Gateshead campaigners told to ‘move house’ if they don’t like waste-site plans

In Wrekenton, the Campground Action Committee was set up to fight proposals being put forward by French multinational SITA.

If these plans, which have been approved by Sunderland council, go ahead, SITA intends to redevelop the waste reclamation centre.

Local residents’ fears include the increased volume of HGVs which will overwhelm the local community.

Campground Action Committee member, Debra Coxon, told us that SITA’s claim is that they are good neighbours.

However, when concerns were put to Corrina Scott-Roy, planning manager for SITA UK, she suggested: ‘If it’s that bad why don’t you all move house’.

Although the Campground site is under the control of Sunderland City Council, it is in very close proximity to Wrekenton, in Gateshead.

Gateshead councillor Peter Mole is quoted on SITA’s website as saying: “This is great news for the local community”.

However, when he and other local councillors were invited to speak at meetings with local residents they didn’t even acknowledge the invitation.

Local campaigners also knocked on the door of one of the local councillors – only to be told she wouldn’t comment as she didn’t know enough about the issue.

The campaign group has been so angered by the response from Labour controlled Gateshead council that they have put out a petition calling on local residents to withdraw support for Labour candidates in future elections if the redevelopment of the Campground site goes ahead.

We are urging supporters of this campaign to vote TUSC in the 3 May local election. A victory for TUSC will take this campaign into the council chamber.

Elaine Brunskill, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for High Fell ward, Gateshead

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 23 April 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.