Last ditch protests over incinerator contract fails
A 'MONSTER' incinerator edged one step closer to reality for Gloucestershire yesterday when protestors lost the final battle to stop a contract being signed.
Residents young and old dressed in bin bags, protective gear and even gas masks outside a meeting of councillors at Gloucestershire County Council's Shire Hall offices.
They wanted to warn of their health fears if a £500 million incinerator is given the go-ahead at Javelin Park, at Haresfield.
Barbara Manzi-Fe, a resident of the village for 22 years, said: "They spending £500 million of public money on this monster.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"We must reverse this horrendous juggernaut before it is too late."
Liberal Democrat councillors made an eleventh hour attempt to stop the contract between the council and waste firm Urbaser Balfour Beatty, which was given the thumbs up last month.
Their 'call-in' of the decision was, however, thrown out by Conservative councillors on Tuesday.
The move was unpopular among protesters, with one man shouting 'shameful' toward councillors as they deliberated.
But Councillor Stan Waddington, cabinet champion for waste, said: "I am satisfied that decisions have been taken with appropriate consultation and reflecting standard commercial practice." Anger was vented when Councillor Anthony Blackburn (C, North Stroud) was banned from joining the debate because he does not sit on the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, despite representing the Javelin Park area.
Councillor Ceri Jones (LD, Bishop's Cleeve) said: "I think on an issue of such great importance he should be allowed to speak."
The council can now go ahead and sign the contract, despite planning permission not having been granted yet for the plant.
Sue Oppenheimer, chairman of GlosVAIN, said: "They say that signing this contract now is prudent, but instead it is reckless and unnecessary to do so before planning permission has been granted."
Stonehouse pensioner Marguerite Govier, 88, said: "I am horrified. This is going to affect much of Gloucestershire.
"We must think about our future generation."