Thursday, 30 June 2011

Pinkham Way on Facebook: 'Bat Watch'

"At least ten people wanted for hazardous mission. No wages, bitter cold(ish), long hours of semi-darkness, possible danger of nettle rash, safe return not absolutely guaranteed. Honour and recognition, in case of success.

"If you can take part in a bat survey very, very, very early this Saturday morning, please get in touch.

"Why? Because bats have all kinds of statutory protection. And while the NLWA's bat survey somehow found just one lone single solus specimen (maybe they took a brief glance at lunchtime), our preliminary survey found, well, quite a few more flitting about.

"To add some extra teeth to the Alliance's objection, what's needed is a proper survey around the perimeter of the Pinkham Way site, to establish where the critters are nesting. So the more the merrier, please.

"If you can make it in the early, early hours of this Saturday morning, please email ollie(dot)natelson(at)talktalk(dot)net right away, for the full details."

Evening Standard: "Old gasworks in Wood Green turned into 1,000 new homes"

Link to Evening Standard

"With award-winning imaginative powers, a plan to turn a derelict gasworks site into 1,000 new homes has been named the Sloane Square of Wood Green.

"The site will have a centrepiece plaza, which is probably where the similarity with Sloane Square begins and ends.

"Six years after the Haringey Heartlands project was first unveiled, and more than a year after a planning application for the 12-acre site was submitted by the London Development Agency and National Grid, Haringey Council is finally ready to rule on the proposals."

Barnet Times, Enfield Advertiser ("MPs, United, Will Never Be Defeated!"), Haringey Independent (last week), and Haringey Journal

 (Click on the images to enlarge, and usually again to magnify)






(Note: The main product of Pinkham Way would be 'SRF', that is, incinerator fuel.)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Pinkham Way Alliance (PWA): "Please Respond to the North London Waste Plan"

"The deadline for responses on the soundness of the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) is very soon, on 8 July 2011.
[We add: This PLAN is produced by the seven north London boroughs, and it is unrelated to the Pinkham Wood planning application, which is jointly submitted by the separate North London Waste AUTHORITY, and by Barnet Council.] (Link to 'Barnet Eye' Hendon Town Hall video - we know he should not call it an 'incinerator'.)

"If you have the expertise, we would urge you to respond to the plan yourself. We have some suggestions and examples to help with this.

"Even if not, you can still act. The PWA is pulling together local expertise and professional services to make objections. To officially add your name to our submission, you can 
send us an email; just add your name to the bottom of the message.

"Please do this, and ask as many people as you can, to do the same.

"The NLWP identifies Pinkham Wood as suitable for a waste treatment plant. The analysis by which this occurred looks to be very unsound, so please add your voice to our objections."




[Note: "Send us an email" is possibly not working here yet - we will fix it.]

The NLWA has argued that you should have already argued the case to stop Pinkham Wood. (Yes, it has)



March 2008

North London boroughs:

"I didn't notice this." 
"Well, you SHOULD have done." 
"But I didn't."

Oct 2009 - Jan 2010

North London boroughs:
NLWP 'Preferred Options' consultation:

"I didn't notice this, either." 
"Well, you SHOULD have done."
"But I didn't."

Dec 2010

North London boroughs:
NLWP site specific meetings (including Pinkham Way):

"No-one knew about these." 
"Well, you SHOULD have done."
"But we didn't."

Feb 2011

NLWA/Barnet Council:
Pre-application exhibitions:

"Hardly anyone knew, until afterwards." 
"Well, you SHOULD have done."
"But we didn't."



We note: Presumably the NLWA has put all the above into the "Statement of Community Involvement", which is part of its Pinkham Wood planning application (being made jointly with Barnet Council).

Barnet Council, on the other hand, has much less credibility (no change there, then). It can hardly point to consultation around its 'Mill Hill East Area Action Plan', so that only leaves the February 2011 exhibitions - where there was no attempt to justify the site, as the best out of a list of alternative sites, for instance.

Enfield Independent

 (Click on the image to enlarge it, and usually again to magnify)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

28 June: NLWA meets 10am (Councillor Lie-in Coleman votes in minority of one, to hold future meetings in afternoons)


Item 12: Minutes of the last meeting (5 April)
"Deputations (if any): Mr Scott led a deputation, which was opposed to the Authority’s proposals to construct a waste centre at Pinkham Way. Mr Scott stated that the proposals were opposed by a number of local residents, who were concerned about a range of issues including:
  • A perceived lack of consultation;
  • the possibility of odour and noise nuisance from the site;
  • perceived health risks from the site;
  • damage to wildlife habitats;
  • increased traffic levels and pollution from lorries travelling to the site.
"The Chair thanked Mr Scott and his associates for their deputation. He stated that the proposals were currently at the pre-application stage, which would inform the final planning application. He stated that there had been misunderstanding surrounding the size and scale of the proposals, and that a leaflet would be prepared to send to local residents.

"A Member [Councillor Brian Coleman] commented that this site had previously been the site of the former Friern Barnet Sewage Works." [Did he really say both "previously" and "former"?]
The Minutes were agreed.


Item 17: The Pinkham Way report was 'noted'

Before being 'noted', Councillor Brian Coleman challenged the London Borough of Enfield NLWA members present, to ensure that the Deputy Leader of Enfield Council (Councillor Achilleas Georgiou) voted in line with the North London Waste Plan/Authority, rather than follow his views "as expressed at the 17 June Pinkham Way Protest Meeting, organised by David Burrowes MP."

An Enfield member replied, "Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers!" 
For the avoidance of doubt, this web site reports that the Deputy Leader (and Bowes Ward Councillor) said, on 17 June:
"There has been an 'Enfield Area Forum' in March, when the NLWA gave a presentation. The outline planning application is still to be validated, but I assure you that there are going to be objections from local residents in Bowes Ward. The North Circular Road has been blighted for years, but was now getting better. I have challenged Enfield officers about Pinkham Way, but they have told me, "What more can we do?" Enfield is merely a consultee, making its views known. However, we say to Barnet: Rethink!"

The above paragraph is not verbatum, but it is accurate. Notably, he did not state: "We say to the NLWA: Rethink!". This may, or may not, show considerable political shrewdness, since it could just mean:
"What Do We Want?
No Barnet Dustcart Depot in Haringey!
When Do We (Not) Want It?
Now!"


"SUMMARY OF REPORT: This report summarises the 'North London Waste Plan' (NLWP) 'Proposed Submission Version', which is open to public consultation until 8th July 2011, and outlines its implications for the Authority, after setting out the background and matters arising in previous rounds of consultation.

"RECOMMENDATIONS: The Authority is recommended to:
  1. note the contents of this report; and
  2. delegate authority to the Head of Waste Strategy & Contracts to submit a response to the on-going consultation on the 'NLWP Proposed Submission Version', in consultation with the Chair." [Meaning: "Well, we've been very busy with the Pinkham Way planning submission, and this has sort-of got shunted off into a siding a bit. But don't worry! There's plenty of time before 8 July, and we'll cobble something together."]
The recommendations were agreed. ["Now, there's only one more item, before we can exclude the public from the meeting, under the terms of the Local Government Act 1972, and have you noticed that the tea and the coffee urns are at the back of the room?"]


Monday, 27 June 2011

"Cough, cough,... Hello, I think I'm dying prematurely"

"Pollution control - air"
(Word order, strange - click for the view of)
"In May 1997, the Government produced the National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS). The strategy represents a comprehensive approach to maintaining and improving the quality of ambient air in the United Kingdom.

"Tackling poor air quality remains a challenging task given that Haringey, like other London boroughs, continues to breach the air quality objectives for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and respirable particulates (PM10).

"The borough of Haringey is an 'Air Quality Management Area' for the pollutants NO2 and PM10, and so the council is required to produce an 'air quality action plan'. The first AQAP was published in 2003. This second [2009] AQAP is aimed at reducing NO2 and PM10 emissions, primarily through transport, non-transport and awareness raising measures."


Link to 'London Assembly 'Air Quality Report',
and link to Boris's 'Mayor's Air Quality Strategy',

So what is your "Plan B", NLWA?

(A report on this meeting is here.)


NORTH LONDON WASTE AUTHORITY

TUESDAY, 28 JUNE 2011
AT 10.00 AM
COMMITTEE ROOM 1, CAMDEN TOWN HALL,
JUDD STREET, LONDON, WC1H 9JE

(All welcome!)


17. PINKHAM WAY UPDATE:
This report provides an update on current legislative, policy and strategy developments that are relevant to the NLWA, and seeks delegated authority for officers to make representations and responses to consultations, in line with the approaches set out in this paper.


Link to 'Pinkham Way' agenda item report

SUMMARY OF REPORT:
This report brings Members up to date on the Authority’s joint outline planning application with LB Barnet, for the development of the Pinkham Way site.  It notes the submission of the application on 31st May 2011, provides an outline of the proposals, and describes the next steps.





1.1.    The Authority has bought from LB Barnet part of the former Friern Barnet Sewage Treatment Works as a site on which bidders can propose to build waste management capacity for the Authority’s long-term needs within the main procurement.  LB Barnet has kept part of the site to build a depot for its waste services and passenger transport fleets.  The Authority has agreed to lead on the submission of a joint outline planning application for the development of the site for these purposes as part of the terms of the sale and purchase agreement with LB Barnet.

1.2.    Within the Authority’s agreed outline business case (OBC) the reference project showed a mechanical and biological treatment and transfer facility could be built at this site as one of three key sites for treatment facilities in north London.  The OBC has been one of the principal building blocks of the Authority’s instructions to bidders within the main procurement, and their ‘outline solution’ submissions that were considered by Members in April 2011.

1.3.    Securing planning permissions for new waste facilities is normally the responsibility of the ultimately successful bidder for any such main procurement, but is a process that can take some considerable time and carries risks associated with delay.  Delays in the delivery of facilities and services that contribute to the diversion of wastes from landfill can be very expensive, as the landfill tax is currently £56 per tonne and is rising at £8 per tonne per year at least until 2014/15 when it will be £80 per tonne.  


... 2.5.    Three exhibition sessions were arranged close to the site covering weekday and weekend afternoons and evenings.  These were promoted in advance through adverts and articles in local newspapers, through letters to nearby residents’ and tenants’ associations, and through leaflets delivered to properties (residential and non-residential) within a 1km radius of the site; some 11,000 in total.  The exhibitions were attended by some 276 people, whose main concerns were about traffic impacts (particularly at the junction of Colney Hatch Lane and the North Circular Road – A406), odour and noise.

2.6.    A local group called the “Pinkham Way Alliance” then emerged, and officers have met with them several times as a means of fuller community engagement that could more completely understand local concerns and convey the more detailed intentions of the Authority and LB Barnet as the proposers of a significant local development.

... 3.2.    The application is in outline because it is not yet possible to define the facility in detail whilst the main procurement work is still underway, and, although it is anticipated that detailed planning work would start once a preferred bidder was announced, to wait until this work had been completed would cause delay to the construction of the waste facility and the subsequent diversion of waste from landfill.  This diversion will be required both to comply with the Landfill Directive and to reduce the Authority’s landfill tax liabilities.

... 3.7.    Finally it has a statement of community engagement that sets out in full the above pre-application consultation and other stakeholder engagement already undertaken.


... 4.2.    LB Haringey will manage a consultation process that is expected to include a Development Forum, a public meeting at which interested parties can come to learn more about the proposals from the Authority and Barnet, and ask any questions they may have of the joint applicants or LB Haringey as the planning authority.  There may also be a tour of a similar waste facility(ies) elsewhere for representatives of interested groups.

4.3.    There is also the possibility of intervention by the London Mayor if he believes the application to be of a sufficiently strategic nature that it should not be left to local decision-makers.

... 4.6.    It should also be noted that there is significant local opposition to the outline planning application.  Most notably this has been through the Pinkham Way Alliance, but many individual residents have written to the Authority and LB Barnet expressing their concerns and/or opposition.

4.7.    Officers have engaged where possible with these people, and the Chair has written to local newspapers, but it is expected that this opposition will continue throughout LB Haringey’s consultation process, and possibly beyond when ‘reserved matters’ proposals are brought forward for the depot and/or the waste facility.  In the meantime it is for the Authority and LB Barnet as joint applicants to seek to persuade people of the need for and reasonableness of the joint outline planning application, and for Haringey as local planning authority to evaluate and decide on the relative merits of the various cases put to them for and against our proposals.

4.8.    For the Authority, the case for the development in general terms of need is that such social infrastructure is essential for all communities.  The landfilling of residual wastes outside of London cannot continue because (a) the landfill sites are filling up, (b) the Landfill Directive requires us to significantly reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste we send to landfill (or be heavily fined – ultimately at local tax-payers’ expense), and (c) the landfill tax escalator is making landfill prohibitively expensive.  Now that it is becoming necessary to build more treatment facilities for residual wastes, the communities outside of London where the landfill sites are (as a result of former clay-pits and quarries) are no longer willing to receive our wastes, which is part of the reason why the London Plan requires increasing self-sufficiency for wastes in London, and why the North London Waste Plan has been developed by our constituent borough councils in their separate capacities as local planning authorities.

4.9.    The Authority is already proposing to develop new waste treatment capacity at sites in Edmonton (LB Enfield); and Hendon (LB Barnet) and has its waste transfer station in Islington, meaning that there will be a distribution of sites across North London, with no single site or area having to receive all North London’s waste.  The Pinkham Way site also offers a strategically central site for residual waste treatment into which several boroughs can sensibly deliver wastes directly, thereby making their collection services as operationally and cost efficient as possible.


4.10.    Clearly in North London it is difficult to find a site that has the above benefits, that is of a size that is suitable for a cost-effective residual waste treatment site, that is a long distance away from anyone, that has reasonable planning prospects, and that the owner is willing to sell, but it is nevertheless essential that the Authority does provide means of diverting increasing wastes from landfill.

4.11.    In purchasing part of the Pinkham Way site from LB Barnet, the Authority took the view that this was a suitable site due to its size, strategic location, access from non-residential roads, relative distance from people (shielded by the buffers of the A406 and retail park to the north, the railway and light industrial area to the east, the golf course to the south and the park to the west), planning history as the Friern Barnet Sewage Works and its availability.


Another Pinkham Wood video is on its way

Link to audio file on web page

"Protest against Barnet Council's plans to close libraries and build Europe's biggest rubbish plant in the woods at Pinkham Way.

"Please send photos of yourself holding up a placard with one of the words from the song in front of the Town Hall, library, or Pinkham Way proposed site, and email them to info@dammitmusic.com. We'll include them in the video."

Sunday, 26 June 2011

"Chatham prepares for 1 July landfill ban on TVs and computers" (it's not in Kent)

Link to 'The Wasters Blog'

“By capturing valuable materials for reuse and reducing our dependence on landfill, electronics recycling can help us achieve both environmental and economic development goals,

"Computer equipment and televisions join a list of other materials banned from disposal in North Carolina, which have included plastic bottles, wooden pallets and oil filters. These bans have resulted in increased recycling of the materials, and have helped spur further growth in the state’s recycling economy."

Barnet Green Party: "Tell us your recycling ideas – so Pinkham Way can be stopped"

Link to Barnet Green Party
There are so many different things wrong with the planned Pinkham Way waste treatment plant in Friern Barnet, that the Green parties in the three boroughs involved have divided up the research responsibilities, so that we can mount the strongest possible case against this awful proposal.

"Barnet Green Party has the task of assembling suggestions and proposals, for ways in which Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Councils could improve their recycling rates, and thus reduce the need for their plan to build a 300,000 tonnes a year MBT (mechanical and bio-treatment) factory at Pinkham Way.

Please send your ideas and comments by e-mail to Andrew.Newby@barnetgreenparty.co.uk.

Daily Telegraph: "Market town 'to become solar powered'."

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Residents of Southam, a market town in Warwickshire, could become the greenest community in the country, after a local business announced it would supply and install the technology for free

"Not all of the homes and businesses in the town have roofs suitable for installing solar panels, but they can also be set up at ground level.

"Lee Summers, director of EOS Energy, said:
"There is no reason that rooftops across the whole of Britain could not be used as batteries to power all our towns and cities with renewable energy."

Ham & High: "Barnet audit reveals serious failings at billion pound council"

Link to web site

"Barnet’s billion pound budget is larger than 23 of the world’s national economies, and 220,000 residents rely on its services, but a report revealed this week that it was commonplace across departments that long, expensive arrangements with companies are being entered into without formal contracts. Monitoring is often ineffective, or non-existent.

"In the case of security firm MetPro Rapid Response which, for the first time in the council’s history, was subject to an individual audit, this failure meant that a company operating without proper licenses was paid £1.4million over six years, without any record of a formal contract.

"Despite working with vulnerable people, MetPro was not forced to undergo appropriate CRB checks and was not held to any specific set of requirements for the payments it received.

"The findings were presented at a meeting of the audit committee last Thursday. The meeting, which seldom attracts public interest, was attended by around 40 residents."



... including Mrs Angry...

Link to 'Broken Barnet'

David Burrowes MP, Enfield Southgate: Contribution to 17 June Public Meeting

(The meeting details are here.)


"The meeting is to mobilize those opposed to Pinkham Way, but in as focused way as possible. This was an issue for the whole community, and I welcome Peter Storey and Colin Parish of the ‘Pinkham Way Alliance’.

"I will set out the background.The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) predicts that in 2031, it will be handling 1.9 million tonnes of municipal waste [domestic plus some commercial] a year, up from 1.8 million tonnes now. It would expect Pinkham Way to handle about 300,000 tonnes per year, to be operational in 2015 or 2016. (Theresa Villiers will meet the NLWA about Pinkham Way, next week.) 

"The North London Waste Plan [NLWP] is a general strategy by the boroughs, and not just about municipal waste. The NLWP expects the area of land in waste use will need to increase by about 9 hectares, with 4 hectares possibly enough for 2027, and the rest only needed nearer to 2041. The current consultation by the NLWP ends on 8 July.

"After a competitive procurement process, most of the land at Pinkham Way has now been purchased by the NLWA. There was a 2007 public consultation, and the 2009 purchase was completed on February 2011.

My advice about the NLWP is to concentrate on its ‘soundness’ as an effective plan, and on whether it is ‘legally compliant’.
  • Environment: (It will have a ‘green’ roof, and some trees will be kept!) Will it retain smells, and avoid noise?
  • Traffic: Is the plan credible and acceptable? (A waste plant in Derby was turned down because it was not.)
  • Good neighbour: What will the effect be on the local area? Will there really be ‘no adverse impact’?
  • Justification: Is it really needed, based on evidence? [What alternatives have been considered?] What engagement has there been with the public?"
(The figures in the notes taken at the meeting are being confirmed.)

Bounds Green & District Residents' Association: 'Agree the PLAN first – hold off on any Planning Application'

Click above for the complete letter

"A letter has been sent by Barry James (endorsed by the bgdra) to the previous Haringey Council Leader, George Meehan, who has been a key member of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA)."


" ... [Regarding the North London Waste Plan (NLWP),] it is now emerging that the formal evaluation conducted for Pinkham Way is a dishonest sham. Scores were recorded which gives:
  • credit for “useful buildings” that do not exist;
  • credit for direct access to the A406 when there is no direct access to the A406;
  • credit for proximity to a non-existent rail-head or waterway; and
  • credit for the fact that the site is not an old landfill site, when it is!

"No deductions or allowances were made in the evaluation for traffic congestion. The evaluation deleted prescribed considerations for air quality; included no considerations for noise; and awarded credit points for the site’s proximity to people’s homes.

"If you go onto the Haringey Council website, you will find the following quote from George Meehan:

"I feel it is important that local people are involved in making decisions that affect their every-day lives."
"If you really believe those fine words, George (after all you wrote them), let us see you exercise just a little bit of backbone and leadership, and get this obscene NLWA outline planning application thrown out, until the full democratic process, which was set up by you and your colleagues, has run its course." [The NLWP will not be accepted by the Government until 2012, at the earliest.]

Saturday, 25 June 2011

BBC: "Hartlebury waste incinerator public inquiry date set"

Link to BBC web site
"The date for a public inquiry into a waste incinerator in Worcestershire has been set.

"Councillors at Worcestershire County Council voted to approve plans for the 200,000-tonne energy-from-waste facility, near Hartlebury, in March."




[Pinkham Way would produce incinerator fuel, not be an incinerator.

However, when the NLWA favoured the Pinkham Way plant being at Brent Cross, Hammerson, the site developer, described initial heat treatment of residual waste 'at up to 700 degC.', and 'there could be a stack'.

Only then would the material be transferred to the 'Brent Cross Incinerator' (which Hammerson calls a 'gasifier', for 'recovery', by means of 'Energy from Waste').

Hammerson clearly knows something about shopping centres, and little about domestic waste processing. Nevertheless, Barnet Council has already granted outline planning permission for a waste plant (which could still be for 'Mechanical and Biological Treatment') and an incinerator with a 140-metre chimney.

Hammerson also has been granted planning permission, by the very 'hands-off' Barnet Council, for 14-million-square-feet of Brent Cross development (shops, flats and offices) over the next twenty years. This property would be built literally all around the waste plant and the incinerator. No wonder that 'Brent Cross' features less and less in Hammerson's PR descriptions of itself; it increasingly prefers to mention Birmingham's Bull Ring Centre.]


Campaign graphic from 2009

Daily Mail: "Move over Buckingham Palace! Furious locals, massive underground extension, and a mystery owner"

Link to 'Daily Mail'

" 'Witanhurst' - do you know it? The residents of London's Highgate certainly do, for this mammoth property has caused an ongoing row, as planners have repeatedly rejected lavish plans for its development.

"Now that the planning issues having been resolved, it is being turned into a modern-day Xanadu, the palatial mansion immortalised in the film 'Citizen Kane'. The glittering 65-room palace will include 25 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, and an imperial, walnut-panelled Grand Ballroom.

"Some councillors at Camden called the subterranean scheme 'immoral', because of the amount of environmental disruption it will cause. One committee member, Michael Hammerson, said:
"We don’t want limos with smoked windows, and men in dark glasses with bulging breast pockets, and the place surrounded by CCTV. That’s not Highgate."

Haringey Council: "Make your loss someone's gain - Recycle!"

Link to Haringey Council

"Haringey Council is asking residents to make use of the two Reuse & Recycling Centres during Recycle Week (20 - 26 June 2011).

"Both centres will take a host of materials, in addition to those that can be recycled from home. Some items taken to the centres, such as paint and large appliances, get passed onto charitable organisations and social enterprises, which can make real use out of the goods to help benefit the community.

"Other items get sent away for recycling into new products, making a real positive difference to the environment, by reducing the demand for new materials.

"Haringey Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Nilgun Canver, said:
"Instead of throwing away things you don't want, when you're having a clear-out at home, bring them to your nearest Reuse and Recycling Centre, and together we can turn our waste into a resource that benefits the whole community."
"The two Reuse and Recycling Centres in Haringey are on Park View Road, Tottenham N17, and High Street, Hornsey N8."

Barnet Times: "Angry residents slam new format for Barnet Council forums"

Link to web site

"ANGRY residents slammed the new format for council forums last night, arguing it puts a stop to open discussion.

"Dozens of people turned out to Friern Barnet residents’ forum to discuss important local issues, but left feeling disappointed, saying too many rules stood in their way.

"Irritation swept the floor, as residents were told they could not discuss their traffic concerns, relating to plans for a major waste plant in Bounds Green.

"The Pinkham Way proposals could see Europe's largest waste plant built on their doorsteps, but the council’s business governance officer said questions should be submitted to the planning and environment sub-committee."


(See the comments below the article on the 'Barnet Times' web site, and also this earlier post, about another of the Barnet 'forums' this week.)

'38 degrees': "Support for UK communities fighting against Waste Incineration"

Link to web site
"Many communities across the UK are fighting their local councils, about decisions to build waste incinerators in towns, near homes, on farm land and in areas of natural beauty and interest. There are many more planned for the UK. The USA has not commissioned an Incinerator since the mid 1990's however they are still being built in the UK by American companies.

"There are better, greener, and healthier alternatives to waste management. Typically, councils are locked into 25-year contracts, and agree to provide the privately-owned incinerator companies with a certain quota of waste, or else face hefty fines. This undermines recycling, and is bad news for the whole of the UK, as in areas with incinerators, rubbish set aside for recycling is diverted to these incinerators."




See also:
Link to UKWIN web site

Friday, 24 June 2011

Barnet Times: "Campaigners hand petition to council in bid to save Friern Barnet library"

Link above to Barnet Times
(Campaign photo)


"CAMPAIGNERS handed in a petition to Barnet Councily yesterday, in a desperate bid to save a much-loved library from closure.

"The petition has been signed by more than 2,000 people, who argue the closure of Friern Barnet Library will affect the most vulnerable people in the area, as well as detriment hundreds of children’s literacy levels.

"Kim Lee, 18, of Lewes Road in North Finchley helped set up the Save Friern Barnet Library campaign. He said:
"I have grown up with this library – It’s helped with my learning, through school, and through college. "It has all the resources you could need like newspapers, magazines and revision books and the staff are really friendly."



Campaign video (may need to adjust volume)




Campaign event: "We are planning a ‘Walk to the library’ week for local children from Monday 11th to Friday 15th July, with as many local schools involved as possible. If your children or their school would like to join in, please get in touch with us at savefriernbarnetlibrary@gmail.com."
Visit the library: Friern Barnet Road, N11 3DS.

     Tues: 10:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 20:00

Wed - Fri: 10:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:00

      Sat: 09:30 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:00

BBC Countryfile: "How much of our rubbish into landfill is actually 'waste'?"



Tom Heap investigates alternatives to the plastic packaging which surrounds our food. (BBC Countryfile. October 24, 2010)

Haringey Journal: "Resident supports unpopular Muswell Hill waste plant bid"

(Old news, we know; there are comments after the article, and our press cuttings yesterday also refer to this story.)

Link to Haringey Journal

"A hugely controversial planning bid to build a waste plant in Muswell Hill has prompted one resident to speak out in support of the scheme.

"Mr Barker, of Redston Road, on the edge of Alexandra Park, said:
"It is easy for objectors to say that the Pinkham Way site is unsuitable, because of its proximity to housing. In fact the nearest house is some 200m away, across a wooded park. It could hardly be more remote, and remain within London."

UK AD & Biogas Magazine, and Exhibition (6-7 July)

Link to magazine (PDF)

"June 2011 is a big month in the history of AD in the UK, with the publication of Defra’s wide-ranging Waste Review and the launch of the AD Strategy Document. The product of months of work between Government and industry, the final version of the Strategy Document (formerly the Framework Document) was going through ministerial sign off at the time of going to press.

"Defra’s official said:
"The Coalition Programme for Government of 20 May 2010 made a commitment to work towards a ‘zero waste’ economy, and to introduce measures to increase energy from waste through AD.

In November last year, the Government published a Framework document setting out the next steps. Since then, Defra and DECC have been working closely with industry, to identify barriers to the development of AD, and the actions that are needed to overcome them.

The result of this work is a strategy, including a detailed Action Plan. The Government’s approach to promoting energy from waste through AD forms part of the Government’s wider review of waste policies; therefore, the AD Strategy Document will be published in conjunction with the Waste Review.”



An article about safety:  "In Europe, the standard for compliance is covered by ATEX - 'ATmosphères EXplosibles'. In the UK, the key safety regulation is DSEAR – 'Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres'. This incorporates ATEX, but includes the additional area of Dangerous Substances; ATEX compliance on its own is not enough."



(picture: 'UK AD & Biogas')
Feature, within the NLWP area:

"Waste fruit and vegetables from Hoxton, Broadway and Ridley Road markets, in Hackney, East London, are to be collected by BiogenGreenfinch, and diverted from landfill, to create green power from AD.

"Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said:
"At Hackney Council, we are always looking for ways to make the borough greener. Turning food waste into electricity really helps us in our sustainability agenda, as well as with basic issues, like keeping our busy markets clear."


Link to the trade association web site

Evening Standard: "Boris vs Ken: a battle for the whole country"

Link to Evening Standard

"Time was when Ken Livingstone was the irrepressible cheeky chappie of London politics. Crazy, huh? He's been cutting a dour figure of late. And that mood is unlikely to be improved by this week's YouGov poll, putting Boris Johnson seven points ahead of him.

"Ken has woken up to the fact that he needs to campaign in the outer boroughs, whose voters Johnson so assiduously targeted in 2008. How effective he's proving is less certain. One Labour activist in Croydon tells me that when Livingstone arrived to campaign there:
"He looked bloody miserable."

Saturday 25 June: 'OneTwoEight' Myddleton Road, Bowes Park. Sob, sob, ...

"Just a quick reminder about Saturday's get together at 'OneTwoEight'. As many will know, 'OneTwoEight' will no longer be in operation from next week, and we wanted to invite everyone who has been involved, either as an event or class organiser, plus those who attended events or classes, to celebrate what this community space achieved, but also to discuss ideas for future projects.

While, of course, we are very disappointed that we were not able to get funding for OneTwoEight to carry on, we know there are other areas that we need to focus on, to further improve Bowes Park, and projects that we could explore, that would be of great benefit to the community.

The get together will start at 2pm, and run until 5pm. There will be tea and cakes. Please bring along cakes or biscuits if you can and something stronger to drink if you prefer!

We also are still looking for someone who ideally has a garage or a shed with a bit of space, to house some of the furniture from 'OneTwoEight' that we could use for future events, such as the folding table and other boxes of archive materials, etc. Please reply by email if you could help out, We wouldn't come knocking, to take the stuff out very often, but we don't want to give some of these items away, or sell them, as we know we will use them again in the future.

See you then!

Ed Balleny, BPCA Communications

[Updated] Don't bother trying to raise 'Pinkham Way' at tonight's Residents Forums in Barnet...

Link to Barnet's 'Mr Reasonable'
"40% of residents say that Barnet 'listens to the concerns of local residents'. This represents a 12% drop since the last survey in 07/08, and is 15% below the London average of 55%."
"I think it is rather bad timing that, tonight, Barnet's new 'reformatted' residents' forums start, and:
  • with an earlier start time, making it much more difficult for working people to attend, and
  • with a much more rigid structure of what can be asked, [planning matters are excluded from discussion at any meeting from now on], including no questions on the night."



Rush to
'Broken Barnet'
web site
UPDATE: From Mrs Angry, at the 'Broken Barnet' web site

Mrs Angry has just returned from the very first meeting of a [new-style] Barnet residents' forum [not the Friern Barnet one]. What an evening of entertainment it turned out to be!

Mrs Angry is still wiping away her smudged mascara, caused by laughing so helplessly, as the meeting descended into chaos, with scenes of seething discontent from the mutinous residents, provoked by a ludicrous demonstration of iron-fisted, 'OneBarnet' dictatorship by the new Chairman.

This Forum was the first under the new rules of engagement, laid down in the recent constitutional 'reforms', which have killed any process where political issues can be debated by residents - or even opposition councillors - here in 'Broken Barnet'.

... Local resident and activist Julian Silverman stood to ask that the forum suspend the new regulations, to allow an an emergency question about, ha: 'MetPro', safguarding, possible fraud, and the risks of proceeding with the outsourcing programme, when procurement processes have been revealed by the 'MetPro' inquiry to be totally out of control.

... Later, a resident called Mr B stood up to speak about his question, which sounded rather dull, frankly. But how wrong can you be? I will have to paraphrase as much as I can remember, because I was laughing so much.

Mr B stood at the front, and let forth, slowly building, in a performance surely worthy of Olivier or Gielgud. He delivered to the assembled residents of Broken Barnet, a monologue of sheer brilliance, spitting with fury, and dripping with splenetic disdain. It started calmly enough, with road signs, and emergency services, painted lines and warning notices, bollards, and stanchions, but ended up with Cry God for Harry and St Crispin's Day, via a searing indictment of the utter contempt shown by the councillors to their voters. "And as for that fool, Councillor Brian Coleman, ..."

After the meeting, Lord Monroe Palmer came over to say hello to Mrs Angry. "Did you know," she said, poking him in the arm, "there's film of you and me on YouTube, now ...?"

For a fleeting moment, a look of panic slipped over his face. "The 'MetPro' Audit Committee meeting," she explained. "Ah, yes!" We then talked about the 'forum', and the ridiculous, shameful new rules.

Monroe mentioned ruefully that he had just been in the House of Lords, debating the Localism Bill. "Ha," said Mrs Angry, "have the Tories worked out what it means, yet?"

Thursday, 23 June 2011

'Pinkham Way Alliance' is Now All Official, Like.

Pinkham Way Alliance web site

Pinkham Way Alliance Limited

"We are pleased to announce that on 13 June 2011, the Pinkham Way Alliance registered at Companies House (Cardiff) as a limited company.

"It was done for practical reasons: we are now able to retain professional services as an organisation, and have our own bank account."

Company number: 7667761. Registered office: 76 Glebe Lane, Barming, Maidstone, Kent ME16 9BD.




Make a donation!

"The Pinkham Way Alliance (Ltd) is now launching an appeal for funds. In the short term, we need to pay for planning expertise, environmental consultants, and lawyers.

"There is no other way to make the best response possible, on behalf of the whole community, to these ill-conceived plans. And we have no option but to pay for it ourselves. Without expert help, our chances of any kind of success are very much diminished.

"More information about how this money will be spent will follow shortly. Thus far, members of the PWA have themselves paid for the campaign costs, and for the lawyers that are already working for us."

'Bowes Labour' comments, on Enfield Conservatives' comments, on ...., on ...., about Pinkham Way


Councillor Alan Sitkin comments:
Link to 'Bowes Labour' web site

"As a 54-year-old, who never even thought of standing for any office before my children left home, I am anything but a 'career politician', and I am therefore unaccustomed to the 'lack of truthfulness' that seems a constant for certain party politicians. 

Indeed, it is very disheartening for any civic-minded person who has dared to put their head above the parapet, to have to spend time rebutting – how can I say this politely? – outright fabrications, instead of being allowed to work on the problems that afflict us all. 

Yet I have been put in this unfortunate position, due to the sheer volume of nonsense that Enfield Conservatives has been publishing recently. This refers to my attitude towards the Pinkham Way saga, even as (or maybe because) they gloss over their own responsibility for this sad affair. What I propose is to use the kind offices of the 'Pinkham Way Incinerator' web site [what, us?] to state a few straightforward truths, once and for all, before ending with a simple suggestion for positive action.

  1. Enfield's Tories wrote, in a previous posting, that:
    "At Enfield's annual council meeting in May 2010, Alan Sitkin voted to remove Michael Lavender and Ertan Hurer, ... because they were causing too much trouble for the other Labour-controlled authorities on the NLWA ."
    This makes a mockery of your readers [both of them?] by peddling 'falsifications'. Messers Lavender and Hurer were not even candidates to represent Enfield at the NLWA, given that their party had just been turfed out at the election. Thus, I never had a chance to 'vote to remove them', much less for the reasons invented above. Do Tories disdain your readers, to the extent that they make up porkies, as they go along?

  2. In a letter to the local paper, Cllr Daniel Pierce invents another huge whopper, about me previously supporting the Pinkham Way project. It is true that I have repeatedly discussed means to mitigate environmental damage, in case it is too late to stop this bad proposal. This, unfortunately, remains a distinct possibility, given the extent that the project advanced under Enfield’s Tories, before Labour came to power in May 2010 - but that is very different from 'supporting' it.

    Cllr Pierce's conflation of these stances signals either totally dishonesty, or, an inability to distinguish between wishing for a bad thing, and being responsible enough to make plans to limit the damage, when it cannot be stopped. I dare say that the same conflation drives the Tories’ so-called 'questions' to us, at Enfield’s upcoming Council meeting. When, oh when, can we expect these politicians to tell the truth, much less engage in mature and constructive thinking?

Let’s make this simple, once and for all. [Here we go. It's another list.]
  1. To avoid stooping to the same shameful levels as the Tories demonstrate above, I’ll accept their claim: They now join Labour, in opposing a new waste plant at Pinkham Way.

    I even accept one of the points they make, that they were not the only North London administration, that failed to prevent Tory Barnet from having a laugh in 2009, at everyone else’s expense, when this solution was first stitched up (when Staples Corner was taken off the table).
     
  2. The question then becomes: "What alternative do we seek at this late stage?" (It is 'late', because the NLWA is under pressure to develop new solutions by 2014, since – rightfully – it needs to stop sending London’s waste to other communities, including through landfill).

    Here there is a clear distinction between the two Enfield parties. The Tories want to throw more waste at East Enfield. Indeed, a leading representative of the Bowes Green Party has also gone on record to advocate this brutal, cold-hearted solution. This is an amazingly primitive outlook, where ecology and social justice are pitted against each other, instead of being addressed simultaneously.

    Labour rejects the total immorality of forcing even more waste on Edmonton – which has suffered the martyrdom of proximity to an incinerator, on behalf of all of us, for decades now. Thirty-four years after earning my first degree in Environmental Studies, I’ve had time to figure out how to reconcile ecological and social considerations. It really isn’t too difficult, and shame on those who forget that the poor of this world actually suffer more from environmental degradation than anyone else.
     
  3. The simple solution is to get the affluent to stop fobbing their nuisances on to the deprived – in this case, to get Barnet to host the waste plant! One of the Enfield Tories’ few sensible comments was where they agreed that I had a 'legitimate gripe' about Barnet’s 'free-riding'.

    Since we concur on this, the solution is obvious: We must use all available political resources, to force Barnet to keep its lorries at Mill Hill, and erect the MBT plant at Staples Corner. I don’t know why anyone made the mistake in a previous comment that I want to see an incinerator there, because I don’t. But this solution is the ethical and practical one. The question is how to achieve it.

I ask all readers of this web site to write to the leaders of the Enfield Conservative Party, to convince them that it is in all of our interests, for them to add to the pressure on their fellow party members in Barnet. Enough of these manufactured, anti-Labour smokescreens! The real target is Brian Coleman, et al.

Party lines should matter less to career politicians, than principles of ecological justice. Otherwise, how can they sleep at night?"

Barnet Times (2), Barnet Press, Ham & High, Enfield Independent (2), and Haringey Journal

 (Click to enlarge the images, and usually again to magnify)