savills understands that no decision has yet been taken to commit to this or the other options that were considered but as Savills is not involved with any discussions on behalf of any party in this matter we cannot confirm this. 

 Outline planning permission on the Felnex redevelopment was obtained in March 2012.

Savills has not been and never has been appointed as planning consultants in relation to the Viridor plant on Beddington Lane. We understand that Viridor was granted planning permission for an Energy Recovery Facility in March 2014, however, as Savills had no involvement in that planning application, we cannot comment on the need for or scale of the proposal.

 Yours faithfully 

 Savills (UK) Limited

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