Come clean over incinerator

SIR – Residents will be shocked at Grant Shapps MP’s refusal to tell your reporter whether he would oppose the building of a waste incinerator if the county council wanted to build one somewhere other than on the site of the New Barnfield library.

This is not an academic question.

In its recent consultation on “waste site allocations”, the county council named four local sites in addition to New Barnfield where it would be appropriate to build a “thermal treatment” plant.

Our Conservative county council, it seems, would be willing to see waste incinerators built on the former Aerospace site, at Roehyde next to the university, at Burrowfield in WGC or at the Travellers Lane industrial area in Welham Green.

An incinerator built at any of these locations would cause unnecessary pollution in residential areas, would add to carbon dioxide emissions and would reduce the county council’s incentive to recycle our waste.

Each of them would be an appalling decision in the face of growing public opposition to incineration. Increasingly, the public want their waste recycled not burned.

And this is why it is bizarre that Grant Shapps MP either has no opinion on whether a waste incinerator should be built at these locations, or refuses to tell his constituents what his opinion is.

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In your paper last week, Grant Shapps accused me of negative politicking in urging him to oppose waste incineration anywhere in Welwyn Hatfield.

On the contrary, I have a very positive vision of how waste should be handled in Hertfordshire.

I want to see more recycling, both at the point of household collection and when the collected waste is gathered together by the county council.

Tried and tested waste handling technology such as anaerobic digestion can extract the compostable portion of our waste and other techniques can gather metals and plastics for re-use.

That’s positive campaigning.

What Grant Shapps offers, sadly, is silence. Once again, I would like to urge the columns of your paper to urge him to join with me in opposing waste incineration on principle, anywhere in the constituency.

Mike Hobday,

Labour Parliamentary candidate, Welwyn Hatfield.