Monday, 24 October 2011

Comments from Council Khan on a proposed incinerator in the heart of his ward

NO2incinerator have received an email from Councillor Asghar Khan, the newest councillor for our area, stating his position on the building an incinerator at the old wholesale market at Cross Green:

"The Council has decided to build an incinerator and decided upon a preferred supplier.  The preferred supplier wishes to build the incinerator on the old Market site identified by the Liberals/Tories when they ran Leeds. Your then Liberal Councillor and Leader of the Council, Cllr Brett agreed that site in 2007.  As your local Labour Councillors we will argue vigorously against the proposed site being used and lobby Council officials to ask them to identify an alternative site.  We will not support the building of an incinerator on the Market site.
Thank you"

Cllr Asghar Khan
Labour Councillor for
Burmantofts & Richmond Hill ward
Tel: 0776 123 0027

Well that's hardly a definitive statement on the efficacy of incineration in the 21st century nor a denial that he does not want ANY incinerator in our area!  What do our other two councillors say on this matter?

No one with an genuine interest in the future of this area, or for that matter any of the areas downwind of the 2 existing and 2 proposed incinerators thinks this is a good idea.

Friends of the Earth, NIL, UKWIN and other bodies have brought forward large amounts of evidence that indicate incineration as a technology is NOT the win, win option that its proponents claim it is.

Others, like Dr. Stuart Hodkinson of Leeds University, whose is an expert on PFI finance have pointed out the glaring disadvantages of this method of paying for such a long term project for the Council Tax payers of Leeds.

All of this is to no avail, this Labour council is no more willing to listen to the opinions of local residents than the last Lib/Con administration was.

Previous 'consultations' with some of the residents of the affected areas repeatedly returned a resounding NO to another incinerator in this area but since this was not the answer required it was totally ignored.  Minutes of the Richmond Hill Forums from 2006 onwards repeatedly state the strident opposition of local residents to the building of this plant anywhere in East Leeds but again this point of view went totally unheeded.

A new 'consultation' will now be started by Veolia, why -  they have decided the place, the size, the method, the hours of operation of the proposed plant - exactly what is left to 'consult' about, will they not build it if we say we don't want it, of course not?  This 'consultation' will be exactly the same as previous ones carried out by Leeds City Council consisting largely of asking as few people as possible loaded questions on hotly contested statements and totally ignoring any answers which do not give the 'correct' answer!

It is certainly true that this proposed plant is the very worst possible option the council could have chosen for the areas of East Leeds which will be most affected, either directly or indirectly, by this plant and no matter how Veolia attempt to disguised it an incinerator is still an incinerator whatever they call it  and it is still proposed to put it in the very heart of the most deprived areas of East Leeds unless we stand together to oppose this new blight on our communities.


  1. I just wanted to add that our area is not just one of the poorest in Leeds, but that it has also a range of health problems, much worse than the rest of Leeds, namely cancers and possibly asthma. Did they really think it was appropriate to build an incinerator ( or two) in an area already suffering greatly from health inequalities?

  2. According to UKWIN moaning on about health is a waste of time - AIR QUALITY is a different matter though.

    Poor Asghar seems to have been spun a great big fib by his party - build it at knostrop and nobody will moan. However out of sight is not out of mind.

  3. Cllr Khan is being economical with the truth. The Cross Green Markets site was actually included as an option at the insistence of the Labour Government - who said that PFI credits would not be made available unless it was included as an option. The relevant government department was DEFRA - under the stewardship of local Labour MP Hilary Benn at the time!


    The only way that these people will take notice of local people is if we hit them where it hurts - Votes. We need to put up our own candidate standing o then NO 2 INCINERATOR issue in the May local elections.

  5. What I would be interested to hear is NOT what the local Councillors have to SAY about this issue, but will they commit to actually VOTE against an incinerator in Council Meetings? They can say what they like - but it's their actions that count ......

  6. It seems that there is not much to choose between the parties on this matter and they seem to spend more time in cheap point scoring against each other than they do actually addressing the problems of the area and the genuine concerns of there constituents!

  7. People really need to start engaging with local politics again. I know that a lot of people have withdrawn from the process because they are angry, disappointed, disillusioned and/or disgusted with the way they feel they have been sidelined, ignored and used a cannon fodder in an endless, pointless game of "he said, she said" and to a point I do understand that but as a previous poster said the only way anything is going to change is if we, the constituents, start standing up and saying very loudly and very clearly that we will not put up with things the way they are at the moment. The solution is in our own hands.

    At the last local election in our ward in May 2011 out of a total electorate of 15,143 people only 4,876 residents bothered to vote and that is simply disgraceful. Where were the missing 10,000 plus voters - they cannot all have been sick, on holiday or moved!

    Yes we deserve better representation than we have at the moment but unless we rejoin the process and start standing up for ourselves then nothing will change. We need to elect people to represent us, we should come first, middle and last in their thoughts and to hold them to account in that way we have to be involved closely in the electoral process.

  8. Very well said!! The more real people get involved the better life will get ..

  9. so do we put up a candidate then?

  10. Oh go on, this should be fun!!

  11. Well we have to be in it to win it.

    And i really think we could beat both the new labour candidate (who knows sod all about our area) and Cllr Pryke (who knows a great deal but has the blood of the incinerator on his hands.

  12. "As your local Labour Councillors we will argue vigorously against the proposed site being used and lobby Council officials to ask them to identify an alternative site."

    It's a shame that they didn't do that in the Council Meeting last week!!!