Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 March 2008

Walthamstow 'RAPpers' against toxic incinerators

A FANTASTIC first meeting was held by 'Residents Against Pollution' (RAP) in Walthamstow, north-east London on 27 February. 40 angry local people came and made it absolutely clear what they think about the new North London Waste plans.

Paula Mitchell, Walthamstow

The message to the rather stunned planners we had invited was loud and clear: Don't dump on working-class areas, no new incinerators in north London, stop private companies making profits out of pollution, and give us a real say!

Seven north London councils are making plans for waste disposal. They are looking at different sites across north London, half of them in Waltham Forest. It is very likely there will be a new incinerator at one of the sites.

The planners and their consultants have held 'consultation workshops' in each of the seven boroughs. But they have been poorly advertised. The vast majority of residents know nothing about the plans.

Residents around one of the proposed sites - Blackhorse Lane - decided that wasn't good enough. Local people and Socialist Party members leafleted and knocked doors around the local streets. We called a meeting to give local residents the chance to have our voices heard. We also invited the Waste Plan Project manager and representatives from the consultants and the council to come to this meeting to explain the plans, answer questions and most importantly listen to what local people think.

The consultants didn't know what had hit them! They are used to controlling the discussion around their own questions and inhibiting people from saying what they really think. This time local people took control and the planners had to listen.

People wanted to know why nearly all the proposed sites are in poor working-class areas. They objected to the places where we live and where our children play being described as 'industrial' - suggesting that it's ok to pollute us!


We were 'consulted' just a few months ago on the regeneration of our area and were presented with pretty pictures of trees and flats and a riverside park - there were no pictures of smoking chimneys belching polluting chemicals at the end of our streets.

People were highly sceptical about the consultation process. Why was it that the planners held a meeting for the whole borough and only got 20 people to it; we hold a meeting for a few local streets and 40 people come? Doesn't this show that they are not really trying to contact people; that they are not really interested in what we have to say?

As one man said: "How do we know you haven't made up your minds already and this isn't just bullshit?"

Several people pointed out that the new waste sites will be run by private companies, which only exist to make a profit. How can we trust them? Waste disposal should be run as a public service under democratic scrutiny.

We agreed we would demand that there are no new incinerators in north London. Incinerators are highly polluting. Campaigners from around the country have contacted us with evidence of greatly increased infant mortality in clusters downwind of incinerators.

We also agreed that the Edmonton incinerator should be shut down and replaced with alternative systems. We plan to contact the council about holding a public presentation of the scientific evidence about the effects of incinerators and other systems.

The meeting ended with plans to meet again in April to look at the results of this first stage of the consultation. If we don't like what we read, we are prepared to have lobbies, protests and do whatever it takes to defend the safety and health of people in our area. Although we have only just started, already the planners are feeling the heat under their feet.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 4 March 2008:

Unite for a living wage

Greenwich workers score victory against single status

Angry civil servants strike over pay

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Thousands protest at threats to hospital

Rewarded for zeal at cuts

Derby health workers

International Women's Day

Fight for a woman's right to choose



$3 trillion Iraq war

Sheffield activists fight militarism

Environment and socialism

Walthamstow 'RAPpers' against toxic incinerators

Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing association collapses

Meet Brown's new finance expert

Fans blow whistle on Game 39

Campaign to Defeat Fees

Swansea - no sign of Griffin!

International socialist news and analysis

Turkey's invasion destabilising region

Russian election

EU war with super-rich?

Workplace news and analysis

Pensions under attack

Unison witch-hunt: Members bite back

Teachers must reject real pay cuts

Greenwich workers fight attacks

Socialist Party member stands for Unite (T&G) general executive


Home   |   The Socialist 4 March 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleAngry march against Bradford council-approved incinerator

triangleStop the Cardiff incinerator

triangleDevon - waste incinerator plan shelved

triangleDevon residents against incinerators: Alternative waste schemes needed


triangleBin workers - fighting back wins!

triangleNHS: fight for funding - not passport checks

triangleBin workers strike against draconian management

triangle46m spent on suspending public sector workers


triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleSocialist Party Congress 2017 reports

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Black workers and the British trade unions

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building trade unionism among Black and Asian people

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice