Say no to incinerator anywhere

SIR – As befitting such an experienced politician, Grant Shapps MP is doing a very impressive job of refusing to say whether he opposes county council plans to build a waste incinerator anywhere in his constituency.

Three weeks ago, your reporter wrote that he “refused to be drawn on whether he would oppose an incinerator elsewhere in his constituency.” And his letter last week is equally vague.

As someone who has campaigned against the pollution caused by waste incineration for nearly 20 years, I’m delighted that Grant Shapps is supporting the campaign to protect New Barnfield from the threat from the Tory county council.

I’m more than happy to offer him praise where it’s due.

But this isn’t the only site at risk from the incinerator threat.

The county council “waste site allocations” document suggests four other sites as being suitable for “thermal treatment”, as the county council calls incineration.

Welham Green, the former aerospace site, Burrowfields in WGC and Roehyde opposite the university are all named as suitable locations.

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Shockingly, Grant Shapps has labelled one of them, Roehyde, as “appropriate” for incineration.

I am more than happy to work with politicians of all parties and supporters of none, in defending New Barnfield and its neighbour Southfield School, from the county council’s threat.

But I want to go further in opposing incineration anywhere.

I firmly believe that waste should be recycled not burned.

Better steps to reduce the quantity of packaging we consume, proper collection of plastic waste and technologies such as anaerobic digestion to extract compostable waste must all play a part in this.

But a commitment against incineration would also help us protect our environment; not just from traffic, but from carbon dioxide emissions and other pollution.

Grant Shapps suggests that I am misrepresenting his views. I absolutely deny this. All I am doing is asking him to join me in opposing the plans by his colleagues at County Hall to build an incinerator anywhere in the constituency.

Is that too much to ask?

Mike Hobday,

Labour Parliamentary candidate,

Welwyn Hatfield.