Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Missing in Action!

At the recent vote by Leeds City Council to confirm the building of a PFI funded municipal incinerator on the site of the old Wholesale Market at Cross Green the Labour Councillors for Burmantofts & Richmond Hill and Temple Newsam went missing in action!  The 4 councillors representing the 2 most affected wards left the council chamber in advance of the vote and did not return until after the vote had been taken, this cynical action was totally unacceptable and a clear dereliction of their duty to their constituents.  They may not have been able to alter the result of the debate but they should have had the courage of their convictions and their their manifestos.

These councillors had campaigned against the incinerator vociferously whilst in opposition and to a large extent had been elected because of their clearly expressed opposition to the project in this area and in failing to reflect the express wishes of their constituents have failed in their duty to their own electorate in a way that would, in any other walk of life, be a resigning matter but resigning on principle is no longer a concept understood by politicians of any party it seems.
NO2Incinerator has worked all along with anyone who shared our opposition to the building of this incinerator in Leeds. Together with No Incinerator Leeds, Friends of the Earth, UKWIN and Palestine Solidarity Campaign we have provided very good soundly based opposition to this project on the grounds of cost, location, technology and the dubious record, both here and abroad, of the final bidder and we have worked with both Lib Dems and Labour who have both at times expressed their opposition to this project.

It appears that the main bones of this project were decided in 2006 by the then Lib Dem/Conservative administration and that the Labour Administration is unwilling or unable to alter the course of this project despite the radically different circumstances now.  

This situation seems to leave the residents of this ward with only one option left; the  voters of Burmantofts & Richmond Hill need to elect a candidate who is willing to stand on an Independent ticket and actually reflect the wishes of their electorate.  Party politics is clearly not working for the vast majority of the people of this area who are constantly ignored, and sidelined by all parties, witness the almost total annihilation of the infrastructure of this area and the lack of any investment in the quality of life or future of the residents.

The time has come to serve notice on ALL the politicians in this city that we, the electorate, want proper representation which puts our needs and wishes ahead of national policy or local party in-fighting and we think now is indisputably the time for a genuine LOCAL, INDEPENDENT candidate to be put forward to stand for the people who elect them and not themselves or their ‘party’ whatever party they represent, that is genuine localism!


Monday, 7 November 2011

The Incinerator is on the agenda of the Richmond Hill Forum on the 5 December 2011

Artist's rendering of proposed incinerator
Now that the successful bidder for the for the contract has been announced and confirmed by the Executive Board (all three of our councillors attended) and the site they propose to use is known (The old wholesale Market site at Cross Green) we are not sure why they are coming to the meeting.  It is more than plain that they have not listened or taken on board any of the vociferous objections we, the residents attending the Richmond Hill Forum, have been putting forward since 2006 when this scheme was first proposed but perhaps they are using this as yet another 'Consultation' propaganda exercise?  If you look at the rather benign soft focus artist's rendering of what the proposed plant will look like you can hardly see the two 213 foot high chimneys in the background in fact we had to look quite carefully to see them at all, this however will not be a problem for those living near by as they will have no trouble at all seeing the chimneys or hearing the noise of the plant which operates 24/7 or from the traffic taking the waste to the site or removing the by-products.

However if you wish to make you position on the incinerator known come along to the meeting and have your say.  There will be those who object to the whole idea of incineration as an outdated and unsustainable technology; those who object to its location so close to their homes who will be condemned as NIMBY's by those in leafy suburbs who want an incinerator but don't want it anywhere near them; those who object to the successful bidder Veolia on both the grounds of their health and safety record in this country and/or their behaviour in Palestine and finally those who object to the project being financed by a PFI contract which sees us buying this facility on the' never, never' given the rapidly falling waste stream which will be available to fuel this plant.