CAPEL ACTION GROUP

PRESS RELEASE – 6 March 2009

 

A comprehensive victory for Capel

 

At the High Court on Thursday 5 March 2009 Mr Justice Collins formally allowed Capel Parish Council’s claims and ordered:

 

 

 

 

 

This is a comprehensive victory. It removes the Clockhouse Brickworks site from both policy WD5 (thermal treatment facilities) and policy WD2 (other waste management facilities) in the adopted Waste Plan. This means that there is no policy support, within the Waste Plan, for waste management facilities on the Clockhouse Brickworks site.

 

Key points from the judgment, handed down on 5 March 2009, are attached. The headlines are:

 

 

This represents both a comprehensive and just outcome for the people of Capel. The village has been blighted with the prospect of a mass-burn incinerator for 10 years and residents have worked tirelessly over that time to defeat Surrey County Council’s ill-conceived intentions. The County Council has now been defeated twice in the High Court and its approach to planning once again has been found to be terminally  flawed. The County Council will have wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of public funds in defending Capel Parish Council’s claims and should squander no more. Given the strength of the Judgment a second attempt to seek leave to appeal will lead to a further substantial waste of public funds. County Councillors should not allow this to happen.

 

The Parish Council is represented by Ian Ginbey of Macfarlanes LLP and Peter Village QC and James Strachan, both of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square.

 

 

Capel Action Group

6 March 2009 

 

Attached: Key points from the Judgment

 

Contacts:

 

Dino Adriano 01306 711366 and 07889 206325

Paul Garber 01306 711015 and 07771 842037

 

 

 

 

Key points from the Judgment

 

 

 

Whilst believing that the proximity principle was applicable the inspectors’ approach was based on a consideration that there had to be incineration somewhere in Surrey. This led them to conclude that disposal at Clockhouse Brickworks met the principle. Given that the site is far away from the main source of waste, this could only be valid if it was assumed that nowhere closer was possible.  The inspectors’ approach was flawed, as an unsuitable site cannot be regarded as appropriate; rather the possibility of incineration must be reconsidered.

 

 

Capel Action Group

6 March 2009

 

 

CAPEL ACTION GROUP

PRESS RELEASE – 30 January 2009

 

High Court to quash planning consents for a Mass Burn Incinerator at Clockhouse Brickworks, Capel

 

The planning consents approved by Surrey County Council on 9 December 2008 for a mass burn incinerator at Clockhouse Brickworks, Capel are to be quashed following a hearing before Mr Justice Collins in the High Court on 28 and 29 January 2009.

 

The decision by Mr Justice Collins followed a claim submitted by Capel Parish Council, under section 113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, challenging the adoption by Surrey County Council of parts of the Surrey Waste Plan on 6 May 2008. The allocation of the Clockhouse Brickworks site in policy WD5: Thermal Treatment Facilities of the adopted Plan will be removed.

 

The Judgment is expected to be issued in mid to end February.

 

This represents a just outcome for the people of Capel. The village has been blighted with the prospect of a mass-burn incinerator for 10 years and residents have worked tirelessly over that time to defeat Surrey County Council’s ill-conceived intentions. The County Council has now been defeated twice in the High Court and its approach to planning once again has been found to be seriously flawed. The County Council has wasted substantial public funds and should now jettison any further thoughts on major waste development in Capel and the further squander of public funds. We must all hope that wise counsel will now prevail at County Hall.

 

 

Capel Action Group

30 January 2009 

 

 

Contacts:

 

Dino Adriano 01306 711366 and 07889 206325

Paul Garber 01306 713120 and 07771 842037

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 4 JUNE 2007

 

GOVERNMENT BACKS GAIN’S PREFERRED WASTE TECHNOLOGY

 

Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network has welcomed the fact that the Government wants to encourage Anaerobic Digestion.  This is the technology that GAIN has advocated in Surrey in order to avoid the need for incinerators.

 

Support for Anaerobic Digestion, a process that breaks down waste biologically and produces gas for energy, was announced as part of the Government’s new ‘Waste Strategy for England 2007’.  This is the first comprehensive review of waste policy since 2000, a review partly needed because the Government had greatly underestimated the public’s commitment to recycling.  

 .

Whilst incineration retains a place in the Government’s thinking, there is a new emphasis on the importance of cutting waste, recovering materials from waste and upon biological treatment.  Choices over technology are to be left to local waste authorities, such as Surrey County Council, rather than being imposed by Government.

 

Said Colin Matthews, GAIN Chairman, “The new Waste Strategy provides an ideal opportunity for County Hall to rethink its plans for two incinerators for Surrey’s household waste.  Anaerobic Digestion would be well suited to Surrey’s waste needs, produce energy and help to avoid air pollution problems.”    

 

GAIN BRIEFING NOTE ‘WASTE STRATEGY FOR ENGLAND 2007’

 

The new strategy is the first comprehensive review of waste policy since Waste 2000. It acknowledges that scarce natural resources are being depleted at an alarming rate and that good waste management has an important role to play in tackling climate change.

 

Earlier government policy established the ‘waste hierarchy’, which ranks the prevention of waste as the most important aim, with its disposal to landfill as the least desirable outcome. The EU Landfill Directive, reflected in the strategy, obliges the UK to continue to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill thus reducing the production of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

 

The strategy sets higher recycling/composting targets, with 40% to be achieved by 2010. Some authorities are already achieving better results than this and GAIN considers the 50% target for 2020 to be timid and un-ambitious, (Surrey is aiming for 55%). If the government really believes in expanding and stimulating the recycling/reprocessing sector in the coming years this target sends the wrong message to the public and to industry.  

 

GAIN welcomes the emphasis placed on the greater segregation and sorting of waste and the recognition that it should be treated as a resource.  It is evident, across the country, that good kerbside collection schemes have been supported and have quickly achieved raised recycling rates. Source separation of waste provides a clean recyclate stream for a growing market and allows the remainder to be treated in the most appropriate and sustainable manner.

 

Importantly, the government is supporting the separate collection of food waste and its treatment by anaerobic digestion. This biological technique, well established in Europe, has the potential to produce energy, in the form of biogas, high quality compost and a liquid nutrient.

 

GAIN notes that the strategy stresses the need for flexibility when providing waste treatment facilities. The suggestion is made that modular buildings and flexible contracts, “that do not lock in fixed amounts of waste for treatment which might become obsolete.” offer the best way forward.  Surrey has a contract and Waste Plan that proposes building at least two incinerators, which, if built would probably need to operate to their capacity until the 2030’s to recover their capital cost.  This is a completely inflexible approach and one that can be avoided by improved kerbside collection, improved community recycling facilities and a mix of different treatment options which can be modular in character and of a scale to be sited around Surrey so that waste is not trucked long distances.  GAIN applauds the stance taken by Guildford Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council in rejecting the elements of Surrey’s plan involving incineration and their support for the use of more environmentally friendly options.

 

In Surrey the ‘Waste Plan’, which identifies sites for waste treatment facilities is currently subject to the process of an Examination in Public by an appointed Inspector. GAIN members have spoken at the Examination and members of the public can attend the hearings. The first phase of the hearings concerned strategy and policies, including ‘thermal treatment’, the next phase examines the individual sites identified in the Plan. The Inspector will make his report later in the year.

 

Last year the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy, (JMWMS), was agreed by the eleven Boroughs and Districts, the ‘Waste Collection Authorities’, and Surrey County Council, the ‘Waste Disposal Authority’. In 1999, Surrey County Council entered into a 25 year contract with Surrey Waste Management, (part of SITA), under which they dispose of the counties waste and manage the Civic Amenity sites, (Community Recycling Centres).

 

Both the Waste Plan and the JMWMS envisage two incinerators being built to take municipal waste. Surrey Waste Management/SITA has already produced plans, and a scale model, but not yet a formal application, for a plant at Capel. A previous attempt to build an incinerator on the same site was thrown out, in 2002, by the High Court at great cost to Surrey council taxpayers.

 

ENDS

 

Notes for Editors:

 

The new Waste Strategy for England can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/index.htm

 

The Examination in Public of the Surrey Waste Plan can be found at

http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/The+Surrey+Waste+Plan?opendocument

 

Contact

 

Colin Matthews 01483 - 853023

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 12 JUNE 2006

 

GAIN CALLS ON RESIDENTS TO HOLD COUNTY COUNCILLORS TO ACCOUNT FOR INCINERATOR DECISIONS

 

 

This week, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) reported on a series of crucial votes by Surrey County Councillors on whether they will bring waste incinerators to Surrey. 

 

On Friday last week (9th June 2006) Surrey County Council's Environment and Economy Select Committee concluded its waste review and voted on whether to recommend incinerators or an incinerator-free alternative.

 

Observed Colin Matthews, GAIN Chairman, “The Inquiry came to a shambolic end with most Members even voting against recycling initiatives that the Council is supposedly encouraging and with no evidence of having given serious consideration to the incinerator-free options presented to the Committee.”  Mr Matthews commented, “We are deeply shocked that Surrey is pressing ahead with a Waste Disposal Plan that will bring incinerators to Surrey without even assessing an incinerator-free treatment option that meets targets by recovering energy from gas.  By contrast, six options that included burning waste were considered.  Incinerator-free cannot emerge as a good option if it is not even included in Surrey’s assessments!  We are disappointed that Surrey’s Inquiry appeared to degenerate into little more than window dressing for the Council’s long-standing commitment to incineration.”    

 

As the Committee could not reach agreement on incineration, a recorded vote was taken at the conclusion of the Inquiry on whether to recommend incinerators for dealing with Surrey's residual waste.  7 Councillors voted in favour of incineration, 3 voted against and 1 left the meeting abstaining [1].  Two Councillors voted in favour of an incinerator-free approach [2].

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN commented, "We are extremely grateful to the County Councillors who supported the incinerator-free approach being advocated by several Local Authorities in Surrey.  However, the people of Surrey will be astounded to learn that the majority of County Councillors on this Committee are recommending incineration in spite of evidence that an incinerator-free alternative, so clearly favoured by residents, would use proven technology, meet current targets and offer flexibility for the future.  Whilst the majority on this Committee have followed Surrey County Council's long standing commitment to burning our waste, we firmly believe that pressure from residents, supportive County Councillors, MPs and other Local Authorities in the County can still force SCC to change direction.   Above all, residents must hold Surrey County Councillors to account for the decisions they are taking."

 

On Tuesday (13th June 2006), SCC's Full Council meeting was asked to approve a new draft Waste Plan for Surrey so that it can be submitted to Government for approval by an Inspector.  The Plan identifies six sites in Surrey where planning permission for incinerators “will be granted”, subject to various conditions.  In a recorded vote, 44 Councillors supported the draft Waste Plan with its sites earmarked for incinerators, 10 voted against expressing concern that the draft plan was biased towards incineration, 5 Members abstained and at least one Member left the meeting. [3]

 

Colin Matthews commented, "Surrey residents now have an opportunity to see how their local County Councillor voted on the crucial issue of whether to provide sites for incinerators in Surrey.   This is all the more telling because an incinerator-free alternative is available, viable and has been asked for by many thousands of residents.”

 

ENDS

 

Contact

 

Colin Matthews 01483 - 853023

 

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

[1]        SCC Environment and Economy Select Committee 9th June 2006 - vote on incineration:-

 

"The majority of the Committee recommend that Energy from Waste* is the most appropriate technology at present in order to deal with Surrey's residual waste within the current economic and legislative environment…"

 

For incineration in Surrey on this basis:

Fred Chipperfield [C]                              

Camberley West

Nick Harrison [RA]

Banstead West

Marian Myland [C]

Godstone

Tony Rooth  [C]

Shalford

Lavinia Sealy [C]

Bisley, Chobham & West End

Roy Taylor [C]

Walton South and Oatlands

Denise Turner [C]

Staines South & Ashford West

 

 

Against incineration in Surrey on this basis:

 

Carol Coleman [C]

Ashford

Stephen Cooksey [LD]  

Dorking and Holmwoods

Sarah Di Caprio [LD]

Guildford South East

 

 

Left the meeting saying "I abstain":

 

Mike Bennison [C]

Hinchley Wood, Claygate & Oxshott

 

 

Absent:

 

Mike Nevins [C]

Worplesdon

 

 

*  Euphemism for incineration

 

 

           

[2]        SCC Environment and Economy Select Committee 9th June 2006 - vote on incinerator-free alternative :-

 

"The following members of the Committee recommend that incinerator-free options such as Mechanical Biological Treatment using Anaerobic Digestion are an appropriate technology in order to deal with Surrey's residual waste…."

 

           

For incinerator-free in Surrey on this basis:

 

Stephen Cooksey [LD]

Dorking and Holmwoods

Sarah Di Caprio [LD]

Guildford South East

 

 

Against incinerator-free in Surrey on this basis:

 

Fred Chipperfield [C]

Camberley West

Carol Coleman [C]

Ashford

Nick Harrison [RA]

Banstead West

Marian Myland [C]

Godstone

Tony Rooth  [C]

Shalford

Lavinia Sealy [C]

Bisley, Chobham & West End

Roy Taylor [C]  

Walton South and Oatlands

Denise Turner [C]

Staines South & Ashford West

 

 

Left the meeting saying "I abstain":

 

Mike Bennison [C]

Hinchley Wood, Claygate & Oxshott

 

 

Absent:

 

Mike Nevins [C]

Worplesdon

 

                                                                       

[3]        SCC Full Council meeting 13th June 2006 - vote on the draft Surrey Waste Plan:-

 

For draft Surrey Waste Plan:

 

Timothy Ashton [C]

Ashtead

Cyril Baily [C]

Cranleigh and Ewhurst

Bill Barker [C]

Horsleys

Mike Bennison [C]

Hinchley Wood, Claygate & Oxshott

Fred Chipperfield [C]

Camberley West

Helyn Clack [C]

Dorking Rural

Elizabeth Compton [C]

St Johns & Brookwood

Andew Crisp [C]

Woking South

Frank Davies [C]

Lower Sunbury & Halliford

David Davis [C] 

Shere

John Farmer [C]

Farnham North

Angela Fraser [C]

Banstead East

Chris Frost [RA]

Epsom & Ewell South East

Michael Gosling [C]

Banstead South

Dr Lynne Hack [C]

Redhill

Tim Hall [C]

Leatherhead & Fetcham East

Kay Hammond [C]

Horley West

Simon Harding [C]

Reigate Central

David Harmer [C]

Waverley Western Villages

Nick Harrison [RA]

Banstead West

Peter Hickman [RA]

The Dittons

David Hodge [C]

Warlingham

Daniel Kee [C]

Merstham & Reigate Hill

Ian Lake [C]

Weybridge

Ernest Mallett [RA]

West Molesey

Sally Marks [C]

Caterham Valley

Geoff Marlow [C]

The Byfleets

Peter Martin [C]

Godalming South, Milford & Witley

Jan Mason [RA]

Epsom & Ewell West

Dorothy Mitchell [C]

Cobham

David Munro [C]

Farnham South

Marian Myland [C]

Godstone

Maurice Neighbour [C]   

Camberley East

Tim Oliver [C]

East Molesey and Esher

Alan Peirce [C]

Windlesham

Tom Phelps-Penry [RA]

Bisley, Chobham & West End

Tony Rooth [C] 

Shalford

Lavinia Sealy [C]

Bisley, Chobham & West End

Nick Skellett [C]           

Oxted

James Smith [C]

Bookham and Fetcham West

Jean Smith [RA]

Epsom and Ewell North

Christine Stevens [C]

Haslemere

Shamas Tabrez [C]

Woking Central

Roy Taylor [C]  

Walton South and Oatlands

 

 

Against draft Surrey Waste Plan:

 

Stephen Cooksey [LD]

Dorking and the Holmwoods

Sarah Di Caprio [LD]

Guildford South East

John Doran [LD]

Horsell

David Goodwin [LD]

Guildford South West

Pauline Searle [LD]

Guildford North

Chris Slyfield [LD]

Godalming North

Diana Smith [LD]

Knaphill

Colin Taylor [LD]           

Epsom and Ewell South West

Hazel Watson [LD]

Dorking Hills

Fiona White [LD]

Guildford West

 

 

Abstentions included:

 

Carol Coleman [C]

Ashford

Ray Lowther [LAB]

Chertsey

Chris Pitt [C]

Frimley Green and Mytchett

Val Tinney [C]

Pyrford

Elise Whiteley [C]

Foxhills and Virginia Water

           

                                                                                                                                                                       

[4]        It is important to note that the voting reported in notes [1], [2] and [3] above is subject to confirmation by SCC's Committee Secretariat via the publication of recorded votes in minutes of the meetings.  Following publication of these minutes, the recorded votes will be posted on GAIN's website [now posted]

 

 

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE - w/c MONDAY 5 June 2006

 

RESIDENTS CALL ON COUNTY COUNCILLORS TO SUPPORT INCINERATOR-FREE APPROACH IN KEY VOTES ON WASTE

 

This week, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) has highlighted that Surrey County Councillors are about to take two crucial decisions on waste incineration in the county.  Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN, commented, "Residents across Surrey have repeatedly expressed overwhelming support for an incinerator-free approach.  Significantly several District, Borough and Town Councils are calling for an incinerator-free approach too.  It has been firmly established that incinerator-free facilities are feasible and flexible.  Any County Councillor, voting over the next few days on whether to promote incineration in Surrey, has a real choice available.  There is an alternative to incineration."

 

The first set of decisions will be taken this Friday (9th June 2006) by SCC's Environment and Economy Select Committee.  At this special scrutiny meeting, Councillors will decide on whether to support or challenge SCC's Waste Disposal Plan, which includes two incinerators.   Over the past few weeks, the Environment and Economy Select Committee has heard evidence, which confirms that an incinerator-free approach meets targets, can harness energy from gas and avoids the dioxins produced by incinerators.

 

The second crucial decision will be taken by all SCC Councillors at a Full Council meeting at County Hall on Tuesday next week (13th June 2006).  At this meeting, the County Council will decide on a new Waste Plan for Surrey, which earmarks six sites deemed suitable for incinerators at Wisley, Capel, Shepperton, Longcross and two locations in Woking.  The Waste Plan makes clear that planning permission “will be granted” for incinerators at these sites subject to certain conditions.  These could be incinerators promoted by SCC under its Waste Disposal Plan or by private companies.  The Waste Plan remains largely unchanged despite a huge response to the SCC consultation in December last year, when more than 75% of respondents rejected the inclusion of incineration within the Waste Plan.

 

Colin Matthews commented, "Residents will be deeply shocked to discover that SCC is making these crucial decisions on incineration in the middle of a new waste consultation trumpeted in the Surrey Advertiser only last week and which is supposed to be inviting residents views on waste management in Surrey.  The consultation runs until 3 July by which time key decisions will have been made by Surrey’s Councillors."

 

Colin Matthews concluded, "We urge all SCC Councillors to listen to their constituents and reject both the Waste Disposal Plan which promotes incineration and the Waste Plan with its six incinerator sites.  We are also calling for recorded votes at SCC's Environment and Economy Select Committee meeting and at full Council, so residents can see whether their local Councillors have voted for or against bringing incineration to Surrey.  Details of these recorded votes will be posted on GAIN's website www.no-incinerator.org.uk for all to see."

 

ENDS

 

Contact:

Colin Matthews 01483 853023

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE - w/c MONDAY 6 MARCH 2006

 

Residents Overwhelmingly Reject Surrey Waste Plan

in Latest Consultation

 

 

This week, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) highlighted residents overwhelming rejection of the Surrey Waste Plan.   The results of a consultation exercise run by Surrey County Council (SCC) just before Christmas last year, have been released by their consultants Dialogue by Design [1].

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN, commented, "With more than 75% of respondents saying no to Surrey County Council's pro-incinerator Waste Plan [2], this is another crushing rejection of SCC's plans to force waste incinerators on the population."

 

Colin Matthews commented, "Surrey County Council has run a huge PR campaign trying to argue there is no alternative to incinerators, but residents know that an incinerator-free approach is feasible.    Surrey County Council also tried to mislead residents in its consultation questionnaire by disguising incineration as "treatment in other ways" [3].   We believe many of the 24% of residents who expressed support for the Surrey Waste Plan would not have done so had they realised they were voting for incineration.   This was a shoddy attempt to deceive residents and alter the outcome of the consultation."

 

GAIN also points out that SCC has now invited comments by 10th April on eleven further sites for waste uses [4] which were not included in the Waste Plan consultation.   SCC has advised that the type of waste facilities on these sites will be decided in June this year.   Colin Matthews commented, "This just goes to show that unless incineration is rejected, many in the County could face the possibility of an incinerator being built near them."

 

Colin Matthews concluded, "In the light of the response to the Waste Plan consultation, GAIN now calls on SCC to put forward a fully developed incinerator-free option as part of the Waste Plan process."

 

GAIN is holding a public meeting on Friday (10th March 2006) at 8pm at Sutherland Memorial Hall, Clay Lane, Burpham, Guildford.   At the meeting GAIN will be unveiling a new Waste Template, which it urges Councillors to take up as the basis of a community-inspired Waste Plan for the County.    Everyone is welcome.

 

 

Contact:            Colin Matthews 01483 - 853023

 

Notes to Editors

 

[1]        "Surrey County Council consultation on draft Waste Plan, Summary of Responses" Produced by Dialogue by Design, Ambassador House, Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 7JG (Tel: 020-8683-6602, email: facilitators@dialoguebydesign.com, website: www.dialoguebydesign.com)

 

[2]        The key question in the SCC consultation questionnaire "Let's Not Bury the Problem…" is question 1 which reads as follows:-

 

            "The waste plan emphasises the waste hierarchy where minimisation and recycling of waste is at the heart of waste planning.   It has moved away from land filling most of the remaining waste by making provision for treatment in other ways.

 

Q.                 Do you support this emphasis  Yes/No?"

 

Dialogue by Design (see [1] above) reports there were 1,122 (24.5%) yes responses to question 1 and 3,457 (75.5%) negative responses.

 

[3]        What question 1 (in [2] above) fails to point out is that "treatment in other ways" includes incineration and that SCC is committed to providing at least 2 incinerators and identifies 6 potential incinerator sites in the Waste Plan.

 

[4]        "The Surrey Waste Plan Consultation on additional sites, February 2006" Surrey County Council.   This consultation invites comments by 10th  April 2006 on eleven additional sites:-

 

·        Havering Farm, Worplesdon

·        Reigate Road Quarry, Betchworth

·        Coast Hill Farm, Wotton

·        Newmarsh Farm, Effingham

·        Godstone Depot

·        Runfold Antiques/Former Stone Yard, Runfold

·        Petworth Road Civic Amenity Site, Witley

·        Ash Vale Sewage Treatment Works

·        Earlswood Sewage Treatment Works

·        Leatherhead Sewage Treatment Works

·        Camberley Sewage Treatment Works

 

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 7 MARCH 2005

 

RESIDENTS REJECT INCINERATION AGAIN

IN SURREY WASTE PLAN CONSULTATION

 

The consultation on Surrey County Council's latest waste plan has ended with residents overwhelmingly rejecting incineration once again.

 

During the consultation period, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) delivered more than 1,500 letters from residents objecting to Surrey County Council's pro-incinerator plan [1].    These letters represent a major proportion of the consultation responses submitted [2].

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN commented "With such a high number of respondents rejecting the burning of waste, this is another resounding 'no' to incineration from the people of Surrey.  We now urge Surrey County Council to abandon its incineration plans and to invest in an incinerator-free approach based on recycling, composting and other biological treatment which residents so clearly support."

 

GAIN points out that, although well intentioned, the online consultation process chosen by Surrey County Council may have deterred some people from participating.  Written responses were also invited but it was not always easy for residents to obtain the necessary documentation.  As the consultation was poorly publicised, GAIN ran information stalls, which were very well attended by the public despite the winter weather.  Colin Matthews commented, "Public interest in this issue is as strong as ever and at the GAIN stalls people expressed shock that incinerators are still being considered."

 

Surrey County Council's latest waste plan is called a Waste Development Framework for Surrey.  The plan recommends that it would be the best option for Surrey to incinerate waste, and possibly also waste pellets, even though it is not at all clear from Surrey's own documentation that this would be the best option.

 

Colin Matthews commented, "We are deeply troubled that the recommendation to incinerate is buried in background papers [3] which call for 2 incinerators to burn commercial and industrial waste and also call for municipal waste to be burnt, either in 2 incinerators or as waste pellets.  Residents are shocked and angered by these proposals."

 

Colin Matthews continued "In consultation after consultation, residents have rejected incineration and there is now a great danger of a failure of democracy in Surrey on this issue.  This latest waste plan demonstrates that the Councillors and officials currently in charge at Surrey County Council are listening to themselves rather than the people they serve."

 

GAIN points out that many residents were heartened when Surrey's District Councils and the County Council previously confirmed that an incinerator-free approach was feasible and would meet Government targets.  This approach was offered as 'option h' in a similar consultation exercise about 18 months ago [4] and was overwhelmingly supported by residents.

 

Colin Matthews concluded "The real finding from GAIN's review of this new waste plan is that recycling, composting and other biological treatment remains the best option for Surrey's waste.  We wonder whether the assessment weightings in the plan have been changed to favour incineration because Surrey County Council has a waste contract for two incinerators.  The contract and the plan must both be changed to meet residents aspirations for Surrey to steer clear of incineration and other burning options."

 

Those wanting to know more are invited to: -  

 

(a)       attend GAIN's next public meeting on Friday 11th March 2005, when all Guildford's main parliamentary candidates will be making a presentation and answering questions.  The meeting is being held at the Sutherland Memorial Hall, Clay Lane, Burpham, Guildford and starts at 8pm.

(b)      visit GAIN's website www.no-incinerator.org.uk where GAIN's consultation response can be viewed.

 

END

 

Contact: Colin Matthews  01483 - 853023

 

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

[1]           On Wednesday 23rd February 2005, GAIN delivered 1,514 individual letters of response from residents to Surrey County Council's consultants, Dialogue by Design, Ambassador House, Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 7JG (Telephone 020 - 8683 - 6602).

 

[2]           Surrey County Council's consultation has been conducted via a website where the number of online respondents could be viewed.  After the close of the consultation on Monday 28th February 2005, 237 online respondents were shown.   It is likely that a proportion of the 237 online responses will also be opposed to incineration.   The results of the consultation should be available from the end of March when the final number of responses will be known.  It is anticipated that the letters in [1] above will represent a major proportion of the total responses.

 

[3]           Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) report produced by Surrey County Council's consultants Environmental Resources Management (ERM).

 

[4]           In the autumn of 2003, the Surrey Local Government Association consulted residents on an Integrated Waste Management Strategy for Surrey.  In the consultation, residents were offered four options which meet Government requirements including 'option h', an incinerator-free option based on recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment and landfill.

 

 

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 6 DECEMBER 2004

 

RESIDENTS SHOCKED BY COUNTY COUNCIL'S

PRO-INCINERATOR WASTE STATEMENT

 

This week, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) condemned Surrey County Council's endorsement of a pro-incinerator waste statement at its Full Council meeting on Tuesday, 30th November 2004.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN commented "This statement promotes incineration and represents tired thinking from the past.  It simply confirms the views of pro-incinerator County Councillors and residents do not have to accept it.  Incineration is an outdated, deeply unpopular technology, which puts our health at risk, destroys resources and pollutes our environment.  Residents will be shocked that Surrey County Council has not heard their overwhelming support for an incinerator-free approach, so clearly expressed over the last four years with more than 81,000 objections to incineration in the County [1]."

 

GAIN is also critical of Surrey County Council for rushing to approve a pro-incinerator waste statement whilst still consulting on a new Waste Development Framework [2] for the county.  The first phase of this consultation does not close until the end of January 2005.

 

Colin Matthews commented, "It appears that Surrey County Council is seeking to influence the outcome of its latest consultation exercise by warning residents in advance that it has already decided to adopt incineration.  How can residents trust a Council run in this way?"

 

GAIN is also critical of the Waste Development Framework consultation because an incinerator-free approach is not offered even though such an approach is feasible and favoured by residents.

 

The South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) and the Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) have both confirmed that an incinerator-free approach to waste management is feasible [3].   In waste consultations run by both organisations the vast majority of Surrey residents favoured an incinerator-free approach.   Surrey County Council is a member of both these organisations.

 

Colin Matthews commented, "Having established that an incinerator-free approach is feasible and favoured by residents, Surrey County Council is now attempting to unilaterally reject this option.    This is wholly unacceptable and cuts across all the work done by the District and Borough Councils in Surrey to offer residents an incinerator-free option."

 

Colin Matthews concluded, "It is now vitally important that residents respond to the Waste Development Framework consultation.  When considering such responses, Surrey County Councillors must decide whether they are with residents, community groups and other Surrey Local Authorities on this issue or whether they want to revert to a tired discredited policy which is completely out of step with public opinion and which has caused so much anxiety in the past."

 

GAIN urges residents to object to the draft Waste Development Framework because it encourages the building of incinerators in Surrey and to call for changes to the document, which reverse this policy.

 

END

 

Contact: Colin Matthews 01483 853023 or 573398

Website: www.no-incinerator.org.uk

 

Notes

 

[1]           When Surrey County Council consulted on an incinerator based Waste Plan in 2000; it was rejected by residents who submitted over 2,500 objections.  Despite this, the County Council pressed on with incineration.   In December 2001, planning permission was refused for two incinerators at Guildford and Redhill, and a further incinerator proposed for Capel was rejected after residents won their case at the High Court.   There were 32,000 planning objections to these three incinerator proposals.    In total, there have been more than 81,000 objections to incineration in Surrey.

 

[2]           Surrey County Council is conducting a Waste Development Framework (formerly Local Plan) issues and options consultation until the end of January 2005.  The Waste Development Framework will become the rulebook for waste related planning applications, including incinerators.

 

[3]           The Draft Regional Waste Management Strategy for the South East described six optional scenarios, which would meet or exceed the Waste Strategy 2000 and Landfill Directive targets, including option 5b an incinerator-free option based on enhanced levels of recycling and composting.  The draft strategy also included a sustainability appraisal, which confirmed that waste targets could be met or exceeded by just using recycling and composting.  Option 5b was assessed as the best environmental option.   

 

In the autumn of 2003, the Surrey Local Government Association consulted residents on an Integrated Waste Management Strategy for Surrey.  In the consultation, residents were offered four options which meet Government requirements including option h, an incinerator-free option based on recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment and landfill. 

 

[4]           To take part in the on-line consultation,

                visit the Surrey County Council website: www.surreycc.gov.uk

                or the GAIN website: www.no-incinerator.org.uk

                If you do not have a computer, you may post your responses to the Surrey County Council consultants

                ‘Dialogue by Design’, Ambassador House, Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 7JG

                Hard copy of the consultation documentation may be viewed at public libraries, council offices and the SCC reception office, County Hall,  Kingston.

                Hard copies may be obtained from John Shelton at Surrey County Council, Telephone: 020 8541 7685

 

 

GAIN  PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2004

 

GAIN RAISES ALARM OVER SURREY’S NEW PRO-INCINERATOR PLANS.

RESIDENTS HAVE CHANCE TO RESPOND IN CONSULTATION AND AT MAY ELECTIONS

 

Wednesday 3 November marks the launch of a consultation by Surrey County Council preparing the way for its Waste Development Framework.  The public consultation starts on 10 November.  The “Framework” will eventually become the rulebook for judging waste applications in the county.

 

Surrey has published a report, as background to the consultation, which proposes that two incinerators in Surrey for Commercial and Industrial waste would be the best option [1].  It also suggests it would be best for Municipal (household) waste to be burnt [2].  This would either be burnt raw at two incinerators or turned into pellets first and then burnt at incinerators or lime kilns [3].  The County Council’s report favours burning even though its own assessment shows the Health Impact Scores for these incinerator options to be worse than for Anaerobic Digestion (a process that the SE Region is encouraging that avoids burning) [4].

 

The County Council’s preferred incinerator sites have yet to be disclosed but a preliminary shortlist of 14 waste sites has been drawn up [5].  These “preferred sites”, when finalized, will have the constant threat of waste development hanging over them for the next ten years as they are to be “safeguarded” for waste use [6].

 

Surrey’s plans also propose “co-disposal” of waste and sewage together.  Says Colin Matthews, GAIN Chairman; “To approve this draft policy would be a green light for a major waste facility by the sewage works at Slyfield.”

 

Comments Colin Matthews, “The Council appears to be firming up its resolve to allow incinerators into Surrey in spite of massive opposition and over 81,000 objections to incineration in the County.  Even though incineration doesn’t score particularly well in Surrey’s own assessments, on 26 October the Council issued a policy saying incineration is its favoured option [7].  Residents are being asked for their comments on these pro-incinerator plans.  The County Council elections in May also provide an opportunity to ask candidates whether they will support the incinerator-free approach previously offered jointly by the County and the Districts in Surrey or whether they will encourage incinerators in Surrey.”

 

END

 

 

GAIN contact: Colin Matthews 01483 853023 or 573398

 

 

 

[1]  Assessment of the Best Practicable Environmental Option for Municipal Solid Waste, Commercial and Industrial Waste

      and Construction and Demolition Waste Arising in Surrey County Council,

      Final Report, October 2004, pages 4-55 to 4-69. 

[2]  Assessment of the BPEO - see [1] - pages 3-10 to 3-54.

      Also Issues Paper 4: The Identification of Sites Appropriate for the Development of Waste

      Related Activities page 10 

[3]  Assessment of the BPEO – see [1] - pages 3-10 to 3-54. 

[4]  Assessment of the BPEO – see [1] - pages 3-25 to 3-28.

[5]  Issues Paper 4 – see [2] – pages 5-7

[6]  Issues Paper 4 – see [2] – page 11

[7]  Surrey County Council Waste Policy Statement 26 October 2004 page 7 vi). 

      Also Assessment of the BPEO – see [1] – pages 3-10 to 3-54    

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 11 OCTOBER 2004

 

GAIN TAKES CONCERNS TO GOVERNMENT INSPECTORS OVER REGIONAL WASTE STRATEGY FOR UP TO 23 INCINERATORS

 

This week, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) informed Government inspectors of their concerns over the Regional Waste Strategy produced by the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) which could result in up to 23 incinerators across the South East [see note 1]. The Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Prescott MP, appointed an independent panel of inspectors to help him finalise the Regional Waste Strategy for the South East region. Representatives from community groups, the waste industry and local authorities were invited to attend an Examination in Public at Reading Town Hall, which began on 5th October 2004 [see note 2].

 

SEERA’s strategy states that the South East must provide sufficient waste facilities for handling the region’s own waste along with waste from London. At a meeting of Surrey County Council’s Executive Committee on 10 June 2003 a decision was made to broadly support SEERA’s strategy [see note 3].

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN commented “This is our last chance to influence a hugely important document that will set the rules controlling how local authorities across the South East deal with waste for the next 12 years. We informed the inspectors of our concerns over the prospect of having up to 23 incinerators across the region.”

 

Colin Matthews continued, “There have been more than 81,000 objections to incineration in Surrey so it is disturbing that SCC has chosen to broadly support SEERA’s strategy.   We look to SCC to ensure that our county can choose the technologies it prefers for handling different waste streams.  In view of Councillor David Davis’s recent claims that incineration will be very unlikely for many years in Surrey, we expect SCC to resist having incineration imposed on our county by SEERA.  This will need a shift in Surrey’s old position of broad support for SEERA’s pro-incinerator plans.”

 

At the Examination in Public GAIN presented residents aspirations for an incinerator-free approach to handling household waste based on waste minimisation and separating the various waste streams at source in order to maximise re-use, recycling and composting. GAIN advocates that organic waste, such as food waste and garden waste, should be dealt with first by introducing separate collection of food waste which should be taken to in-vessel composting facilities [see note 4].

 

Other organisations present at the Examination in Public included Biffa Waste Services Ltd whose Director, Peter Jones, expressed the view that rising oil prices could make thermal treatment such as incineration unviable on economic grounds.

 

Colin Matthews concluded, "At the Examination in Public we presented residents aspirations for an incinerator-free approach to handling household waste based on recycling and composting which SEERA’s own documents confirm is feasible [see note 5]. This approach will help the region to comply with the EU Landfill Directive and avoid hefty fines for putting biodegradable waste in landfill.  It is essential that people think about waste as a resource. Local authorities need to look at the composition of the waste stream and find the most appropriate use for each type of resource. We were particularly interested to hear an industry view from Biffa that incineration may soon be unviable on economic grounds due to rising oil prices.”

 

END

 

GAIN Contact:                Colin Matthews - 01483 300858

 

 

Additional notes for editors:

 

1.                    Refer to SEERA's main Strategy document entitled "Proposed Alterations to Regional Planning Guidance, South East - Regional Waste Management Strategy - No Time to Waste" dated March 2004.
In relation to policy W7 table 2.1 in paragraph 2.57 states that 11 "thermal treatment/energy recovery" facilities (ie. incinerators) will be needed by 2010, increasing to 23 by 2020. These figure relate to "small facilities" with a capacity of "under 100,000 tonnes p/a".

 

2.                    Roger Claxton was the Panel Secretary for the Public Examination, he co-ordinated the meeting in Reading.
Email: roger.claxton@btconnect.com

Tel: 01403 218650

For background information visit the GOSE web site

http://www.go-se.gov.uk/rpg9review/wasteminerals

 

3.                    Papers prepared for Surrey County Council’s Executive Committee on 10 June 2003 confirm SCC’s broad support SEERA’s strategy. Minutes of the meeting confirm that the officer’s recommendations were agreed. Item 7 on the agenda confirms that no objection was raised on policy W7. However, SCC did not support the following 3 policies:

·         Policy W11: biomass treatment should be considered elsewhere in the Strategy.

·         SCC "does not accept policy W3 in its assumption that London’s wastes should always be catered for."

·         W18 Green Belt policy: SCC "intends to implement this policy within its area and therefore cannot support the wider view expressed in policy W18".

 

4.                    GAIN's written statement made to the panel is available on the GAIN web site. This includes a one-page summary of GAIN's aspirations.

http://www.no-incinerator.org.uk

 

5.                 Annex 6 of SEERA's Strategy covers ‘Scenarios, Options and Best Practicable Environmental Option Appraisal’. Paragraph 6.3 states "Scenario 5 meets and exceeds commercial and industrial diversion targets and the additional MSW [Municipal Solid Waste] diversion targets required by the Landfill Directive over and above those in Waste Strategy 2000. All recycling and composting targets met with additional recovery through additional recycling and composting.”

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE - w/c MONDAY 4 OCTOBER 2004

 

COUNCILLOR DAVID DAVIS SAYS INCINERATORS UNLIKELY FOR MANY YEARS BUT REFUSES TO REMOVE INCINERATION FROM HIS WASTE PLAN FOR SURREY 

 

At a well attended GAIN meeting last Friday (1st October 2004) Councillor David Davis, Surrey County Council's portfolio holder for the Environment, said that, in his personal view, waste incinerators are unlikely to be built in Surrey for many years.  However, at the same meeting Councillor Davis rejected calls to remove incineration from the new draft Waste Local Plan for Surrey he had submitted to a SCC Committee the previous day [1].

 

Commenting on this apparent contradiction, Colin Matthews Chairman of GAIN said "Whilst many residents may welcome Councillor Davis' personal predictions on the likelihood of incinerators coming to Surrey, these can only be realised with the fundamental policy changes called for by GAIN which Councillor Davis himself can bring about."    Colin Matthews continued, "Councillor Davis appears to accept that waste incinerators are unnecessary in Surrey but his waste policies do not reflect this.  On the contrary, incineration is included in his new Waste Policy Statement and in working papers preparing for the draft Waste Local Plan for Surrey about to be approved by Surrey County Council's Executive on 26th October 2004.   These policies leave Surrey residents exposed to planned and speculative incinerator applications to deal with waste from Surrey and beyond."

 

Colin Matthews commented "In order to ensure an incinerator-free future, GAIN urges Surrey County Council to quickly invest in re-use, recycling and composting facilities using all available resources, including the £100M of Private Finance Initiative funding allocated to Surrey by the Government for waste initiatives."  Colin Matthews continued, "The Council can and should exclude incineration from its waste plans and its contract with SITA.   In addition, the Regional Waste Strategy which proposes up to 23 incinerators across the South East should be opposed rather than supported by our County Council."

 

At the GAIN meeting, Councillor Davis suggested that under SCC's contract with SITA it was for SITA to decide what waste treatment methods should now be used, subject to planning permission being obtained at particular sites.    When asked if the SITA contract could be made public, Councillor Davis stated that the contract was confidential and could not be released to residents.   However, he confirmed it had been copied, at least in part, to the eleven Borough and District Councils in Surrey.

 

Commenting on the SITA contract Colin Matthews said "Residents will be astonished to learn about Surrey's secret waste contract which appears to give the contractor complete control over our destiny.  The contract should be made public and renegotiated at once to ensure that residents aspirations for an incinerator-free approach are realised."   

 

In addition to answering questions at the GAIN meeting, Councillor Davis gave a presentation on waste in Surrey and the various waste strategies affecting the County [2] and SCC's assessment of available waste sites [3].

 

END

 

Notes

 

[1]           Surrey County Council's Environment and Economy Select Committee on Thursday 30th September 2004, agenda items 6 and 7.

 

[2]           The waste strategies affecting Surrey include: -

 

(a)                 Regional Waste Strategy, produced by the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) which is being considered at an Examination in Public starting on Tuesday this week (5th October 2004) in Reading.  NB. This Strategy proposes up to 23 incinerators across the South East, which includes Surrey.

 

(b)                The Joint Municipal Waste Strategy (JMWS) agreed by the Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) but yet to be endorsed by all the Local Authorities in the County.  NB.  SCC itself has not adopted this strategy even though it is a member of the SLGA.  The SLGA has confirmed that an incinerator-free approach based on re-use, recycling and composting is feasible and offered this option (option h) in its consultation on the JMWS.

 

(c)                 Surrey County Council Draft Waste Policy Statement produced by Councillor Davis and scheduled to be approved at SCC's Executive on 26th October 2004.  NB. This document makes clear that mass-burn incineration is not ruled out (see SCC Environment and Economy Select Committee agenda for 30th September 2004 item 6, page 4).   

 

(d)                The Draft Surrey Waste Local Plan (now called Waste Local Development Framework), which is scheduled to be approved for consultation at SCC's Executive on 26th October 2004.   NB.  This document deals with a range of issues e.g. the siting of waste facilities such as thermal treatment, which includes incineration (see SCC Environment and Economy Select Committee agenda for 30th September 2004 item 7, Issues Paper 3, page 5, paragraph 2 which states "There are likely to be limited opportunities for siting thermal treatment facilities.  In order to give certainty to both the public and waste management industry it is suggested the opportunities should be limited to named preferred sites and not others.")

 

[3]           Surrey County Council's Site Assessment Report 2, dated August 2004 identifies 14 sites considered to be appropriate to safeguard for a future waste use (see pages 156 and 157).

 

 

 

Contact: Colin Matthews 01483 - 853023

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE w/c -  MONDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2004

 

SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL PROPOSES 14 ‘WASTE USE’ SITES 

- INCINERATION NOT RULED OUT!

 

COUNCILLOR DAVID DAVIS TO ADDRESS

GAIN MEETING THIS WEEK

 

On Thursday 30th September 2004, Surrey County Council's Environment and Economy Select Committee [1] will receive a report which proposes that 14 sites [2] across the County be earmarked for waste processes not excluding incineration.

 

Colin Matthews Chairman of the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) commented "It is shocking that Surrey County Council is proposing possible incineration sites, when residents clearly want to keep Surrey incinerator-free.  People living near the sites of the 3 previously rejected incinerators at Guildford, Capel and Redhill will be angered to see these sites on the new list."

 

The ‘sites list’ forms part of the County's new draft Waste Local Plan (now called Waste Local Development Framework) which is scheduled to be approved for consultation by Surrey County Council's Executive Committee on 26th October 2004.   A short 6 week public consultation is planned, starting in November.

 

Councillor David Davis, Surrey County Council's portfolio holder for the Environment will be explaining his waste policies at a GAIN public meeting on Friday this week (1st October 2004).

 

Colin Matthews commented "Apart from a recent break, Councillor Davis has been responsible for Surrey County Council's waste policies for some years, but this is the first time he has addressed a GAIN meeting.   We are therefore very pleased that Councillor Davis is coming to Guildford to speak, particularly at this crucial time when he is proposing to put Slyfield back on his shortlist of incinerator sites."

 

Colin Matthews continued "In consultation after consultation over the last 4 years, Surrey residents have made clear their overwhelming support  for an incinerator-free approach based on re-use, recycling and composting.   The Surrey Local Government Association, of which Surrey County Council is a member, has confirmed that this approach is feasible."

 

The Environment and Economy Select Committee of the Surrey County Council will also consider a new SCC Waste Policy Statement prepared by Councillor Davis.  Recommendations for approval will then be submitted to the SCC  Executive Committee on 12th October 2004.

 

Colin Matthews commented " Residents and community groups have not been consulted on this policy statement which is being rushed through.  We are particularly concerned to note that despite more than 81,000 objections to incineration in Surrey, the County still refuses to rule out this hazardous and unnecessary technology."

 

Colin Matthews concluded "We urge residents to attend GAIN's public meeting on Friday and make clear to Councillor Davis that incineration remains unacceptable because of its hazardous emissions, toxic ash, destruction of resources and damage to the environment.   Incineration also brings distress and conflict.  An incinerator-free alternative is available if only Surrey County Council can find the political will to adopt it."

 

GAIN's public meeting will be held on Friday 1st October 2004 starting at  8pm at the Sutherland Memorial Hall, Clay Lane, Burpham, Guildford.

 

END

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

[1]           Surrey County Council's Environment and Economy Select Committee will meet on Thursday  30th September 2004 at 10.30am in Committee Room 3, County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.

 

[2]           The 14 sites, their size and location by Borough are as follows:-

 

Ref

Site

Size

Borough

1.

Weylands Treatment Works, Molesey Road, Hersham

Large

Elmbridge

3.

Cold Store, Artington

Small

Guildford

4b.

Slyfield Industrial Estate: Thames Water Utilities Land

Large

Guildford

4c.

Slyfield Industrial Estate: Thames Water STW

Large

Guildford

6.

Land at former airfield, Wisley

Large

Guildford

9.

Clockhouse Brickworks, Capel

Large

Mole Valley

10.

Copyhold Works, Redhill

Large

Reigate and Banstead

11.

Earlswood Depot, Horley Road, Redhill

Small

Reigate and Banstead

13.

Day's Rail Aggregate Depot, Salfords

Large

Reigate and Banstead

16b.

Lyne Lane, Chertsey: Compost Site

Small

Runnymede

17.

Charlton Lane, Shepperton

Large

Spelthorne

24.

Coxbridge Sandpit, Farnham

Large

Waverley

26.

Princess Royal North, Runfold

Large

Waverley

29.

Martyrs Lane, Woking

Large

Woking

 

NB.         The availability of the Volkes site at Normandy is still being researched.

 

Surrey County Council's waste sites assessment was based on research commissioned from Environmental Resource Management (ERM) which considered almost 300 sites.  Surrey County Council has further assessed 33 of these sites, from which the list of 14 "preferred" sites above has been compiled.

 

 

Contact

 

Colin Matthews:                01483 - 300858

Kate Gallagher:                01483 - 532735

 

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c  24 MAY 2004

 

GAIN RESPONSE TO LATEST REGIONAL WASTE POLICY

HIGHLIGHTS ONGOING THREAT FROM 23 NEW INCINERATORS

 

 

This week, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) delivered its written response to amended Regional Planning Guidance produced by the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) which could result in up to 23 incinerators in place across the South East despite huge public opposition and confirmation that an incinerator-free approach is viable.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN commented, "It is shocking that SEERA is still advocating this outdated and unnecessary technology.  Residents clearly want an incinerator-free approach based on recycling and composting which SEERA's own waste strategy confirms is feasible."

 

GAIN's response reminds SEERA that incineration is deeply unpopular because of concerns over dioxin and particle emissions, the landfilling of hazardous ash, poor safety controls and the burning of resources which should be reused, recycled or composted.

 

Colin Matthews commented "There have been more than 81,000 objections to incineration in Surrey alone and yet SEERA is claiming public support for incineration based on the misinterpreted findings of a MORI survey involving just 800 people from across South East England.  In its own consultation last year, SEERA received 1,746 responses to its waste strategy, of which, at least 71% were opposed to incineration.  SEERA's claim that there is public support for incineration is incorrect, undemocratic and unacceptable."

 

GAIN also criticises SEERA's waste policies because they provide for waste imports from London; incineration is concealed using the term "recovery" and other forms of incineration such as pyrolosis and gasification are supported.

 

Colin Matthews added, "People living in South East England, including Surrey, must understand the importance of this Regional Planning Guidance.  It is a rulebook for deciding future incinerator applications.  As drafted, it is stacked against residents in order that SEERA's target for incineration can be achieved."

 

Colin Matthews continued "SEERA has taken an arbitrary policy decision, under pressure from industry, to reject an incinerator-free approach even though this is a feasible option favoured by residents.  As SEERA includes Councillors from each County and District Council in the South East, we call on Surrey County Council and the District Councils in Surrey to change SEERA's waste policies before it is too late."

 

GAIN's response to SEERA's proposed alterations to 'Regional Planning Guidance for the South East - Regional Waste Management Strategy', was delivered to the Government Office of the South-East in Guildford on Monday 24th May 2004.

 

Colin Matthews concluded, "Surrey residents are in a strong position to influence SEERA because Councillor Nick Skellett, Leader of Surrey County Council, is Chairman of SEERA.   Also, the officers at SEERA who are working to impose incineration are based at SEERA's Headquarters in Guildford, Surrey's county town.  After many years of conflict, Surrey is an incinerator-free county.  We must make sure that SEERA does not ruin what's been achieved."

 

END

 

 

Contacts:                Colin Matthews - 01483 300858

                                Kate Gallagher - 01483 532735

 

 

Attachments:

 

1.                    GAIN response to SEERA's proposed alterations to Regional Planning Guidance for the South East - Regional Waste Management Strategy.

2.                    Photograph showing Surrey residents supporting the delivery of GAIN's response document.

 

 

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c 1 DECEMBER 2003

 

WASTE CAMPAIGNERS OFFER NEW WAY FORWARD FOR SURREY

 

On Friday 28 November 2003, GAIN delivered its response to the Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) along with more than 1,000 individual responses from residents supporting an incinerator-free approach.  [see note 1]

 

GAIN’s Chairman, Colin Matthews commented, “GAIN welcomes the inclusion of an incinerator-free option (option 'h') in the draft Strategy.   This confirms that all the Local Authorities in Surrey now accept that an incinerator-free approach is feasible.   It is also the approach Surrey residents want as demonstrated by the 1,000 plus responses to this consultation, taking total objections to incineration in Surrey to more than 81,000.  Elliott Morley, the Environment Minister has also recently endorsed an incinerator-free option.  All this clearly signposts the way forward."

 

GAIN’s detailed response strongly disagrees with the SLGA's proposed "key policies" mainly because they include incineration disguised under the term “recovery”.    

 

GAIN’s response makes the following key points:

 

§         The county should use its £100 million Private Finance Initiative funding to invest in facilities for composting and recycling.

§         Surrey County Council, along with the 11 District/Borough councils in Surrey, need to win the hearts and minds of residents in order to increase awareness of waste reduction and inspire greater participation in recycling and composting schemes.

§         A Surrey Waste Forum funded by all the Surrey Local Authorities needs to be established and given responsibility for driving change, co-ordinating work across the Boroughs and achieving Surrey's waste targets.

§         We need to clean up our black bin bags and wheelie bins by keeping out the food and organic waste; this should be collected separately and taken to small, localised facilities where it can be turned into compost, which can be sold.

§         As an interim measure, the county may need to provide facilities to handle the waste left over. These pre-treatment facilities, which recently received Government backing, will minimise any biodegradable content remaining, before sending it safely to landfill.

§         As a result of a new Act of Parliament [see note 2] the county must meet strict targets on the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill. Failure to comply would result in heavy fines for Surrey County Council. According to Bob Stranks, Head of Waste at County Hall, "These [fines] could potentially represent liabilities of millions of pounds per year." [see note 3]

 

Colin Matthews added, “Surrey can meet the Government’s targets and avoid heavy fines without incineration. The true answer lies in stemming the growth in waste by winning the hearts and minds of people who live and work in Surrey. It’s a matter of changing the way we think about the things we throw away and recognising that waste is a resource.  The Local Authorities in Surrey should give leadership and make change possible by providing the composting and recycling facilities we need.   I would encourage your readers/listeners to read GAIN's response to this consultation, which is available from the GAIN web site http://www.no-incinerator.org.uk. We also have a short video which shows the way forward.”

 

GAIN will be presenting it's response to the SLGA consultation at the special Christmas Public Meeting on Friday 5th December 2003 at 8pm at The Church of the Holy Spirit, New Inn Lane, Burpham Guildford.

 

END

 

 

Notes for editors:

 

1)       Consultation on “An Integrated Waste Management Strategy for Surrey” ended on 28 November 2003. Surrey County Council and the 11 District/Borough Councils in Surrey jointly produced this strategy. Work has been co-ordinated by the Surrey Local Government Association, tele: 01483-743047, web site http://www.surreywaste.info

2)       The Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003 received Royal Assent on 13 November 2003. The new Act will introduce a Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) to help reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill.

3)       Surrey County Council Executive meeting on 11 November 2003, agenda item 10.

 

 

Contact: Colin Matthews                 01483 - 300858

                Kate Gallagher                01483 - 532735

 

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE  w/c - 10th November 2003

 

GAIN MEETING ENCOURAGED BY COUNTY COUNCIL’S NEW THINKING ON WASTE AND BY MINISTER’S ENDORSEMENT

OF INCINERATOR-FREE OPTION

 

 

At a well attended public meeting on Friday night (7th November 2003) the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) gave Surrey County Council an opportunity to respond to recent criticism of its plans for waste.   Surrey County Council's Environment spokesperson, Councillor Andrew Crisp attended the meeting to describe the County's current thinking on waste management and answer questions from residents.

 

Colin Matthews Chairman of GAIN commented, "We welcome Councillor Crisp's attendance at the meeting and were interested in what he had to say.  In particular, we note his statement that Surrey County Council has no plans for incinerators at the moment and that its contractor, Surrey Waste Management, has now fulfilled its contractual requirement to bring forward proposals for two incinerators, at Redhill and Capel because its applications for those incinerators have both been rejected or withdrawn."

 

Colin Matthews continued "Councillor Crisp's presentation confirmed that  the removal from contention of the incinerator applications previously proposed for Surrey has, in effect, wiped the slate clean.  Councillor Crisp is now writing a new vision for waste management in Surrey, which he expects to release in December.  We look forward to being consulted on this document, which we trust will at last commit Surrey to an incinerator-free approach, an option recently endorsed by Elliot Morley, Environment Minister.    Not only would such an approach be acceptable to the Government, it would demonstrate that Surrey County Council has responded to the 80,000 objections to incineration in Surrey."

 

At the meeting, GAIN called on Councillor Crisp to include in his vision an unambiguous statement that the £100M of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) funding awarded to Surrey for waste projects will not be used to build incinerators.  Colin Matthews added "Residents at the meeting urged Surrey County Council to invest its £100M PFI funding in recycling and composting facilities now, rather than holding it back for last resort incinerators."

 

At GAIN's meeting, it was pointed out by residents that the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) has very recently adopted an incinerator-based plan, which was not opposed by Surrey County Council despite more than a thousand objections from Surrey residents.  In reply, Councillor Crisp recognised that Surrey County Council's response to the SEERA consultation had not adopted the incinerator-free approach wanted by residents.  However, he did not think Surrey was tied to SEERA's policies, particularly given the unique nature of Surrey's waste, with its high organic content.

 

Councillor Crisp also argued strongly that it would be unacceptable for incinerators to be built in Surrey for regional waste.  Yet next month, Surrey’s own Structure Plan, which does not oppose regional waste being burnt in Surrey, will go to inquiry.

 

Commenting on the latest waste consultation by the Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA), of which Surrey County Council is a member, Councillor Crisp urged residents to respond.   He also agreed to ask for an extension to the consultation deadline from 28th November 2003 to a later date in December given concerns about lack of publicity and a shortage of consultation leaflets.

 

Reflecting on the meeting Colin Matthews concluded, "Councillor Crisp has told us he has an open mind on waste; Surrey Waste Management's contractual commitment to develop incinerators is fulfilled and he is exploring the establishment of a Surrey Waste Board to drive change and co-ordinate work across all the Boroughs in the County.   If Councillor Crisp can deliver, Surrey’s new thinking on waste sounds encouraging.  But delivery and timing are everything.  Regionally, the politicians are pressing ahead with policies that favour incineration and that will make proposals very hard to resist in Surrey.  If Surrey is serious about updating its thinking, urgent action is required.

 

Until Surrey County Council's waste strategy, waste contract and planning policies rule out incineration, our communities remain exposed to incinerator applications.   A clear endorsement by Surrey County Council of an incinerator-free approach is needed urgently, together with a massive investment in recycling and composting facilities.   Now is the time for Surrey County Council to work with residents rather than perpetuate the conflict incineration brings."

 

END

 

Contacts:                Colin Matthews:                01483 - 300858

                                Kate Gallagher:                01483 - 532735

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE  w/c Monday 29th September 2003

 

GAIN ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO VOTE AGAINST

SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL INCINERATOR PLANS

 

This week, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) will launch a new campaign encouraging Surrey residents to vote against the introduction of waste incinerators by Surrey County Council.  At a special public meeting on Friday (3rd October 2003) GAIN will be presenting its vision for an incinerator-free Surrey and urging residents to vote for this approach in the Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) consultation, which expires on 28th November 2003.

 

Colin Matthews commented, "Surrey residents have defeated waste incinerators at Guildford, Redhill and Capel and successfully campaigned for the incinerator-free option now being offered in the Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) consultation.  However, in order to stop Surrey County Council's incinerator plans, residents must vote in favour of the incinerator-free approach currently on offer."

 

Colin Matthews added, "Despite 80,000 objections to incineration in Surrey and a feasible incinerator-free option, Surrey County Council is determined to get its way and impose incinerators on us."

 

The new GAIN campaign will highlight concerns that Surrey County Council is planning small incinerators at sites across Surrey.

 

Colin Matthews added, "Residents will not be able to rely on incinerators being located elsewhere in the County.  Incinerators will only be avoided if the people of Surrey speak out with one voice and vote to reject this outdated, destructive, polluting technology.  The future is in our hands."

 

GAIN's public meeting starts at 8pm this Friday (3rd October 2003) and is being held at the Church of the Holy Spirit, New Inn lane, Burpham, Guildford.  All are welcome.

 

END

 

Contact- Colin Matthews.                01483 - 300858

                Kate Gallagher:                01483 - 532735

 

 

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE  - w/c 22 September 2003

 

GAIN ISSUES VIGOROUS REBUTTAL OF WASTE INCINERATOR

POLL CLAIM

 

Following a recent Mori poll, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) this week vigorously rebutted claims reported in last weeks Surrey Advertiser (19th September 2003) that opposition to waste incineration is not as high as previously thought.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN, responded to the poll claims by saying  "We vehemently reject any suggestion that the residents of Surrey want waste incinerators.  There have been more than 80,000 objections to waste incineration in the County, and only those determined to impose this destructive, polluting technology would try to suggest it is acceptable."

 

GAIN will now be seeking to dissect the Mori poll and establish exactly who commissioned it and why.  Colin Matthews commented, "We will be asking whether the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) paid for this poll.  In the recent consultation on its Draft Waste Management Strategy for the South East, SEERA omitted its incinerator free option from the consultation documents made available to the public.  Despite this, hundreds of letters of support for an incinerator free approach were submitted by Surrey residents.  We are concerned that SEERA may now be seeking to discredit the outcome of its own consultation exercise."

 

When GAIN examines the Mori poll, particular attention will be paid to the questions asked.  Colin Matthews added "The incinerator industry and its supporters routinely use terms like 'energy from waste' and 'recovery' to describe incineration and thereby deceive the public.  We will now be asking for the exact text of the questions used by Mori.  We also note that of those polled 66% said they were not sufficiently informed about incineration."

 

GAIN is also critical of the negative interpretation of the poll results reported in the Surrey Advertiser and the paper's editorial comment.  Colin Matthews added, "The reports of the survey findings suggest that 96% of those polled want more recycling.  This is an immensely positive response.  In their consultation documents SEERA and now the Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) accept that an incinerator free approach based on recycling and composting is feasible and the best environmental option.  This is clearly the approach Surrey residents want even though a handful of politicians and waste officials refuse to accept it."

 

Commenting on the role of Surrey County Council in the current debate Colin Matthews concluded,  "The ruling Conservative administration at County Hall seems absolutely determined to impose incinerators on the residents of Surrey and is using every device to achieve this.  Interestingly, Councillor Nick Skellett, Conservative Leader of Surrey County Council is also Chairman of SEERA which is trying to impose incineration on the whole region."

 

Colin Matthews commented "Of far greater significance than any opinion poll is the consultation exercise currently being conducted by the Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) 'A Way Forward' on waste management in the County.  Surrey residents have until 28th November 2003 to respond."

 

Colin Matthews added "After months of campaigning the SLGA finally included an incinerator free option (Option h) in its consultation which we would urge residents to strongly support.  Now is the time for residents to give a resounding yes to the incinerator free option.   Those politicians who still support incineration must receive the clear message that burning our resources and polluting our beautiful County with incinerator emissions and the landfilling of toxic ash is simply not acceptable."

 

On Friday 3rd October 2003 at 8pm GAIN is holding its monthly Public Meeting at the Church of the Holy Spirit, New Inn Lane, Burpham, Guildford.  At this meeting, GAIN will be presenting its incinerator free vision for the County and all are welcome.

 

END

 

Contact: Colin Matthews   01483 - 300858

                Kate Gallagher    01483 - 532735

 

 

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 23RD JUNE 2003

 

OVER A THOUSAND RESIDENTS WRITE TO REGIONAL ASSEMBLY SUPPORTING AN INCINERATOR-FREE APPROACH AS WASTE CONSULTATION CLOSES AMID CONTROVERSY

 

On Monday this week (23rd June 2003) the South East England Regional Assembly  (SEERA) closed the consultation on its Draft Regional Waste Strategy which proposes up to 27 incinerators in the South East, including Surrey.   On the last day of the consultation, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) delivered to SEERA's offices in Guildford 1,066 individual written responses from residents supporting an incinerator-free approach.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN, said "The letters delivered to SEERA this week take the number of objections to incineration in Surrey above 76,000.  Surrey residents have made their views known time and time again.  We now call on the Regional Assembly to adopt a strategy which full endorses residents aspirations for an incinerator-free approach."

 

Commenting on the consultation Colin Matthews said " GAIN is deeply troubled that SEERA only offered two incinerator-based options in its consultation, despite the fact that SEERA's supporting documentation identifies six options which meet or exceed waste targets for the region, including two incinerator-free options based on enhanced recycling and composting.  Indeed, SEERA has confirmed that an incinerator-free approach is both feasible and the best environmental option."

 

In a covering letter [1] submitted to Councillor Keith Mitchell, Chairman of SEERA's Planning Committee, GAIN asked Councillor Mitchell to confirm who approved the controversial arrangements for the consultation, for example, the exclusion of the incinerator-free options from the consultation; the merging of incineration targets with those for recycling and composting and the use of terms like "energy from waste" and "recovery" rather than the word "incineration".   The covering letter requests copies of the relevant reports and the minutes of these decisions.

 

In his letter to Councillor Mitchell, Colin Matthews said "Residents are angry and resentful that their clearly preferred option of an incinerator-free approach is not offered as an option in your consultation."  He continued "I should report to you residents disquiet over the impenetrable nature of the SEERA documentation, and SEERA's use of industry euphemisms for incineration such as "energy from waste" and "recovery".  Residents resent the attempt to hide incineration targets within the targets for recycling and composting.  Lack of publicity and inadequate consultation with the public is also of great concern.  Residents expect public servants and elected representatives to provide clear and objective information, and to engage with residents in open and honest debate.  Sadly, this consultation falls short of these expectations."

 

The controversy over the consultation has been increased by Surrey County Council's proposed response to SEERA which currently refuses to endorse the incinerator-free approach overwhelmingly favoured by residents.  In a separate letter [2] to Councillor Nick Skellett, Leader of Surrey County Council, Colin Matthews reminded Councillor Skellett that residents expect  their County Council to support their views on this issue.

 

In his letter, Colin Matthews calls on Councillor Skellett to delay sending in the County Council's response until it has been considered by all 76 Surrey County Councillors at their next Full Council meeting on Tuesday 29th July 2003.

 

The text of Colin Matthews letter to Councillor Skellett describes the sequence of events leading to GAIN's call for the County's response to be held back.  In the letter, Colin Matthews said "Residents had expected Surrey County Council's Executive Committee decision on the County's response to the SEERA consultation to be debated and voted on by the Full Council at its meeting on Tuesday 17th June 2003.   This would have enabled all 76 Surrey County Councillors to consider the response before the consultation deadline on Monday 23rd June 2003.  Failure to include the waste item on the Full Council Agenda on 17th June 2003 has led to great anger and resentment."

 

Colin Matthews continued "Residents anger was heightened when it became clear that a similar item on Surrey County Council's response to a SERAS consultation on runway options at Gatwick airport did appear on the Full Council agenda for 17th June 2003.  This item and the waste item were both considered by Surrey County Council's Environment and Economy Select Committee on 5th June 2003 and its Executive Committee on 10th June 2003 and yet only the Gatwick item appeared on the Full Council agenda.  The consultation deadlines for both issues expired before the next Full Council meeting on 29th July 2003."

 

Colin Matthews finished his letter to Councillor Skellett "I trust that as Leader of Surrey County Council you will wish to demonstrate your respect for the democratic process by holding back or withdrawing Surrey County Council's response to the SEERA consultation until after the Full Council meeting on 29th July 2003.  Of course, you may have already taken this decision."

 

In conclusion, Colin Matthews said "This consultation has been characterised by incinerator-based options being offered which residents do not want and the incinerator-free approach favoured by the people of Surrey not being endorsed by Surrey County Council's Executive Committee.   Residents simply want the adoption of an incinerator-free approach which SEERA itself has said is both feasible and the best environmental option.  Residents aspirations for an incinerator-free approach are clear, reasonable and achievable."

 

 

END

 

 

Contact: Colin Matthews: 01483 - 300858

                                 Kate Gallagher 01483 – 532735

 

[1]           Letter to Councillor Keith Mitchell, Chairman of SEERA's Planning Committee from Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN, dated 22nd June 2003.

[2]           Letter to Councillor Skellett, Leader of Surrey County Council, from Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN, dated 22nd June 2003

 

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GAIN Press Release w/c 16 June 2003

 

FULL COUNCIL DENIED DEBATE ON WHETHER SURREY WILL BACK 27 INCINERATORS IN THE SOUTH EAST

 

The Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) has highlighted residents anger over the exclusion of a crucial item on waste incineration from the agenda of a Full Council meeting involving all Surrey County Councillors which took place on Tuesday this week (17th June 2003).

 

At Surrey County Council's Executive Committee meeting last week (Tuesday 10th June 2003) the ruling Conservative administration refused to endorse an incinerator-free approach to waste management in the region, opening the way for up to 27 incinerators in the South East, including Surrey (1).  Full Council should have had an opportunity to endorse or reject this decision.

 

Colin Matthews Chairman of GAIN commented "Residents expected the Executive decision to be debated and voted on at the Full Council meeting this week, and are angered that the item was excluded from the agenda preventing Members of the Executive being called to account for their controversial and deeply unpopular decision."

 

GAIN points out that SEERA's Draft Regional Strategy identified six waste management options, which would meet the regions waste targets, including TWO incinerator-free options based on enhanced recycling and composting.  Colin Matthews added "Surrey residents have repeatedly demonstrated their overwhelming support for an incinerator-free approach as evidenced by 75,000 objections to incineration in the County.  SEERA has confirmed that an incinerator-free approach is both feasible and the best environmental option.  Residents are becoming increasingly angry and frustrated over the refusal of the Conservative administration at County Hall to endorse residents’ aspirations."

 

Residents’ anger over the exclusion of the waste item from the Full Council agenda was heightened when it became clear that a similar item regarding a response to consultation on runway options at Gatwick airport had been included.

 

Commenting on the disparity, Colin Matthews said, "Residents have noted the similarities between the waste item and the Gatwick item.  Both were considered at the Environment and Economy Select Committee on 5th June 2003, both were decided on at the Executive Committee on 10th June 2003 and both involve consultations which end later this month before the Full Council meets again in July."

 

Colin Matthews added "As a consequence of all this, the Gatwick consultation response has been considered by all Councillors before its submission whilst County Hall expects that the waste response can be submitted without challenge or scrutiny.  This is completely unacceptable."

 

At the Full Council meeting this week, Councillor John Hobrough and Councillor Joe Bullock asked why the SEERA consultation item did not appear on the agenda.  Responding for the Conservative administration, Councillor Andrew Crisp gave an assurance that the waste item would be considered at the next Full Council meeting in July.  Colin Matthews commented "Of course, the next Full Council meeting is after the SEERA waste consultation deadline expires on 23rd June 2003.  Therefore, GAIN is calling on Surrey County Council to delay submission of its response to SEEERA until after the Full Council meeting in July.  The County can simply write to SEERA explaining that the submission has not gone through all the necessary stages.  We trust that SEERA and our County Council will wish to respect the democratic process."

 

In response to a question from Councillor Nick Brougham, Councillor Crisp said that incineration would only be used in Surrey "as a last resort".  Commenting on this statement, Colin Matthews said "There are two fundamental problems with the last resort position on incineration.  Firstly, by not ruling out incineration, the County Council leaves Surrey exposed to speculative incinerator proposals.  Secondly, the last resort philosophy is self-fulfilling.  If the County continues to hold back its £100 million Private Finance Initiative funding for "last resort" incinerators it cannot invest this money in the recycling facilities we need to avoid incineration."

 

Questions on waste were also submitted at the Full Council meeting by Councillor Tom Sharp and Councillor Janet Maines.

 

Prior to the Full Council meeting this week, GAIN alerted Councillors to the exclusion of the controversial waste item.  Residents attended the meeting to explain their concerns to Councillors as they arrived for the meeting. 

 

Whilst Surrey County Councillors were being denied the opportunity to consider the County's response to the SEERA consultation, a major demonstration in support of an incinerator-free approach in the South East took place (Tuesday 17th June 2003).   The demonstration was held in Guildford High Street and was organised by Friends of the Earth.  Anti-incinerator groups from across the region including GAIN, took part in the event.

 

Colin Matthews commented, "It is ironic that those in support of an incinerator-free approach in the region were demonstrating in Surrey's County Town on Tuesday when, at exactly the same moment in Kingston, Councillors and residents were being denied the opportunity to scrutinise the County's response to this crucial consultation."

 

END

 

Contact:   Colin Matthews 01483 - 300858

                 Kate Gallagher 01483 – 532735

 

NOTES:

 

(1)  The Executive's decision was made in response to a consultation by the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) on its Draft Regional Waste Management Strategy for the South East.

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE 11 JUNE 2003

 

SURREY COUNTY COUNCILLORS DON’T SAY NO TO INCINERATION

- OPENING THE WAY FOR 27 INCINERATORS IN THE SOUTH EAST

 

Yesterday (10 June 2003), councillors on Surrey’s powerful Executive Committee decided to take a neutral position on a Draft Regional Waste Management Strategy that could see up to 27 incinerators built across the South East by 2010. This decision came a week after councillors from Guildford Borough Council urged the County Council and the Regional Assembly to support an incinerator-free approach.

 

Surrey County Councillors at yesterday’s Executive meeting, heard from three residents who presented petitions urging the County to rethink its pro-incineration approach to waste management. In their presentations, residents pointed out that there have been more than 75,000 objections to incineration in Surrey.  The Draft Regional Waste Management Strategy produced by the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) includes a sustainability appraisal, which confirms that an incinerator-free approach based on recycling and composting is the best environmental option and will allow the region to meet or exceed its waste targets.

 

Commenting on Tuesday’s decision Colin Matthews Chairman of GAIN said, "Sitting on the fence is not an option.  Unless Surrey County Council adopts an incinerator-free approach, it will have no defence against incinerators.  By saying “nothing is ruled out” the Council is opening the door to speculative incinerator proposals. GAIN is deeply disappointed that Surrey County Council has missed this opportunity to endorse an incinerator-free approach, which the Regional Assembly has shown to be the best environmental option.  Attention now focuses on the Full Council meeting on 17 June [1]. Every Councillor now has a choice whether to sit back and let incineration in or to call on the Full Council to rethink its weak position.  We urge Councillors to listen to public opinion.”

 

The Consultation Draft of the Regional Waste Management Strategy has been prepared with advice from Surrey and other counties.  The regional strategy is crucial because it sets the framework for County level waste policies and planning decisions on waste developments, including incinerators. GAIN has produced a model letter that identifies specific points of concern in the Draft Regional Waste Management Strategy and describes GAIN’s aspirations for an incinerator-free approach.

 

Colin Matthews added, “I would encourage your readers to take a look at the model letter on the GAIN web site (www.no-incinerator.org.uk) and object to the Draft Regional Waste Management Strategy before the deadline on 23 June. We believe that with vision, community involvement and meaningful investment in recycling and waste stabilisation facilities, incineration can be avoided, protecting the region’s communities from dioxin emissions and hazardous ash."

                               

END

 

For further information contact:

 

Colin Matthews 01483 - 300858 or

Kate Gallagher  01483 - 532735

 

Additional Notes for editors:

1.        The Full Council meeting will be held at County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames on 17 June 2003 at 10:30am.

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE -W/C MONDAY 2/6/03

 

TIME FOR SURREY COUNTY COUNCILLORS TO SHOW WHETHER THEY WILL WORK FOR OR AGAINST 27 INCINERATORS IN SOUTH EAST

 

Over the next two weeks, Surrey County Councillors will have to decide whether they are going to promote a programme of 27 incinerators in the South East, including Surrey.

 

They will have before them a Surrey officers draft response that strongly supports incineration.  Surrey’s draft response totally ignores the South East England Regional Assembly’s (SEERA) finding that it is possible to meet and exceed waste targets without the need for any incineration.  (Indeed, the Regional report shows that the best environmental option would be to rely on recycling and composting to meet or exceed waste targets.)  

 

SEERA expresses the desire to encourage other technologies for handling waste, such as anaerobic digestion.  Surrey’s draft response rejects the priority given to anaerobic digestion and expresses concerns that incinerators are not being promoted enough in the strategy.  The draft report says: “The [Surrey’s] response strongly supports policy W16 in its policy that energy from waste is an accepted form of disposal”.        

   

At two crucial meetings (1) Surrey County Councillors will be deciding whether the County should promote 27 incinerators or try to avoid the need for incineration in the regional waste programme:-

 

·                     On Thursday 5th June 2003 at 10.30am Surrey County Council's Environment and Economy Select Committee will be scrutinising the officers incinerator report.

 

·                     On Tuesday 10th June 2003 at 2.30pm Surrey County Council's powerful Executive Committee decides on the incinerator report.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN commented, "The Regional Waste consultation demonstrates to Surrey Councillors that there is no need to promote incineration in Surrey and the wider region.  At their crucial meetings over the next two weeks, our Surrey Councillors will have the opportunity to decide not to promote incinerators in Surrey and the South East.  We have repeatedly asked our elected representatives to adopt the incinerator-free approach that residents overwhelmingly support and that is feasible."

 

Residents have submitted a question to the Environment and Economy Select Committee which reads as follows:-

 

"Will the Committee recognise that there have been over 75,000 objections to waste incineration in Surrey and support residents in their overwhelming opposition to the two incinerator-based options being offered in the current consultation on the Draft Regional Waste Management Strategy for the South East and recommend that, at its meeting on 10th June 2003, Surrey County Council's Executive Committee rejects these options and calls on the Regional Assembly to adopt an incinerator-free approach which SEERA reports have shown to be feasible."

 

Three petitions with over 450 signatures supporting an incinerator-free approach have been submitted to next weeks Executive Committee.  One petition, relating specifically to the Regional Waste Strategy, reads as follows:-

 

"We the undersigned strongly object to the options being offered in SEERA's Consultation on the Regional Waste Management Strategy, in particular that both of these options advocate additional incineration plants in the South East region.  Our aspirations for waste management in the South East include adopting an incinerator-free approach which SEERA reports show to be feasible; leadership and facilities to enable recycling and composting well in excess of 50% (50% being a target to be met by 2010); the adoption of separate targets for waste minimisation and reuse; and ensuring that any waste that cannot be reused or recycled is only sent to landfill after it has been made stable.   We urge Surrey County Council to reject the incinerator-based options being offered in SEERA's Consultation and to support an incinerator-free approach to waste management in the region."

 

Colin Matthews concluded. "The time has come for Councillors to decide where their loyalties lie.  Are they with residents supporting reduction, re-use and recycling or with the incinerator industry supporting disposal, destruction and dioxins.  They have a real choice because incineration is not essential."

 

END

 

Notes to Editors

(1)                 Both these meetings are taking place at County Hall, Penrhyn Road,

Kingston-upon-Thames.

 

 

Contact

Colin Matthews                01483 - 300858

Kate Gallagher                01483 - 532735

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 12 May 2003

 

PUBLIC SHOCKED BY REGION’S PLANS FOR 27 INCINERATORS IN SOUTH EAST

 

This week, the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) was shocked by Surrey’s involvement in plans to drive through a new regional waste policy, which will lead to 27 more incinerators in the South East including Surrey.

 

At GAIN's public meeting on Friday (9th May 2003) Bob Stranks, Head of Waste Management at Surrey County Council gave a presentation on the draft regional waste policy which favours incineration.  At the meeting Mr Stranks appeared to suggest that a large incinerator programme in South East England was inevitable. 

 

Commenting on Mr Stranks presentation, Colin Matthews Chairman of GAIN said, "We can’t believe that Surrey officials still seem to be promoting mass-burn incinerators across the region.  This flies in the face of public opinion and overwhelming evidence that there are better ways of dealing with waste.  If some of the world’s most modern economies can adopt an incinerator-free approach, why can’t we?"

 

GAIN points out that there have been over 73,000 letters of objection to incineration in Surrey and that the three incinerators proposed for the county two years ago were in the top ten most objected to planning applications in Britain's history.  “It is clear that incineration has been completely rejected by Surrey residents,” said Mr Matthews.

 

The Consultation Draft of the Regional Waste Management Strategy has been prepared with advice from Surrey and other counties and is currently out for consultation with a deadline for responses of 23 June 2003.  The regional strategy is crucial because it sets the framework for County level waste policies and planning decisions on waste developments, including incinerators.

 

Colin Matthews added, "We are horrified that

 

Colin Matthews commented. "GAIN is calling on the new Conservative administration in Guildford to speak up for residents, who are so overwhelmingly against incineration.  We were very heartened that Councillor Andrew Hodges (Leader of Guildford Borough Council) and Councillor Jenny Wicks (Environment portfolio holder on Guildford Borough Councils Executive) were present to witness at first hand the pro-incinerator bias at Surrey and at the regional level and to hear the public reaction. "

 

Colin Matthews continued, "The big test of Surrey County Council's true position on incineration will be on 10th June 2003 when the Council's Executive Committee decides whether to support the regional incinerator programme.  Let us hope that our elected representatives listen to residents and adopt a modern incinerator-free approach."

 

“We believe that with vision, community involvement and meaningful investment in recycling and waste stabilisation facilities, incineration can be avoided, protecting our communities from dioxin emissions and hazardous ash."

 

Those wishing to object to the Consultation Draft of the Regional Waste Management Strategy should write to:- 

 

Councillor Keith Mitchell,

Chairman of the Regional Planning Committee,

Waste Strategy Consultation,

South East England Regional Assembly,

Berkeley House,

Cross Lanes,

Guildford, GU1  1UN

 

SEERA website address:   http://www.southeast-ra.gov.uk

 

At GAIN's next monthly public meeting on Friday 6th June 2003, the incinerator-free option for waste management in Surrey and the South East will be explained.  The meeting is being held at the Church of the Holy Spirit, New Inn Lane, Burpham, Guildford and starts at 8pm.  GAIN meetings are held on the first Friday of every month and all are welcome.  

 

END

 

Contact:-                                Colin Matthews -  01483 - 300858

               

 

GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 5 May 2003

 

GAIN RECEIVES ONE OF THE MAYOR OF GUILDFORDS ‘LIVING IN HARMONY AWARDS’.

 

"GAIN is extremely pleased to have received one of the Mayor's 'Living in Harmony' awards.  I am very proud of the work undertaken by GAIN and its many volunteers.  We have sought to protect our community from the unnecessary threat of  incineration and to encourage an incinerator-free approach to waste management in Surrey. Our work in the community continues and this Friday (9th May 2003) we are holding an important public meeting to consider the renewed threat posed by the Regional  Waste Strategy for the South East which favours more incinerators across the region.   

Friday's meeting starts at 8pm and is being held at the Church of the Holy Spirit, New Inn Lane, Burpham and includes a presentation by Bob Stranks one of the architects of Surrey County Council's pro-incinerator approach.  It is very important that local residents attend Friday's meeting in order to demonstrate our continued opposition to the burning of waste and our steadfast support for reduction, reuse and recycling."

 

Colin Matthews

Chair

GAIN

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE – w/c MONDAY 7 April 2003

 

ALL PARTY SUPPORT AT PUBLIC MEETING FOR GAIN'S INCINERATOR-FREE APPROACH

 

GAIN CALLS ON SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL TO RELEASE EXTRA FUNDING TO MAKE SLYFIELD A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

 

At a well-attended Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) public meeting on Friday night (4th April 2003) the three main political parties in Guildford confirmed their support for GAIN's incinerator-free approach to dealing with Surrey's waste.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN said, "GAIN remains adamant that incinerators are not needed for dealing with Surrey's waste and we are delighted that the three main political parties here in Guildford share this view. “

 

At the GAIN meeting, Councillor Vivienne Johnson and candidate for Burpham - Rupert Sheard (Liberal Democrats), Councillor Jenny Wicks and candidate for Christchurch – David Hunter (Conservatives) and Councillor Keith Chesterton and candidate for Westborough – David Hide (Labour) gave presentations on their parties waste policies and answered questions from members of the public.

 

After the meeting, each party spokesperson confirmed their opposition to incineration as follows: -

 

v      Councillor Vivienne Johnson said,  “We have plans and resources earmarked to expand recycling to keep us on target for 60% by 2010. The key now is persuading more people to take part.”

 

v      Councillor Jenny Wicks said, “Guildford Conservatives are totally opposed to an incinerator for Guildford. That is why we have earmarked significant resources this year to boast Guildford’s recycling rate which is currently far below that achieved by the best local authorities.”

 

v      Councillor Keith Chesterton said,  “It's in Guildford's hands. Currently Guildford does quite well and recycles 17%.  We now need to improve further, get our recycling and composting right up and we won't need an incinerator.”

 

In response to questions at the GAIN meeting, Councillor Jenny Wicks confirmed that Guildford Conservatives would do their best to influence Conservatives at County and Regional level who remain committed to retaining the option of incinerators in Surrey and the South East.  Councillor Wicks added that the newly published Regional Waste Management Statement offered a number of options for dealing with waste in the South East, without the use of incineration.

 

At GAIN's meeting Sue Bishop (Waste Minimisation and Recycling Manager for Surrey Waste Management) presented Surrey Waste Management's revised proposals for the Slyfield site.  Sue Bishop confirmed that a public consultation exercise which expires on 30th April 2003 offers a last chance to influence the proposals prior to a planning application being submitted by Surrey Waste Management on behalf of Surrey County Council who own and operate the Slyfield site.  

 

Whilst the proposed improvements to recycling facilities and traffic management at Slyfield were welcomed, the overall mood at GAIN's meeting was one of disappointment.    Colin Matthews commented "GAIN believes that the current proposals for Slyfield are limited in scope and do not fulfil the vision for a model Recycling and Enterprise Park.  We believe additional investment from the County's £100m Private Finance Initiative fund should be used to make Slyfield a centre of excellence with new businesses based on re-use and recycling."

 

Colin Matthews continued "We are concerned that the waste transfer and recycling facilities currently proposed by Surrey Waste Management appear to be inadequate and will hamper Guildford in achieving its target of 60% recycling by 2010."

 

At GAIN's meeting the three political parties described their aspirations for the Slyfield site which include achieving best practice, maximising recycling and releasing more land to achieve the community's vision for Slyfield.

 

Colin Matthews concluded, "GAIN firmly believes that Surrey County Councils unbending support for incineration is preventing the release of the additional funds needed to make Slyfield the centre of excellence everyone wants.  We welcome the all-party support we have received in Guildford for our incinerator-free approach.  We hope that the Guildford Conservatives will persuade their Surrey colleagues to release funding held back for incineration which could be invested at Slyfield and in other recycling initiatives.  The County's pro-incinerator policies are stifling recycling and remain contemptuous of public opinion."

 

END

 

Contact: Colin Matthews  01483 - 300858

               Alan Finnis          01483 - 562020

 

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GAIN Press Release w/c Monday 10 February 2003

 

SURREY STRUCTURE PLAN SIGNALS START OF SECOND INCINERATOR BATTLE

 

GAIN PRESENTS VISION OF INCINERATOR FREE APPROACH TO KEY WASTE COMMITTEE

 

The Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) [1] has warned that the new Surrey Structure Plan signals the start of a second battle against incinerators in Surrey.  Slyfield needs defending again.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN commented "The draft Structure Plan recently issued by Surrey County Council is completely unacceptable.  It invites incinerators to Surrey.  The Slyfield site might again be considered.  They are changing the rule book as if to pave the way for incinerators in locations like Guildford.  We must object now and get this crucial document changed."

 

Given the seriousness of the new threat, GAIN called its supporters to a special meeting on Friday (7th February 2003) and immediately re-launched its information stalls over the weekend (8th/9th February 2003) to warn local people and encourage objections.   Colin Matthews added "GAIN's emergency meeting was devoted to explaining the new threat we face and planning our campaign.   On the stalls we are calling on local people to object and to join with GAIN to protect our community."

 

Those unhappy with the new draft Structure Plan only have until 21st February 2003 to object.  Colin Matthews added "It is crucial that local people object to Surrey County Council in the strongest possible terms in order to get the Structure Plan changed."

 

With more than 50,000 objections, including 17,000 planning objections, the original Guildford incinerator proposed by Thames Water became Surrey's most objected to planning application, and appears in the top ten most objected to planning proposals in Britain's history.    Colin Matthews commented "The views of local people could not have been more clearly expressed.  By drafting a Structure Plan that would make incinerators hard to resist across the County, SCC is blatantly ignoring public opinion.  We must not let them get away with it."

 

Having considered the draft Structure Plan policy on waste DN19, GAIN has identified five main grounds for concern:-

 

a.                    The favourable treatment given to incineration, which Surrey County Council says is as desirable as recycling and composting.

b.                   The bias towards building facilities (such as incinerators) on old waste sites close to population centres like Guildford.

c.                    No serious intention to reduce the amount of waste we produce.

d.                   Allowing "regional" waste to be brought into Surrey, potentially for incineration or landfill.

e.                    No intention to pre-treat material going to landfill to stabilise it.

 

GAIN has produced a model objection letter to the draft Structure Plan [2] that can be downloaded and signed or used as a base for a personal response. There is a FREEPOST address to send it to SCC.

 

On Thursday (6th February 2003) GAIN took the opportunity to put across its ideas for an incinerator free approach to the Joint Waste Strategy Consultation Board, which is charged with producing a new Waste Strategy for Surrey [3].    This key Committee is made up of Councillors from Surrey County Council and from each of the 11 District and Borough Councils across the County.  It includes Councillor Keith Chesterton [4] from Guildford.

 

At the Joint Waste Strategy Consultative Board, GAIN outlined its aspirations:-

 

¨       A plan that excludes incineration and moves away from untreated landfill.

¨       A plan that is serious about reducing the amount of waste produced and about encouraging recycling and composting.

¨       A plan that does not dump "regional" waste on Surrey.

 

The text of GAIN's presentation is available [5].

 

Colin Matthews commented "We felt that the Borough and District Councils listened carefully to our vision for an incinerator free approach.  We are pleased to have had the opportunity to address the Joint Waste Strategy Consultative Board and hope that this marks the start of the proper dialogue with community groups that the Government requires.  We felt there was much to be gained from working together with Districts and Boroughs."

 

After the presentation, Councillors asked the GAIN team a wide range of questions.  Colin Matthews added "Surrey County Council retains £100 million of Private Finance Initiative funding made available in 1998 [6] which could fund our programme of recycling and composting initiatives.  Unfortunately,  Surrey County Council is only making available £500,000 for these initiatives [7]. Surrey appears to be saving the £100 million for mass-burn incinerators.  This is a matter of choice.  We call on Surrey to change its Structure Plan and invest its millions in recycling, composting and “Mechanical and Biological Treatment” not incinerators."  [8]

Colin Matthews concluded "An incinerator-free approach is available, affordable and sustainable.  It is now simply a case of whether Surrey County Council, under lead member Cllr David Davis, has the political will to deliver what residents want."

 

END

 

For further information contact :  Colin Matthews on 01483-300858 or Kate Gallagher on 01483-532735

 

 

Notes for Editors

 

[1]                Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) is a growing coalition of residents' associations and concerned individuals, funded by public donation, that opposes the incineration of waste in Guildford or anywhere else in Surrey.  GAIN encourages a more sustainable approach to waste management including a long-term target of zero waste.

 

[2]           A model objection letter to Roger Hargreaves, Head of Planning and Development at Surrey County Council is available. http://www.no-incinerator.org.uk

 

 

[3]           This meeting was held in The Council Chamber at Waverley Borough Council, Godalming, on Thursday 6th February 2003.

 

[4]                Councillors on the Joint Waste Strategy Consultative Board include:-

John Sandy (who Chaired the meeting on 6th February 2003) (Waverley Borough Council),  Jean Pearson (Mole Valley District Council),  Eric Morgan (Tandridge District Council),  Philip Circus (Reigate and Banstead Borough Council),  David Wood (Epsom and Ewell Borough Council),  Edward Hawkins (Surrey Heath Borough Council),  Margaret Gammon (Woking Borough Council),  Torq Stewart (Elmbridge Borough Council),  Keith Chesterton (Guildford Borough Council),  C J Norman (Runnymede Borough Council),  E J Searancke (Spelthorne Borough Council),  David Davis (Surrey County Council),  David Rousell (Surrey County Council),  Tom Sharp (Surrey County Council).

 

[5]           The full text of GAIN's presentation is available from the GAIN website

[6]           In June 1998, Hilary Armstrong (then Local Government Minister) made available £100 million of Private Finance Initiative funding to Surrey County Council.  Initially the Surrey County Council website stated that this funding was provided to meet the costs of developing "new waste treatment facilities such as recycling and composting plants".  This reference has now been deleted from the website.

 

[7]           At the Joint Municipal Waste Strategy Board meeting on 6th February 2003, Councillor David Davis reported that at the next meeting of its Executive (week commencing 10th February) Surrey County Council would be announcing £500,000 of funding to help increase the County's recycling rate.

 

[8]                "Recycling:  Can local authorities afford it?"  produced in February 2002 by Friends of the Earth explains how much recycling costs and where funding can be obtained.  This document is available from FoE web site:

http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/factsheets/recycling_local_authority.pdf

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE  w/c 2 December 2002

 

BLAIR’S ADVISORS ADMIT WASTE STRATEGY IS INADEQUATE

 

Guildford anti-incinerator campaigners [1] gave a cautious welcome to a new report produced by the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit on the Government’s National Waste Strategy. The  report – “Waste Not, Want Not” [2] – sets out a series of measures which the Prime Minister hopes will bring about a “step change” to improve our recycling record and put waste management on a more environmentally sustainable path.

 

The report says that a revolution in waste management is needed in three key areas:

1) Waste Reduction : To reduce the rate of waste growth, currently 3% per annum, more money is needed for waste minimisation programmes, home composting for garden waste must be boosted, and more work needs to be done with producers (eg. supermarkets) through producer responsibility schemes.

2) More Recycling : All local authorities should prepare to roll-out kerbside collection of kitchen waste and dry recyclables, which typically include tin, paper and glass. To reduce the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfill kerbside collection of organic waste should be tackled first.

3) Greater Responsibility : Local authorities should be allowed to trial variable charging (or “bin tax”) for waste. This will provide financial incentives for householders to reduce and recycle their waste. For example, reward schemes based on the amount of recyclables left outside your house, or charges based on how much unsorted waste is left out in black bags.

 

The Government has already implemented some of the recommendations included in this report. The Chancellor’s recent Pre-Budget Report included increases in Landfill Tax and a reform of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme to provide an extra £100 million each year for local authority recycling.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN, commented, “GAIN has been lobbying both at a local and national level for over two years now. We are glad that the Prime Minister and his advisors in the Cabinet Office recognise that the National Waste Strategy 2000 is inadequate, that’s why it has been necessary for them to produce this 150 page report. We hope that many of the recycling, composting and waste minimisation measures included in the report will be supported by MP’s and taken up by Surrey and other counties. We would like to see Guildford Borough Council trial variable charging for waste. More facilities need to be provided by the county for handling materials collected at the kerbside. We hope that Surrey County Council and their contractor, Surrey Waste Management, will seize this opportunity to take a different approach to waste management. The contract between them needs to be changed to avoid the need for long-term commitments to outdated and unwanted technologies based on incineration. Not only will this make Surrey a centre of excellence, but it will pay both economic and environmental dividends.”

 

GAIN has highlighted a number of areas where the report has weaknesses:

1) There are no measures to restrict the growth of incineration.

2) Producer responsibility still remains a voluntary arrangement. More incentives are needed for products based on eco-friendly designs.

3) There is no mention of zero waste.

Colin Matthews added, “Our main criticism with the report is that it still includes incineration as a method of waste disposal despite the widespread public opposition. Tax on landfill is being increased but there are currently no plans for an incineration tax. Ideally we would like to see the introduction of a moratorium on incineration. Our second criticism concerns non-recyclable packaging used by supermarkets and other retailers. We feel that measures are needed to force producers and retailers to minimise non-recyclable packaging. Manufacturers also incentives to make products based on eco-friendly designs. Thirdly, the report does not mention Zero Waste as a long term goal.”

 

Visit the GAIN web site for background information and details of the next public GAIN meeting http://www.no-incinerator.org.uk

 

The next public GAIN meeting will be held at 8pm on Friday 6 December at The Church of the Holy Spirit, New Inn Lane, Burpham, Guildford. Our guest speaker is Chris Huhne MEP who will be talking about the latest European waste directives and national waste issues.

 

ENDS

 

For further information contact: Alan Finnis 01483-562020
or Kate Gallagher 01483-532735

 

 

 

Additional Notes for editors:

 

1.        Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) is a growing coalition of residents' associations and concerned individuals, funded by public donation, that opposes the incineration of waste in Guildford or anywhere else in Surrey. GAIN encourages a more sustainable approach to waste management including a long-term target of zero waste.

2.        The Cabinet Office “Waste Not, Want Not” report is available from the web site given below, the full report will be available from 3 December:
http://www.strategy.gov.uk

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE  w/c 25 November 2002

 

GOVERNMENT SET TO ANNOUNCE GREEN LEGISLATION THIS WEEK

 

Guildford anti-incinerator campaigners have discovered that the government will announce a number of new green legislations and taxation policies on Wednesday 27 November. The Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Statement is expected to include a big rise in green taxation by more than doubling the tax on dumping rubbish in landfill sites. On the same day a report from the Government’s Strategy Unit is expected to call for a range of new green policies including a levy of 10p on supermarket plastic bags.

 

Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN, commented, “We welcome the increased fiscal emphasis on landfill but we are sad that there is no Disposal Tax which embraces both landfill and incineration. We welcome the levy on supermarket plastic bags but wish there were further trends to reduce the amount of non-recyclable packaging that retailers use. We are glad that the Government realises that we need financial incentives to really make recycling work in this country.”

 

Recycling and waste treatment have once again become a “burning issue” in Surrey. Plans for an incinerator in Capel were recently overturned by the High Court. This leaves Surrey County Council, and it’s contractor Surrey Waste Management, with the problem of what to do with the County’s waste. More than 30 sites were originally identified by Surrey County Council as being suitable locations for an incinerator, this included both Capel and Guildford.

 

Colin Matthews commented, “Surrey County Council and the 11 Borough Councils in Surrey should see the current situation as an opportunity to introduce an innovative, incinerator-free waste policy in Surrey.”

 

Visit the GAIN web site for background information and details of the next public GAIN meeting

 http://www.no-incinerator.org.uk

 

The next public GAIN meeting will be held at 8pm on Friday 6 December at The Church of the Holy Spirit, New Inn Lane, Burpham, Guildford. Our guest speaker is Chris Huhne MEP who will be talking about the latest European waste directives and national waste issues.

 

END

For further information contact: Colin Matthews 01483-300858
or Kate Gallagher 01483-532735

 

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE  w/c 15 July 2002

 

We Are the Voice: Guildford goes to the World Summit

 

The World Summit only occurs every ten years The 2002 Johannesburg Summit focuses on Sustainable Development and Young People.  It is a major world event, which will involve tens of thousands of people from all over the world including heads of state and business representatives, civil society groups like NGOs, ethnic groups and youth.  

 

The official opening of this event is on August 23rd at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg.   Following the official opening there will be a free concert that is being organised and funded by WWF Netherlands.  The concert is being produced by RP Productions, SA. in conjunction with civil societies.

 

WWF Netherlands are using this opportunity to launch their SOS Planet Campaign.  The song “We are the Voice” written by Dr. Niamh Clune has been chosen to officially open the World Summit Concert. A version of the song is already being used by DStv who are broadcasting it over 50 channels to promote the World Summit in Africa.

 

The song "We Are The Voice" is to raise awareness of how environmental issues impact on World Poverty. This message is linked to the WWF SOS Planet campaign.  We are the Voice is to promote the idea that we all have a voice and can use our voice to make a difference.

 

We are the Voice is being released as a single in Africa.  The African version is being sung and produced by Jabu Khanyile, a much-loved South African recording star who is considered the voice of the Zulu people.

 

Dr. Niamh Clune had an earlier career in music.  This was followed by many years working in Africa for aid agencies such as Oxfam, UNICEF and World Food Programme.  She is an author and campaigner and has returned to her initial love of music after 22 years of absence in order to bring the simple message encapsulated in the words of “We Are The Voice” to the World Summit. The song will follow the opening speeches by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Loretta King.

 

The song grew out of Niamh’s local involvement with GAIN (Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network). GAIN has recently fought off a proposed incinerator. The local GAIN campaign has been so successful that many of Guildford’s councillors are now aiming at Guildford becoming a Zero Waste borough.  Zero Waste seeks to re-design waste out of the product stream.  Not only does it involve Recycling, Reducing, Reusing and Composting, it involves Producer Responsibility and changes in legislation.  Guildford’s Member of Parliament (Sue Doughty) has taken up the cause in Parliament and has, along with the Zero Waste Alliance UK, presented the Zero Waste Ten Point Plan to Parliament. Sue will be going to Johannesburg in her parliamentary capacity and has changed her travel plans so that she can be in the audience at the opening ceremony, so as to lend support for Niamh’s initiative with the song and the performance.

 

 

Impressed and inspired with the success of the local GAIN campaign Niamh wrote the song, "We Are The Voice" to encourage others to use their voice, that together we do have the power to make a difference. It is a people's song for a people's summit. The idea is that ordinary people can have a voice that is well informed and should be listened to at policymaking level. The government, the UN, as well as the World Bank are all saying that they must give people a voice. Niamh says, “ I really wanted to bring home this message, that environmental change comes about through participation and ownership at grassroots level. It is for this reason that I did not ask a celebrity to sing the song, as I wanted to make the point that ordinary people can take their voice all the way to the world summit!”  Niamh also plans to bring some of Guildford’s children to the World Summit to sing alongside the Zulu children who are singing on the African version of the song. Niamh will sing the song with Jabu Khanyile, and Aleisha, who is Niamh’s daughter, and an up and coming UK recording artist. This will convey the message of the importance of the North/South link. This project will be about taking local voices from Guildford to the World Summit to support the idea of acting locally to impact globally-and making this simple statement in front of thousands of delegates.  

 

Children from Burpham School and singers from the ACM (Guildford Academy of Contemporary Music) will also take part in the performance of the song at the Guildford Live concert on Sunday July 21st.   You can see them all on stage at approximately 2pm. 

 

Niamh says that so far she has done this on a wing and a prayer and on the goodwill of many.  She says, “I could not have done this without the support of my friends.  I would like to thank GAIN, Dylan White, Tony Scott, Phil Brooks and John Allen from the ACM.   Niamh and her partner have funded the whole thing themselves but now desperately need sponsorship in order to fund the children’s trip to South Africa to sing on the World stage. 

 

Dr Niamh Clune is available for interview on Monday after 2.00 pm  and Tuesday all day.

 

Contact Niamh Clune:       Home: 01483 565315

                                        Mobile: 07812 160425

Email Niamh@amrita.co.uk

 

Contact Sue Doughty  DOUGHTYS@parliament.uk

 

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE 19 June 2002

 

 

ZERO WASTE – a Parliamentary Event

 

On Tuesday 18th June 2002, representatives from GAIN (Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network) attended a national Parliamentary event calling for a new approach to waste chaired by Sue Doughty MP. This new approach known across the world as Zero Waste involves minimising waste production, maximising recycling and excludes destructive processes like incineration.

 

Following the presentation, Colin Matthews, chairman of GAIN, said:

 

“GAIN was very pleased to have been invited to attend this important national event.  GAIN has already adopted the principles of Zero Waste as the basis for its own work.  At today’s presentation, it was inspiring to be with other organisations from around the country that have also adopted this approach.  Through the Joint Municipal Waste Strategy Meetings, which Surrey County Council is currently holding with the 11 District and Borough Councils, there is an exciting opportunity for Surrey as a whole to work towards a zero waste approach. Over 1200 residents have already written to councillors involved in the JMWS meetings who GAIN hopes will listen to the public’s desire for Surrey to become a leading exponent and centre of excellence in this field.

Organisations at the forefront of waste thinking such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace & Bath & N.E Somerset Council joined together to sign a Waste Charter and adopted the Ten Waste Commandments as a way of taking this concept forward.”

 

(see photographs outside Westminster in Picture Gallery)

 

END

 

For further information contact Colin Matthews on 01483 300858.

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE W/C 6 May 2002

 

COUNTY COUNCILLORS CONSIDER ZERO WASTE PROPOSAL

 

The Guildford incinerator proposal may have been defeated last December, but Guildford campaigners are still active and are now into a new phase of their campaign.  The focus now is to make sure that there is no future threat of an incinerator affecting Guildford and to show that incineration anywhere is the wrong solution to the problem of dealing with waste. In answer to the question “Once a target of 60% recycling has been reached what happens to the remaining 40% of waste?” GAIN [1] (Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network) has produced a report, which shows that there are real alternatives to incineration and that the building of any incinerator is both unnecessary and not the best environmental option.

 

The report suggests that Surrey needs to adopt the policy of working towards Zero Waste [2].  We need separate kerbside collection of all recyclable material. Organic material, such as kitchen waste and garden waste, should ideally be composted at home but where this is not possible kerbside collection of organic material would also be necessary. In the short-term anything left over should go to a pre-treatment facility, which neutralises any harmful material before sending it safely to landfill.  In this way the smell, vermin and leachate associated with present landfill sites would be a thing of the past.  In the long-term the county should be aiming towards cutting waste going to landfill to an absolute minimum. This approach is more environmentally acceptable than incineration and would indeed make the need for incineration redundant.

 

The report is available from the GAIN web site (http://www.no-incinerator.org.uk).

 

This report comes out in a week when Surrey County Council are considering a zero waste resolution put forward [3] by County Councillor Tom Sharp (Guildford South) who sits on the County’s Environment and Economy Select Committee.

 

Guildford’s MP, Sue Doughty, commented, “This brilliant report, which is the product of a local community, points the way forward for all of us.”

 

Under new Government guidelines all local authorities in Surrey are now working on a Joint Municipal Waste Strategy to work out standards and policies for dealing with Surrey’s waste. Colin Matthews, Chairman of GAIN added, “The community has fought a hard campaign against incineration in Surrey over the past 18 months, but now it’s time for us to move forward in a positive and constructive way by suggesting workable solutions. Like the Government, we believe that this can only be achieved by establishing partnerships involving local businesses, schools and local community groups at the earliest opportunity”.

 

Surrey County Council, the 11 District/Borough Councils within Surrey and all of Surrey’s Members of Parliament have been sent GAIN’s report.

 

END

 

For further information contact: Colin Matthews 01483-300858
or Kate Gallagher 01483-532735

 

 

Additional Notes for editors:

 

1.        Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) is a growing coalition of residents' associations and concerned individuals, funded by public donation that opposes an incinerator affecting Guildford and encourages more acceptable solutions to waste problems including a target of zero waste.

2.        Zero waste is the idea that you should be able to recycle back into the economy or back into nature all that is produced. Further information can be found on the GAIN website. (http://www.no-incinerator.org.uk

3.        Tom Sharp’s zero waste resolution was put to the County Council on 30 April.

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE W/C 18 February 2002

 

GUILDFORD MP AND RESIDENTS ATTEND ZERO WASTE UK CONFERENCE

 

In this country we import aluminium because industry can’t get enough of our recycled cans, a ridiculous situation which, among many other related issues, was addressed this weekend at the first Zero Waste Conference. “Beyond Recycling: Zero Waste” was held at the University of Sussex and attended by over 200 people from across the UK.  Speakers from the USA inspired their audience with examples of how communities and governments around the world are embracing the concept of Zero Waste by changing their whole approach to waste management.  Guildford was well represented by Sue Doughty MP, Cllr. Tom Sharpe, Ian Westgate Recycling Officer for Guildford Borough Council, John Bannister from the Guildford Environmental Forum and four members of the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN).

 

Moving towards Zero Waste is all about reducing, re-using, recycling and composting; practices which GAIN and environmental groups have been promoting constantly.  Among other things achieving Zero Waste is about making manufacturers responsible for the products they produce. 

 

Bill Sheehan, Executive Director of Grassroots Recycling Network: “Zero Waste seeks to redesign the way resources and materials flow through society, taking a “whole system” approach. Zero Waste means drastically reducing extraction of new resources and reducing waste at the source by designing products that are non toxic and can be reused, repaired, or recycled back into nature or back into the marketplace – and stimulating the marketplace to use those materials.”

 

Economically, incineration was shown to be hopelessly inflexible, locking communities into 25 to 30 year contracts, which stifle recycling initiatives while creating few local jobs.  Among the speakers was Dr. Paul Connett, Professor of Chemistry at St Lawrence University, New York.  “Zero Waste combines ethical practice with a solid economic vision, both for local communities and major corporations.  On the one hand, it creates local jobs and businesses, which collect and process secondary materials into new products, and on the other, it offers major corporations a way of increasing their efficiency, thereby reducing their demands on virgin materials as well as their waste disposal costs.”

 

Dr.Daniel Knapp who runs Urban Ore, a resource recovery business in California, has pioneered the resource recovery park concept as a comprehensive alternative to landfills and incinerators. Within the park there are tenants who collect and process the “rubbish” – termed more appropriately by Dr Knapp as resources - which then goes on to reuse or recycling. There is a composting area, there are shops, educational facilities and workshops.  Dr Knapp has created an environment in which people want to work and in which rubbish is no longer seen as rubbish but instead as a valuable resource.  “What creativity and vision,” commented Kate Gallagher from GAIN. “To have these kind of facilities in Surrey, compared with the current provision available at Slyfield Civic Amenity Site, would show real progress.  It would give us all something to be really proud of.  We could put our energy into something positive and exciting instead of having to fight against out-dated incinerator proposals and landfill sites.”

 

Communities around the world are working towards Zero Waste. These communities realise that the world’s resources are finite and that they have to take responsibility for the waste they produce by changing their mentality and seeing waste not as waste or rubbish but as a valuable resource.

 

END

 

 

Contact:

Colin Matthews: 01483 300858

 Kate Gallagher: 01483 532735

 

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GAIN PRESS RELEASE FOR W/C 21/1/02

 

 

GAIN DELIVERS ITS FIRST MESSAGE FOR 2002 FROM A RECYCLING BOX

 

Last Sunday (20th January 2002) Colin Matthews, Chairman of the Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) delivered the organisations first message of 2002 in person standing on his recycling box in Tunsgate, Guildford.

 

Colin Matthews commented "In GAIN's first message of 2002, we are saying well done and a huge thank you to local people for their fantastic support in 2001. In addition we are urging people to reduce waste and recycle in 2002 in order to protect our environment and avoid the threat of an incinerator. Finally we are asking local people to help us plan GAIN's programme for 2002."

 

Colin Matthews delivered his message against the backdrop of a pyramid of recycling boxes. He added "As recycling is going to be such a key part of GAIN's campaign in 2002, we felt the pyramid symbolised reaching for our goal of recycling excellence."

 

NB. Photographs of the Tunsgate event are available.

 

On Sunday, volunteers also handed out leaflets to passers-by in Guildford High Street, which summarise GAIN's message. (NB. A copy of the GAIN leaflet is attached to this press release.)

 

The leaflet also  provides details of GAIN's public meeting on Friday 1st February 2002 at 8.00pm.

One of the main purposes of the meeting will be to consider GAIN's programme for 2002.

The meeting will be held at the Church of the Holy Spirit, New Inn Lane, Burpham.

At the meeting, Ian Westgate from Guildford Borough Council's Recycling Team will also be speaking and there will be a review of 2001 with photographs.

 

GAIN is seeking suggestions for its 2002 programme, which should be forwarded to:-

 

GAIN, c/o 5 Orchard Road, Burpham, Guildford GU4 7JH Tel: 07765 - 945985

 

Email: gain@no-incinerator.org.uk

 

Alternatively, people can attend the public meeting on Friday 1st February 2002 and put across their ideas for discussion.

 

Colin Matthews concluded, "There is still a huge amount to do on the issue of waste. What we showed last year is that local people can make a difference. Let's continue this in 2002 and make real progress on recycling."

 

END

 

Contact: Colin Matthews 01483 - 300858

 

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GUILDFORD ANTI-INCINERATOR NETWORK  (GAIN) PRESS RELEASE

WEEK COMMENCING  10-12-01

 

GUILDFORD INCINERATOR PLANNING APPLICATION REFUSED

 

 

On 7th December, the second day of Surrey County Council's Special Planning Committee to decide on three waste incinerators for the County, planning consent for the Guildford incinerators proposal has been refused.

 

Colin Matthews Chairman of GAIN commented "I believe I can speak for the whole community when I say how pleased and relieved we are about Surrey County Council's decision to reject the Guildford incinerator.  From everyone's point of view it is now crucial that Thames Water accepts the rejection of it's proposal by all the Local Authorities involved and by the residents of Surrey who submitted an unprecedented number of 17,000 planning objections."

 

Colin Matthews added, "Thames Water's application has been rejected for sound planning reasons.   Therefore, not only is incineration in Surrey unnecessary, the Guildford site has been shown to be far too sensitive for this type of use."

 

He continued "Thames Water's speculative and unwelcome application has blighted our lives for almost two years and we hope that as our water supplier, the company will now respect Surrey's decision and the wishes of the Community.  However, should Thames Water decide to appeal we are fully prepared to go to Public Inquiry and win.  We hope that by now everyone realises that GAIN and it's thousands of supporters will never give up the fight to prevent our children being exposed to the dangers of incinerator pollution and to develop alternative solutions."

 

Reflecting on the Planning Committee meeting, Colin Matthews commented "GAIN is extremely disappointed about the Capel decision as no community should be exposed to an incinerator.  Throughout the campaign GAIN has argued that there should be a moratorium on incineration in Surrey to allow a new Waste Plan to be developed, which maximises recycling and excludes incineration. 

 

We are keen to work constructively with the County and District Councils and others to develop such a plan.  However, this must be a genuine partnership with residents and must reflect our priorities and aspirations.  At the same time, GAIN believes that residents are now keen to translate their opposition to incinerators into a huge commitment to waste reduction and recycling."

 

He continued, "Having been here over both days of the Special Planning Committee, GAIN has been struck by the degree to which Surrey County Councillors have embraced the arguments for ambitious recycling targets and the minimisation of incineration.  There is still much to do, but we are hugely heartened by today's decision."

 

Colin Matthews concluded "Finally, can I say that great credit is due in respect of the hard work of everyone involved; the Councillors and Officers of Surrey County Council and Guildford and Woking Boroughs, the many consultees, local amenity and voluntary groups and, in particular, the thousands of Surrey residents who gave freely of so much of their time to let their elected representatives know just how much they objected to Thames Water's proposals.  This has been a truly memorable day for Guildford and an important step forward for Surrey."

 

END

 

Colin Matthews:                01483 - 300858

Kate Gallagher:                01483 - 532735

 

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