It is the unequivocal position of the NO2Incinerator campaign that Leeds City Council’s plans for a PFI funded incinerator at either Cross Green or Knostrop should be cancelled immediately. It is the wrong technology in the wrong place and besides being too expensive it lacks the necessary flexibility to meet the ever evolving waste disposal situation we will find ourselves in over the 25 years of the contract.
We are informed by a prominent local Liberal Democrat that if Labour wanted to, they could stop this plan dead in its tracks. He accuses them of hypocrisy and asserts that when Labour took power no contracts had been signed and we were still 4 years away from work starting on [the yet to be chosen] site. He does state that the council would face compensation claims from the bidding companies in the event of cancellation but puts no price tag on the total amount of those claims. (We have tried to get these figures ourselves by using FOI requests and by raising the question at both the Richmond Hill Forum and the Inner East Area Committee, so far without success, but we will keep after them).
He further asserts that the Lib Dems went along with the Waste Treatment project in the first place only because of the clear advice given by council officers stating that it was the best solution to the waste problem and that in their position Labour would do the same - so our question is; is Labour doing the same thing - are they following the same advice? He also clearly states that there would be no insurmountable obstacles to cancellation of the project if Labour wants to do it, so again, is he right?
We intend to ask all prospective candidates in the upcoming election for their position on this vital issue and, if given permission, we will publish their replies here. We have to say though that whilst the latest leaflet from the Labour Party speaks of their achievements in the local area and addresses national issues it does not mention the incinerator at all and considering the importance of this matter to the constituents in the Burmantofts and Richmond Hill ward in particular and the people of Leeds in general that is simply not acceptable. We need to know who exactly has the last word on the decision whether or not to build an incinerator and where, is it our elected representatives or their council officers, does the advice from council officers override the feelings of the councillors?
It seems almost everyone in this area is willing to state that they are not in favour of building the proposed incinerator at Cross Green and little wonder, as you can see from the map opposite, how near to densely packed housing it would be, but what happens if the bidder who favours that site puts forward the best bid from a council/council officers prospective?
(To enlarge picture simply click twice)
We need the answers to these questions now. As we understand the position at the moment the timetable is as follows:
The final two bidders are
Aire Valley Environmental who are proposing to build a facility at the current Knostrop sewage treatment site.
Veolia ES Aurora Ltd who are proposing to build a facility at the former wholesale market on Cross Green industrial estate
In the coming years the key dates are
Autumn 2010 – Consultation to update the public on the progress of the project
Spring 2011 – Final proposals from two bidders
Summer 2011 – Successful bidder chosen
Autumn/winter 2011 - Public consultation on planning application begins
Autumn/winter 2011 – Bidder submits planning application
Autumn/winter 2012– Planning decision
Spring 2013 – Construction begins
Summer/Autumn 2015 – Facility starts processing waste
If anyone has a different point of view to that expressed on this Blog or wishes to challenge any of the assertions made here in good faith they are more than welcome to submit items for publication refuting that point of view. They will be published in full and unedited as all material submitted for publication from all sources are, subject only to the proviso that the material is not profane, racist or attempts to incite either violence or other unlawful acts, alternatively everyone is free to comment on anything which appears on the Blog either anonymously, under their own name or using a synonym, again subject to the previous conditions.
We welcome open public debate.