Gloves off in election row over hated Hatfield incinerator

PUBLISHED: 16:16 12 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:22 12 April 2013

Labour election poster

Labour election poster


THE first shots have been fired in the Herts County Council elections, and South Hatfield is an early flashpoint.

Candidates’ details were released this week and it is just over three weeks until the May 2 poll, but the gloves are already off.

They were at each other’s throats over the hated Hatfield incinerator.

A vicious war of words has broken out between Lib Dem Paul Zukowskyj and Hatfield South incumbent Stuart Pile, over claims made in councillor Pile’s election literature. Cllr Pile released leaflets carrying a headline: “Stuart Pile stops incinerator in its tracks”.

An email sent to Cllr Pile from Mr Zukowskyj, which has been seen by the Welwyn Hatfield Times, read: “The headline implies that you have managed to stop the New Barnfield incinerator.

“If this is true, my most heartfelt congratulations, but could you let me know how you managed to achieve this as I’ve been unable to verify it.”

Mr Zukowskyj added that if the claim was not true: “I would therefore ask you to cease and desist in delivering any more of these leaflets with this headline and I would expect you to issue a public retraction to go to all houses this leaflet was delivered to.”

And Cllr Pile has come under fire from Labour over his record on the New Barnfield plan.

A campaign poster featuring a large picture of Cllr Pile read: “Look deep into my eyes, I want you to forget…”

It then lists a series of accusations such as Cllr Pile being part of the panel that voted to shut down New Barnfield Library, being responsible for street lights being switched off and pothole repairs.

And it slams him for being on holiday in Florida, as revealed in the WHT, when the crucial vote on the incinerator was held at County Hall last year.

But Cllr Pile branded Mr Zukowskyj’s intervention “electioneering in the purest sense.

“He implies that this leaflet may have breached election law.

“This is nonsense and our campaign continues to respect and observe the legislation that covers elections.

“I will not be issuing any retraction.”

He added: “Let me be absolutely clear, I was the very first local politician to doorstep campaign on this issue in 2007, and I have been publicly speaking out against the incinerator being built at New Barnfield ever since.

“No other politician has worked harder than I have and I will continue to do so with the mandate of the residents I’m proud to represent.

“I am appealing to the people of Hatfield South to help enable me to finish the job at the Public Inquiry.”

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