Council won't wait for 'vital' incinerator health study in Gloucestershire
IMPASSIONED pleas to postpone the Javelin Park incinerator plans until a new health study is complete have fallen on deaf ears.
Liberal Democrat councillors had urged Shire Hall bosses to delay the proposal until the Health Protection Agency (HPA) publishes its findings in March 2014.
The HPA's current position states that "well run and regulated modern municipal waste incinerators are not a significant risk to public health".
However, prompted by public concern, the agency has begun a new study researching whether there is a potential link between incinerator emissions and health problems.
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But the county council's Conservative administration vowed to plough on with the waste disposal plant at a meeting of the full council yesterday.
Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Ceri Jones (LD, Cleeve) said: "The decision about the incinerator in many ways is the most important decision this council has made, certainly in my time. Surely you would agree that it would be the right thing to do to wait for the results of this vitally important piece of research?"
He added: "What will you say if the building of the incinerator is underway and the HPA finds a link?"
However, leader of the council Mark Hawthorne said that too many opposition members have fallen back on "Google science" before accusing some Liberal Democrats of "scaremongering".
He said: "The HPA has made it very, very, very clear that the study that is being undertaken does not undermine the HPA's current position.
"I know there are very strong feelings about this development but let's stick to figures and to what is scientifically-proven evidence. Let's not scare people with what are frankly fairy tales."
The incinerator, by Junction 12 of the M5, will cost £500million and will be run for 25 years by Urbaser Balfour Beatty at Javelin Park.
Anti-incinerator group Glosvain have released an internet video at www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk.