Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/561/6746
No to the toxic incinerator!
IN CONJUNCTION with Devon County Council, North Devon Council has approved in principle the plan to build a rubbish incinerator as part of the redevelopment of a stretch of land by the river Taw in Barnstaple.
Jim Lowe, North Devon Socialist Party
The proposed incinerator would burn 50,000 tonnes of waste a year and is intended to ensure that the local authority complies with the European Union Landfill Directive, which aims to reduce the amount of refuse that is disposed of in landfill rubbish dumps.
However, these incinerators have been linked to a number of health problems, including increased risk of heart disease and cancer through atmospheric pollution.
The location of the planned incinerator is in the centre of town. Surrounding it is housing, retail units and a new further education college will be built next door! Downwind of it is more housing as well as a large secondary school.
It is estimated that most, if not all, of the 25,000 residents of Barnstaple and nearby villages will be exposed.
A meeting to oppose the scheme was held before Christmas. Much helpful practical advice was given, in terms of contacting officials and finding out information.
Socialist Party members at the meeting made the point that getting over a technically and legally correct argument, while useful, would not win the campaign by itself. What is needed is the involvement of the citizens of Barnstaple, by campaigning in the town and on the estates, and ultimately putting immense pressure on the council.
Both Lib Dem county councillors in the town support the scheme, and are up for re-election next year. The Lib Dem MP, up against a strong Tory challenge at the next election, is 'keeping an open mind', which when translated means 'waiting to see which way the wind blows'.
The scheme is at an early stage at the moment, as is the campaign. North Devon Socialist Party intends to campaign to stop this potentially dangerous incinerator plan.
In The Socialist 7 January 2009:
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
Celebrity Big Brother
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Environment and socialism