Hatfield councillor criticised over incinerator remarks

A COUNTY councillor from Hatfield has described the link between incineration and human health problems as “tenuous at best”.

Tory councillor Stuart Pile, who represents South Hatfield, also said he remained to be convinced that any incineration plant built in Hertfordshire would be unsafe.

However, he did admit he had concerns about traffic movements and the disruption that people in Hatfield would face should the county council choose to build an incinerator at New Barnfield in Travellers Lane.

Cllr Pile also said more needed to be done to promote recycling in the county.

But despite this, his comments – made in an email to anti-incineration campaigner Jill Weston – have provoked an angry response from political rival Mike Hobday.

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Mr Hobday, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield, took particular exception to one paragraph, where Cllr Pile said that lorry movements to an incinerator would pale into insignificance when compared to the extra car movements which would arise if New Barnfield were used for housing.

“This email makes clear that it is Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives as well as the Conservatives in County Hall who want to see an incinerator built at New Barnfield,” Mr Hobday said.

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“Given that Stuart Pile and his Conservative cabinet colleagues have voted to waste public money moving the New Barnfield library away from Hatfield, it’s clear the county council will want to sell the land.

“What’s now obvious, though, is that even Hatfield Tories would prefer to see an incinerator rather than housing on the land.”

Mr Hobday added: “This is an appalling betrayal of local residents.

“I am shocked and astonished at the duplicity of the Conservative Party.

“On the one hand, they claim to want to protect New Barnfield, but on the other Stuart Pile now says that he would prefer incineration to housing at New Barnfield itself.”

Responding to Mr Hobday’s claims, John Dean, the leader of Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “I can reaffirm our pledge that we are opposed to any waste disposal facility at New Barnfield.

“It is unsuitable because it would bring huge amounts of traffic past residents’ front doors.

“We would not accept that.”

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