How to submit a question at full Council Meeting

We don’t want the four councils involved in the South London Waste Plan to forget about the travesty that is the incinerator.  Tracy, a member of STI has come up with a list of questions we can ask at the forthcoming council meetings.

Usually you have to live or work in the borough to which you are submitting the question so please bear that in mind.  Below are the questions and links to each borough’s website to help you with submitting the questions.

PLEASE NOTE – you will have to submit your question at least 2 weeks before the date of the next full council meeting but this varies from council to council.

MERTON – Next council meeting 15/04/15 at 7.15pm – the deadline for submitting a written question for this meeting is 5pm 03/04/15. http://www.merton.gov.uk/council/decision-making/committee/council_questions.htm

CROYDON – next council meeting 20/04/15 6.30pm,  questions needs to be submitted by noon 02/04/15.  http://www.croydon.gov.uk/democracy/dande/council-questions/

SUTTON – next council meeting 20/04/15  deadline by 10.00 (10 am) on the Tuesday before the meeting.  https://www.sutton.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3110

KINGSTON – next council meeting  22/04/2014  http://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200270/decision_making_and_committees/684/get_involved_in_decision_making

QUESTIONS – take your pick and please let us know which one and which council you’re contacting!

  1. Given the recent ruling in favour of Climate Earth (European Courts of Justice) over the UK’s failure to meet EU air pollution limits, what measures is this council taking to improve air pollution in Air Quality Management Areas, e.g. abandoning the incinerator in favour of cleaner technologies?
  2. What is the financial cost of pulling out of the Beddington incinerator contract with Viridor? Is this not value for money for being released from a contract over which Croydon Council has virtually no control?
  3. Is it possible to amend the South London Waste Partnership contract to replace incineration with anaerobic digestion, Mechanical Biological Treatment, Mechanical Recovery Facility or other truly-green technology?
  4. Now that the council is responsible for public health, is there now a conflict of interest with the council introducing a waste treatment technology (Beddington incinerator) which harms public health in the long term (especially for babies and the vulnerable) and thus storing up problems for the future?
  5. Can the council afford the health impacts of the Beddington incinerator now that it is responsible for public health but continues to have its central government budget cut year on year? How will the council fund these treatment of these adverse health impacts in 10+year’s time, for 35years from when (if) it starts operating (25+10 to cover the operating lifetime of the incinerator plus the 10-year lag in impacts manifesting themselves) ?
  6. What is the cost to the council of staying in the South London Waste Partnership (over the contract’s 25-year lifetime), i.e. the cost to Croydon taxpayers (residents and businesses) to continue with the contract?
  7. Given that opposing the incinerator was an election promise in 2010 & 2014, how is remaining in the South London Waste Partnership living up to those promises? Apart from stating your opposition, how is the council opposing the incinerator exactly whilst remaining within the Partnership? Is this just lip-service (broken election promises like those of Tory councillors in Waddon 2010-2014) or is the council serious about opposing the incinerator?
  8. Why do you think the major political parties across the four boroughs of the South London Waste Partnership cannot agree a stance on incineration in general and the Beddington incinerator in particular? What efforts has this administration made to persuade their colleagues in their party in these neighbouring boroughs to oppose incineration? If one or more of the other administration opposed incineration, the Partnership would have to abandon Viridor & the incinerator and utilise environmentally sustainable waste management technologies.
  9. Has this council considered a full public consultation on the Beddington incinerator, such as that by West Norfolk  which showed overwhelming (92%) opposition to the Kings Lynn incinerator?
  10. As Croydon taxpayers are still paying for the 2012 London Olympics and suffering from continuing austerity measures (locally and nationally), how can the public afford the expensive Beddington incinerator? As Viridor make a handsome profit for 25 years, what local public services will be cut to fund this white elephant?
  11. Will this council show it is unafraid of increasing public knowledge about incineration and other waste disposal issues by funding a public screening of the film Trashed in the current calendar year (2015)?
  12. As councillors may remember, a precedent was set with the Gateway Arena site when a previous administration pulled out of their contract with a preferred bidder/contractor. Will the current administration consider similarly pulling out of the South London Waste Partnership and/or its contract with Viridor?
  13. In December 2014 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, called in the planning decision on the Bilsthorpe incinerator in Nottinghamshire. Has this council considered asking Mr Pickles to similarly call in the decision for the Beddington incinerator?
  14. Has this council considered asking Mayor for London, Boris Johnson, to take over responsibility for all of London’s waste and thus ensure consistency across London’s 33 boroughs? It is nonsensical that certain waste materials are landfilled in certain boroughs but collected for composting or recycling in neighbouring boroughs, in a sort of postcode lottery for waste.
  15. As the waste arriving at the proposed Beddington incinerator will not be sorted (to remove recyclable materials), how is this council ensuring that there is no explosion (as there was at Lakeside, near Heathrow) delaying the operation of the proposed incinerator?
  16. Viridor are not going to sort waste arriving at the Beddington site to remove recyclable materials, instead relying on the public to pre-sort it at the kerbside. Incinerated recyclable materials will fetch a much lower value and hence reduce the income generated. How does this arrangement offer best practice or value for money for this council and local taxpayers?
  17. When will Croydon and Sutton residents get the long-promised but much-delayed regional park on the Beddington incinerator site?
  18. How is democracy served when the public overwhelmingly oppose the Beddington incinerator yet it is built anyway? How does this encourage greater engagement by the public in local decision-making? If public opinion is ignored, why bother voting?
  19. Has this council considered a community-run recycling facility to deal with the borough’s waste? This would create jobs, generate money and improve the health of the public and wild animals by reducing the adverse health and environmental impacts of the proposed Beddington incinerator – a win-win-win situation!
  20. What measures has this council and/or its partners taken to mitigate the decline in bird numbers on the site of the Beddington incinerator, especially sparrows whose numbers have declined from over 1000 to around 70 in less than 10 years following Viridor’s destruction of the trees on the site used by nesting birds?