The local MP, Peter Luff, attended a crisis meeting in Hartlebury on Saturday (26th March 2011) to discuss the next steps in the campaign against the waste incinerator planned for the area.

Despite the short notice of the meeting – only about 36 hours – some 100 people attended the meeting held at the village’s Royal British Legion.

The focus of the meeting was on how to persuade Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, to “call in” the application, following the decision by Worcestershire County council to grant permission for the scheme.

The meeting was chaired by Ray Kirby, the Chairman of WAIL (Worcestershire Against Incineration and Landfill).

Peter Luff MP told the meeting that he had already written to Mr Pickles, urging him to call in the application and that he had also forwarded WAIL’s “excellent letter” to the minister, endorsing all their arguments.

He now promised to write a further letter, making additional points raised at the meeting.

Commenting, Peter said:

It was a constructive and good natured occasion, but there is justifiable and rising anger in the village that this monstrosity could be imposed upon them. I sincerely hope the application will be called in and a full public inquiry held. Every concerned citizen of Worcestershire should write to Mr Pickles urging this course of action.

The decision of Worcestershire County Council to approve the incinerator flies in the face of Green Belt policy and is completely out of line with all emerging thinking on handling waste. The council itself appears to have prejudged the application and it has a conflict of interest as it both owns the site and is the signatory of the underlying waste contract with Severn Waste who will build and operate the incinerator.

The community, the parish council and the district council all strongly oppose the plan, so the decision of the County to try to impose it on Hartlebury flies in the face of the government’s localism agenda. There are also serious questions about the energy efficiency of the facility and its economics.

According to the Worcester News the meeting has served to revitalise the local campaign.

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