The very first Public Meeting of the no2incinerator group was held in Richmond Hill School at 6.30pm on Monday 21 June 2010 and despite stiff competition from both the World Cup and the first day of Wimbledon over 40 local residents came to have their say. Two out of three of the local councillors also came and the local MP Hilary Benn sent his apologies for being unable to attend.
There were two excellent presentations from both Sarah Covell, our Richmond Hill representative on the Inner East Area Committee, on the negative effects of another incinerator in our area, the opposite argument having already been put forward by the council and the Waste Management Team in expensively produced glossy leaflets and brochures and PowerPoint presentations at community meetings and Dr Stuart Hodkinson from Leeds University Geography Department on the structure of PFI's and their possible pitfalls and problems, especially over a 25 to 30 year life span.
The meeting then broke up into 5 groups so that residents could discuss amongst themselves what they had heard and what questions they felt had still not been addressed to their satisfaction.
Throughout the meeting refreshments were on offer including delicious home make cakes and it was generally felt that the introduction of a sound system greatly enhanced the meeting making it very much easier for everyone to hear what was said and that the visual presentation improved the delivery of what might have been otherwise very important but dry statistics.
When the meeting broke up the questions generated by the 5 groups where collected and these will be collated and will be put to the relevant people who have the real answers at our next meeting which we are in the process of arranging.
All in all it was generally felt that the meeting was a great success and that it was also a powerful demonstration of the concern, interest and commitment of the people of East Leeds in general and the people of the Richmond Hill Ward in particular regarding the sheer numbers of incinerators being proposed within such a short distance of our homes and communities.
Our first meeting was also reported in the local Guardian, and you can read the report here.
We are now in the process of arranging the next meeting and will be publicising this widely and continuing to build on the community's success in standing together on this very important issue for us all.