Wednesday, 11 January 2012

UK Without Incinerators Network: Review of 2011

UKWIN Coordinator’s 2011 Year End Report:
Reflect, Celebrate, Donate!

The time has come once again for UKWIN to reflect upon the year gone by, to celebrate our many achievements, and to appeal to members and supporters for contributions that will enable our movement to continue to grow in size and influence.

2011 has been UKWIN’s busiest year so far.

We continue to welcome new members, both individual campaigners and local groups, and the Network now encompasses more than 300 individuals and more than 85 groups. Of course we would all rather see shrinking membership as a result of a moratorium on new incinerator plans, accompanied by the phasing out of existing incinerators, leading to a United Kingdom without incineration. As our name suggests, we are all working towards this goal, and our network grows stronger with each new member.

During 2011 campaigners experienced some high points, worthy of celebration, and some low moments. There are also numerous situations where the jury is out and where outstanding issues will carry over into 2012. We have seen planning decisions increasingly involve the courts, and due in part to the impending changes to the planning system associated with the National Planning Policy Framework, this trend looks set to continue.

Another trend that looks set to continue is the ever-decreasing quantity of waste arisings resulting in an ongoing reduction in residual waste. This is an area that we intend to explore in detail, and we plan to publish our research findings in 2012.

UKWIN activities carried out during 2011
  • With the support of a core group of dedicated volunteers, UKWIN’s National Coordinator provided information, advice and guidance via e-mail, telephone and skype, to our member groups, and to journalists, academics, politicians, and to the many others making inquiries about incineration and alternative approaches to waste management
  • UKWIN maintained our much-visited table and interactive map of existing and potential incinerator sites, and we added a new status of “prevented incinerators” – We are grateful to those volunteers who helped keep the information up-to-date by providing us with the latest details of their campaigns
  • We revamped our website ( – Report available upon request
  • UKWIN made several submissions to Government waste and planning consultations (see, and as a result of our involvement in the Waste Review, UKWIN has been made a consultee on the Government’s forthcoming Guide to Energy from Waste
  • UKWIN published several new briefings (see and, and we commissioned Eunomia to produce a bespoke piece of research (available from
  • UKWIN also produced a Waste Wood Biomass Objection Template that can be adapted for local planning objections
  • More than 40 news items were created for the UKWIN website (thanks to those who have helped with this!), and some 1,600 e-mail messages were exchanged via the Waste Discussion List (Let me know if you would like to join this discussion list of more than 100 activists)
  • UKWIN and our member groups regularly featured in trade press publications (such as Materials Recycling Week), and increasingly also appeared in mainstream media (e.g. local, regional and national newspapers, and local radio and regional television broadcasts)
  • In February, UKWIN delivered a valuable Campaign Workshop in Hertfordshire, and in April we held a successful Annual General Meeting in Leicester
  • UKWIN continued to deepen our contacts with Government officials, including Defra civil servants, and with sympathetic Members of Parliament, and organisations such as WRAP and ReAlliance
  • UKWIN played an active role in supporting our member groups with several waste core strategy examinations in public and with some planning inquiries, notably the Dearne Valley (Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham) Waste Core Strategy Examination in Public and the Shropshire (Shrewsbury Battlefield) public inquiry
  • Our Chair, Tim Hill, helped numerous groups by lending his technical expertise to assessing proposals in relation to the dreaded R1 formula 
  • UKWIN deepened our contact with like-minded organisations, including the Zero Waste Alliance UK, Waste Watch, Biofuelwatch, Freegle, and the Coventry-based 2020 Zero Waste Project, as well as Friends of the Earth and GAIA 
  • We secured funding, from the Ecology Trust, to continue to employ a Coordinator through to the end of 2012 and beyond; and our bid to the Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation for some funding that we could use for residual waste trend research was also successful! (For more details see below.)
Causes for celebration

In 2011, UKWIN member groups up and down the country made significant gains, worthy of celebration – including (but not limited to):
  • Ongoing successful resistance in Derby to both the Spondon and the Sinfin proposals
  • Planning permission refused (again) for Shepshed proposal in Leicestershire, alongside the removal of the Bardon Business Park, Coalville (near Ellistown) and Whetstone sites from the County’s waste plans
  • Ongoing success in preventing a Sherwood Forest incinerator in Rainworth (near Mansfield), Nottinghamshire
  • Acceptance by Cyclamax of the refusal of planning permission for their Chesterfield incinerator proposal
  • Huge surge in opposition to incineration following the IPC decision for Rookery Pit, Bedfordshire (and that decision’s impact on the Twinwoods proposal)
  • The tremendous efforts being made by campaigners in Hertfordshire, who are simultaneously participating in both the Waste Core Strategy Examination in Public, and the planning consultation for the New Barnfield (Hatfield) proposal, whilst also keeping a watchful eye on potential proposals for Ware and for Harper Lane (near St. Albans)
  • Media-grabbing gains made by Kings Lynn campaigners, who are challenging the Government’s commitment to localism and who have already succeeded in bringing about the withholding of PFI credits, putting the Norfolk Waste PFI procurement process in jeopardy
  • The determination of campaigners in Cheshire to try everything and more to stall the progress of the Runcorn incinerator
  • Success in scuppering the biomass burning facility that had been planned for Urmston, Manchester
  • The continuing development of the Green Alternatives to Incineration in Scotland (GAINS) network, and their resolute campaigning at both local and national levels in Scotland
  • Success of campaigners in West Berkshire, who have already managed to reduce the capacity of the Newbury proposal by 100,000 tonnes, before a planning application has even been submitted
  • The dropping of the Beaconsfield site in Buckinghamshire, the Sutton Courtney site in Oxfordshire, and the Manvers site in Barnsley
  • The precedent-setting legal decision to quash the planning permission for an incinerator proposed for Cornwall
  • The emergence of the South Wales Without Incineration Network (SWWIN) helping to coordinate the campaigns in Wales, and the victories scored when the Merthyr Tydfil and Newport (Corporation Road) proposals were withdrawn
  • The excellent documents produced as part of the campaign against an expansion of the existing Tyseley incinerator in Birmingham
  • All of the efforts that went into the planning inquiry to uphold refusal of planning permission for the Shrewsbury Battlefield site in Shropshire, and for the planning inquiry to withdraw planning permission for the Hartlebury incinerator proposed for Kidderminster in Worcestershire
  • The demise of the Saltend proposal for Hull, despite both planning permission and an environmental permit having been secured – giving hope to us all.
2011 also saw UKWIN paying modest amounts of money for advertising for the first time – we now have a page on The Ecologist website, at:

During 2011, UKWIN succeeded in increasing donations to more than £3,000 (via cheques, standing orders, bank transfers and PayPal), including several very generous donations from a small number of campaigners and groups (although it must be said that UKWIN received no financial contributions at all from some member groups). These financial contributions are in addition to the many thousands of pounds worth of in-kind (voluntary) contributions made to UKWIN over the past year alone!

Our Income in 2011 is up on that in 2010, and whilst these contributions represent a genuine boost in UKWIN’s financial position, we remain far short of self-sufficiency, and thus we remain heavily dependant on the ongoing goodwill of grant-making trusts. Moreover, we could do more to support local campaigns if we had more resources, e.g. to pay for professional services. This is particularly pertinent where we have to support not only campaigns against planning applications but planning appeals, examinations in public and legal cases that reach the High Court.

It is vital for UKWIN’s future that our members and supporters help by renewing membership and by donating money to enable us to maintain the momentum, and so that we can extend the capacity of UKWIN. To join/renew go to: and to find out how you can donate to UKWIN, please visit:

Payments can be made by bank transfer to the UKWIN account (Sort code 08-92-99, Account number 65276853) or by cheque made payable to UKWIN and posted to: UKWIN Membership c/o Shlomo Dowen 25 The Birchlands, Forest Town, MANSFIELD NG19 0ER. Alternatively, payments can be made via PayPal by clicking the button on our website.

Our hopes and dreams for 2012

Your contributions and donations will help enable UKWIN to realise some or all of our collective hopes and dreams for the organisation and for the movement as a whole. The ground we can cover during 2012 depends on many factors, including the resources available to extend UKWIN’s capacity to work effectively.

A UKWIN dream is to create a regional structure of both paid and volunteer Regional Coordinators to work with the National Coordinator, sharing the existing work-load and extending UKWIN’s capacity to become ever more involved in supporting the grassroots work of our members. This dream dovetails with the dream of greatly extending our influence through ongoing engagement with Government. These dreams inform our hopes.

During 2012 we hope to deliver a Campaign Workshop in Leeds (along the lines of the Workshop delivered in Hertfordshire), to bring together the many groups active throughout Yorkshire for training and for sharing skills, information, experience, etc. We hope to be in a position to deliver similar Workshops in other areas, in response to requests.

We also hope to provide our members with useful pieces of research, starting with the development of a tool for demonstrating anticipated quantities of residual waste based on a series of independently-reviewed assumptions. UKWIN is currently in discussions with Waste Statistician, and Earth Mover Award Winner, Keith Kondakor regarding this work.

Arrangements are coming together for UKWIN’s next Annual General Meeting to take place on Saturday 21 April 2012, at Greenpeace’s London Office (Canonbury Villas, London N1 2PN). Our dream is that this return to London will be the biggest and most worthwhile gathering of UKWIN members, and we hope to see you there!

UKWIN dreams of a United Kingdom without incineration, and we hope that 2012 will be a pivotal year in the fulfilment of that dream. To this end, 2012 will see UKWIN working ever more closely with like-minded organisations, and of course with our own members.
To UKWIN’s Trustees, our Action Group, our many volunteers and members, let me thank you all for your solid support throughout 2011, and for your help in making the most of 2012.

Shlomo Dowen, National Coordinator

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