Thursday, 10 March 2011

Report from the Richmond Hill Forum 8 March 2011

Waste Treatment Facility update

The Waste management team tried to answer some of the concerns of residents, as did a representative of the Environment Agency and Planning department of LCC. We think it is fair to say though that there was no meeting of minds on the safety, advisability or necessity of this project.

We were told that the main cause of pollution in our area is the York Road [you will remember that the Inner East Link Road has just opened in our area – great that will be a big help with air quality!]. Though the EA will monitor air quality in our area, and if they think the project would raise emissions above presently accepted safe levels they could refuse a permit. However we do not know how they would assess the effect of so many projects coming into the area at once, 2 incinerators with the associated traffic together with the added extra traffic generated by the proposed warehousing and housing developments in the area is bound to have a substantial effect.

It was clear from what was said at the meeting last night that the PFI Incinerator plan is still going full steam ahead though the winning bidder looks like being announced in the autumn of this year and not the summer as was previously stated.

We were informed that a robust challenge has been made to one of the bidders, Veolia ES Aurora Ltd, because of serious concerns regarding their safety record globally and because of their association with the Israeli state in occupied Palestine which has caused UN and international condemnation of the company. We were told that this matter has been referred for legal oversight but we will keep you informed of any further information.

Full report of the Richmond Hill Forum


  1. I suppose i have better bring to everybodies attention that in these highly letigious times that the Richmond Hill Forum Report is COVENS view of the event and that the council will in the fullness of time issue their own set of minutes.

    Sarah Covell

  2. True but if everything goes true to form this will not happen for a very long time and no one will be able to remember what was said/agreed by then.

    I got the minutes of the last meeting just over a week before this meeting.

    Titchy Witchy

  3. It's Leeds Palestine Solidarity Campaign who is behind a massive campaign to get Veolia excluded. Their website page says “campaigning against Veolia for being complicit in Israel’s violations of international and human rights law in Palestine”. Residents have been condemning Veolia on an online petition

    A strong legal argument has been put forward to the council including advice to follow brave decisions of councils like Dublin, Swansea, Edinburgh and Tower Hamlet.

    Talk about a spanner in the works!! More headache for the council!

  4. I certainly don't want Veolia to be a major contractor in my council (and thus be profitting from us all as council tax payers) because
    1. I don't want an incinerator in Leeds.
    2. Veolia is a company that operates and profits in settlements that are recongised by the UN as illegal.
    3. There are concerns about Veolia's health and safety record.
    Do we want this company in Leeds? If they are happy to profit from violating international law, I don't think they deserve our custom and I don't trust them, I am going to sign that petition.

  5. Has anyone heard the File on Four report on Radio 4 about safety at work (or lack thereof) and contains an item on the safety record of BIFFA.

    Well worth a listen I think.

  6. Portsmouth Dumps Veolia

    "Veolia has lost out to another company as the preferred bidder for Portsmouth CityCouncil's new rubbish collection contract. 7 March was a bad day for Veolia: not only did it fail to secure the replacement for its current contract but a long running campaign by Portsmouth & South Downs PSC has exposed its complicity in Israel's violations of international law. The Council say Veolia's rival won on price and quality. We will never know for sure how much influence campaigners had, but this is another instance of Veolia failing to win a replacement council contract after a strong local campaign to have it excluded. It follows Veolia losing in Richmond last month, Edinburgh in December 2010 and Sandwell in 2009."

    More bad news for Veolia!

  7. This is partial good news but really I feel that we need to stop this project completely. While I certainly would not like to think any council would do business with a company who so flagrantly flout international law I would be no more pleased to see the contract given to another company.

    Incineration is the wrong technology for the 21st century, this facility will be hugely expensive and inflexible. Its presence, together with the proposed plant Biffa want to build, will have an adverse effect on regeneration prospects in the surrounding areas.

    This is not a cheap, easy solution to the waste problem we must aim for REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE.

    We have to work on sustainable waste strategies for the future. The bottom line is we cannot carry on as we have been doing, we all have to make changes in our lifestyles going forward whether we want to or not. Politicians, of all parties, have to grasp the nettle, difficult and probably unpopular decisions have to be made if we are not hand on even bigger problems to our children and grandchildren.

  8. That file on 4 programme is awful - 5 people killed in England since 2001. Most squashed to death including a member of the public