Father Christmas leads latest Hatfield incinerator demo

AROUND 40 people, including environmental campaigners, residents and politicians braved the cold weather to demonstrate against proposals to build an incinerator in Hatfield.

The rally, at County Hall in Hertford, was convened to protest against the county council’s plans for a �220m waste burner at New Barnfield in Travellers Lane.

The demonstration, organised by Hertfordshire Friends of the Earth (FoE), was also attended by Father Christmas – who added the council to his ‘Naughty List’ – and Welwyn Hatfield Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Paul Zukowskyj.

FoE campaigner Rob Millist said: “It is a sad fact that while we are in the grip of a recession that is hurting families all across the county, the council is looking at building an expensive incinerator that burns valuable materials, creates few jobs and drastically reduces the standard of living for those around it.”

Mr Millist also criticised the council’s waste strategy consultation, which closed on the day of the protest.

He said: “This should have been a chance for residents to respond to the threat of an incinerator, but the consultation was poorly advertised and the documents themselves were overly dense and highly inaccessible.

“In short, the whole process was a complete farce.”

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He added: “Despite claiming neutrality, Herts County Council seem to be pushing us into a long-term incineration contract.

“We don’t want to see an incinerator being built anywhere within Hertfordshire.

“We need the support of all Hertfordshire residents in our fight to stop these expensive, old-fashioned polluters coming into our county.”

A council spokesman defended the consultation.

“The waste development framework consultation wasn’t a consultation on whether or not an nergy from waste plant (incinerator) is to be built at New Barnfield,” he said.

“We were consulting on possible solutions for the 3m tonnes of waste generated by the county and we were asking for views on a number of different sites and facilities.”

He said: “During this time, various press releases were issued encouraging people to respond and all the documents were available on our website.

“Copies were (also) available on request.”

He added: “As we appreciated that the bulk of the documents were very technical, a summary document was also available which picked out the main points of the consultation.”

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