Campaigners to demonstrate outside incinerator

michael ryan harlescott incinerator

29.06.16

Press Release immediate.

Campaigners are calling for a peaceful demonstration today (Wednesday 29th June) at 7pm on Beddington Lane, outside the site of the South London incinerator (1). The demonstration is designed to send a message to Viridor shareholders who meet two days later on Friday 1st July in Exeter for their AGM (2). It is also an opportunity to raise the issue with UK law makers and the newly appointed Mayor of London.

Whistleblowing Sutton Councillor, Nick Mattey, who was expelled by the ruling Liberal Democrats, said,

The EU is a 100% backer of incineration and encourages its use throughout countries many of which do not have strong environmental controls. Its bank, the European Investment Bank, has recently supported Viridor with a huge £110 million package for its Cardiff incinerator. (3) Burning one tonne of waste instead of recycling, produces around one tonne of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. If we are serious about halting global warming and improving air quality then we need to stop incinerating. The EU has very low efficiency standards for evaluating incinerators. This allows waste companies and councils like Sutton to call these plants ‘Energy Recovery Facilities’ instead of waste incinerators . Following the Brexit vote we have an opportunity to insist on much higher standards which will halt the expansion of the incinerator industry . Brexit will hit the profits of incinerator operators hard and force councils to recycle instead .

The protest on Wednesday is going to be an important opportunity to let the community know about the dangers of incineration and to hold Sutton Council to account for allowing Viridor to build this plant.”

Campaigner Shasha Khan, who challenged Sutton Council in the High Court said,

There exists a misconception that energy from waste plants are soft, cuddly and green in comparison to the old style mass burn incinerators. It is possible that ethical investors are being duped in this way. We want to send a message to Pennon Group shareholders that all is not what it seems. Holding shares in Viridor’s parent company Pennon is no different to holding shares in tobacco companies. Additionally, Viridor have defaulted on their environmental responsibilities at the site resulting in wildlife being destroyed.(4)”

“The new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, must be made aware of these details too, and today’s demo will do this.”

Construction at the Viridor site is evident and the incinerator is taking shape. I hope many will join us for the demonstration.”

Ends

Notes:

1) Gathering for a photo call on the public footpaths near the Viridor Incinerator entrance opposite 154 Beddington Lane, CR9 4QD https://greenwire.greenpeace.org/uk/en-gb/events/anti-incinerator-protest-beddington-croydonsutton

2) Pennon Group Plc twenty-seventh Annual General Meeting 11am on Friday 1st July, with these
shareholders investing in Viridor meeting at Sandy Park Conference Centre, Sandy Park Way, Exeter, Devon EX2 7NN
http://www.pennon-group.co.uk/investor-information/shareholder-services/agm

3) https://www.zerowasteeurope.eu/2016/03/european-investment-bank-faces-criticism-over-financing-cardiff-incinerator/

4) https://insidecroydon.com/2016/01/26/sparrows-face-extinction-on-wildlife-site-operated-by-viridor/  and http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/14535945.Park_warden_quits_over_Viridor_s__failure__to_protect_wildlife_on_Beddington_Farmlands/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do you live within the incinerator plume?

Plume Plotter got in touch a short while ago to share a plume animation which is based on actual historical weather conditions.

Similar work in Plymouth by Plume Plotter has hit the headlines over in Devon. Emissions for Plymouth’s “giant incinerator” are the highest ever recorded for a UK residential area.

See link here: Plymouth Herald

Worryingly, the “giant incinerator” in Plymouth is actually smaller in capacity – by 57,000 tonnes – than the South London incinerator, set to be operational in 2017.

The South London incinerator animation is below:

Plume Plotter’s work is similar to a graphic created by Smogbad in 2008/9. His wind rose can be viewed here: Wind Rose

Meanwhile Cardiff council has published a submission by Cardiff Against The Incinerator (CATI). Cardiff’s Labour controlled council granted permission to Viridor for the Splott incinerator a few years back.  Despite being on a coastal location with higher wind speeds, residents have been experiencing visual, odour and  dust pollution.

The submission can be viewed here: Cardiff.gov.uk 

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Wave after wave of negative publicity for the authorities and Viridor.

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Over the last few weeks there have been a number of articles on the South London incinerator. Here are some of them:

Viridor spy on Mayoral candidate (Inside Croydon)

Viridor accused of wiping out birdlife at incinerator site. (Private Eye)

Sutton Council refusing to pay for independent air quality monitoring (Sutton Guardian)

Cllr Nick Mattey expelled from Liberal Democrats for opposing the incinerator (Private Eye)

How Croydon Council has set a course to maximise incineration (Inside Croydon)

No one wants to buy the waste heat from the incinerator (Sutton Guardian)

Cllr Nick Mattey’s appeal against the expulsion (Croydon Advertiser).

Cllr Thomas says  re incinerator,  “Wind doesn’t blow over Croydon”Cllr Thomas says  re incinerator,  “Wind doesn’t blow over Croydon” (Inside Croydon)

Local MP Tom Brake’s personal ties with Viridor (Guido Fawkes)

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New challenge for Sutton Council

Once again, thank you everyone for all your donations and contributions. Along with a payment of £5000 from the court order, relating to the judicial review, a letter was sent to the authorities. The key points of the letter are covered in this news article on Inside Croydon.

dirty water dirty air no web site

07.12.15

Dear Mr Fellows,

Further to our conversation of Tuesday, 24th November, I have successfully raised £1770 as a result of your demand. Additionally, I have been approached by an individual who has loaned me an amount sufficient to make up the shortfall in my funds to allow me to pay the £5,000 court costs now due to Sutton Council. I am prepared to make this payment, without prejudice, should any future legal challenge prove that the council, councillors or council officers acted illegally in the award of the waste contract to Viridor Limited and subsequently in the planning application approval.

In particular, but not exclusively, I refer to the non-disclosure of the £275,000 donation from Viridor Credits to Holy Trinity Church, Wallington and the coercion of Councillor Stephen Fenwick in the days before the second hearing of the planning application. If any actions by the council, councillors or council officers or information withheld before the hearings would have affected the outcome of the Judicial Review or the Court of Appeal hearing I reserve the right to reclaim your £5,000 costs plus my own costs

I ask that this £5000 that I transfer to you be used by the Beddington Village Residents Association in concurrence with Sutton council to undertake independent air monitoring once the 300,000 tonnes Viridor waste incinerator is operational. In commenting to the press regarding the demand for £5000, I note that Sutton council said that it “upholds the importance of public scrutiny.” I hope this level of scrutiny is made available to residents in Beddington, Carshalton, Wallington, Hackbridge and the wider area.

I am not prepared to pay the interest charge demanded. When I entered into the legal process it was made absolutely clear to me that there was a cap of £5,000 that could be awarded against me for costs. Not £5,000 plus interest. It is not my fault that Sutton Council have chosen to delay requesting the costs for 12 months, undoubtedly in the knowledge that the sum due was earning interest at a rate much higher than could be achieved elsewhere in the market. I reserve the right to contest the demand for interest in the courts if the council insist on this payment. From my point of view I was under the impression that I was liable for the capped £5000 only after April 28th 2015 when the attempt to send the decision to the Court of Appeal was refused by Justice Sales. From that point on, no solicitor has been under instruction. It was my expectation that I would receive a letter from Sutton requesting the payment of £5000 advising who precisely to pay, although I was also advised at the time that potentially Sutton would not request the £5000 costs.

To accentuate the point I make above, following a conversation with you now, you have advised me that I have to pay London Borough of Merton, which I never would have predicted.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

UPDATE:

Sutton Council have rejected the suggestion. See here http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/14238300.Council_not__putting_its_money_where_its_mouth_is__over_air_quality_monitoring/

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How many life years will be lost?

Mr Nicol, the ‘A’ level Physics teacher within our campaign, has sent us the following:

I have read the Health Impact Assessment again and urge others to read it.

https://www.viridor.co.uk/assets/Uploads/SouthLondonERF/Other_application_docs/Health_Impact_Assessment.pdf

It assumes the filters will work all the time, every time. The reality is when the filters fail and breach safety levels, the contract allows 4 hours of continuous dangerous emissions.

A sentence from page 53 reads:

The calculation of loss of life years through exposure of additional concentrations of PM2.5 from the ERF [incinerator] is approximately 2 hours for each person in the population considered 2,655,000, assuming that the distribution was an even one.

We are often accused of hysterical over claims that people will die as a result of the incinerator; however, the Health Impact Assessment states that there will be a modest impact of an average of 2 hours of life curtailed, when spread over 2.7 million people.  However, this represents almost 700 life years lost, and it is unlikely that this will be spread evenly over a quarter of London – the question to put to the public, is who are going to be the unlucky ones who take more than their fair share of the ‘life years lost’ ?

By Shasha Khan

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Thank you for your donations

Following the belated demand from Sutton Council for their capped legal fees to be reimbursed, the community has once again dug deep into its pockets. Widespread local coverage has raised awareness of the situation. Nearly £1800 has been donated in a short space of time.

Thank you to everyone who has made a direct transfer, sent a cheque or used the GoFundMe page. Special thanks to the London branch of the RMT who kindly donated £250.

UPDATE:

Due to the threat of enforcement action from the solicitors representing Sutton council, a payment of £5000 was made in respect of the court order. The payment was achieved thanks to a bridging loan from an individual.  Thank you once again to everyone who has donated over the years.

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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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