Monday, 18 April 2011

The Candidates, the Incinerator and the local elections

Asghar Khan Labour Candidate
Well at last we have the Labour Party candidate’s position on the building of an incinerator in East Leeds which can best be summed up as not at Cross Green it is too near housing and will annoy too many voters but not ruling out the Knostrop site and anyway we would not be in this mess if the Lib Dems hadn’t started this project in the first place. 
David Hollingsworth Lib Dem Candidat

In this respect at least it seems that they are in a  very similar position to the Lib Dems, as they too do not want an incinerator on Cross Green for, we imagine, the very same reasons but they also would be prepared to put up with one at Knostrop, whilst pointing out that the other two incinerators in our area already are also at Knostrop and that they where built by the then Labour administration 20 years ago.

As you know this is not the position of the NO2Incinerator campaign. We oppose the building of an incinerator full stop! We are convinced that this plant would prove to be grotesquely expensive particularly using a PFI formula to pay for it; that its inflexibility would make it unable to adapt  to changing conditions and lifestyles and that its very presence would stop attempts to reduce, reuse and recycle household waste.  Local enterprises which would provide many more local jobs as well as helping the environment and offering a more sustainable long term solution.

An incinerator will provide few, if any local jobs, even in the construction phase, as there is no mechanism to allocate jobs to local firms since such a huge project will go out to tender and large multi national construction companies will bid for the work. When completed there will be only a handful of low skilled jobs on offer and a similar amount of highly skilled specialist jobs which local people will not have the necessary skills to apply for.

For us this is NOT a party political issue it is about the right technology to solve this difficult and ongoing problem; quality of life for residents of East Leeds; the effects of this project on the future regeneration potential of our area and the cost and sustainability of the project for Council Tax payers across Leeds as a whole.

It seems from a careful reading of the election leaflets we have received so far that neither of the two  most likely winners of the local election in our area is willing to say that they are against the building of another incinerator in our area. They both seem to us to be resigned to having an incinerator at Knostrop and each is busy trying to sell us the idea that it is all the other party’s fault.

We however don’t believe that it is inevitable; we think that any fair review of the Waste Stream Plan will show that the situation has changed markedly over the last 6 years since the project was first conceived, industry, government and educational initiatives have each brought about steady changes in actions and attitudes from ordinary people and these will go on changing rapidly for the foreseeable future. Committing ourselves to an inflexible 25 year plan in an ever shifting waste disposal climate is reckless, bull-headed and very likely to be an expensive mistake.

We have not so far received anything from either the Convervative candidate nor the Green Party candidate but when we do we will let you know where they stand on this issue.


  1. It is all very well everybody saying they oppose an incinerator at Cross Green but how does that affect the procurement process? We are down to the last two bidders and everybody seems to be against Veolia being allowed to build on Cross Green, including the labour party if Asghar Khan is allowed to state it in his election publicity. (and yet again another party bastardised our logo to gain a publicity advantage) one must surely presume that Veolia are put at significant disadvantage in the procurement process because of all of this electioneering. Add in their record of human rights in the occupied territories and the current legal investigation by LCC and even a blind man can see the odds must be stacked against them. Does this mean that the procurement process is no longer fair and impartial – my instincts say it most certainly isn’t?
    Only one of the four candidates lives in LS9 – the Green party candidate, who must surely oppose the incineration of waste. The two major contenders for the ward live in rural Swillington and Beeston. I can’t see how David Hollingsworth can oppose the incinerator as his party were in power when the preferred site was chosen, and not one of our councillors has stated in a public meeting that they are against either incineration or the sites. Cllr Brett is the only one who has stated that he no longer considers incineration a viable method of waste disposal, but he is retiring this year, everybody else is strangely quiet on the subject.
    So who do we vote for? I am not sure as I have seen neither the Green nor Conservatives election leaflets, but I am reluctant to vote for anybody who considers the incineration of waste to be the appropriate way to deal with residual waste in Leeds ?

  2. We need less political points scoring from all involved and more considered analysis of the real problem at the heart of the matter to solve come up with a lasting solution.