A packed SSI meeting pledges to halt a planned toxic incinerator
A packed SSI meeting pledges to halt a planned toxic incinerator

Neill Dunne, Liverpool Socialist Party

Stop the Simonswood Incinerator (SSI) has stepped up its campaign to stop Lancashire County Council building a new toxic medical waste incinerator. If approved, it will be built on the boundary of Knowsley and West Lancashire.

The incinerator could potentially pump out harmful microscopic particulate matter (pm10 and pm2.5 aerosols) into the air, putting communities within a minimum of ten kilometres distance at risk of inhaling the dangerous cancer-causing debris.

Pollution is also set to increase via carbon dioxide emissions, despite Lancashire County Council declaring a ‘climate emergency’.

A United Utilities borehole also lies within the vicinity, with part of the water source sitting directly underneath the site. This is the sole drinking water source for Southport and Formby, as well as providing water to other surrounding areas.

SSI held its first public meeting in St Andrew’s Church, Tower Hill, with the venue full to capacity; the group had no choice but to turn people away and instead offered the alternative options of watching the livestream or reading the distributed minutes once the meeting was concluded.

The campaign is aiming to raise awareness among communities spread across the 10km radius, with residents in the campaign distributing over 20,000 leaflets. Public stalls have also been held in Maghull and Ormskirk, where residents were not aware of the proposed plans.

Knowsley Unison union branch has committed to support the campaign with invaluable advice, publicity and potential donations from their membership and wider community. The public meeting unanimously agreed to stage more marches in the coming weeks.