Wednesday, 31 October 2012

BBC: "Economic recovery may bypass low and middle earners"

Link to web site

"Millions of poor and middle-income households may be bypassed by any economic recovery, a report for the Resolution Foundation says.

"The Commission on Living Standards argues that their quality of life could stagnate for the next decade, ending no higher in 2020 than they were in 2000.

"... The Commission's members included economists, trade union leaders and employers. Among them were Phil Bentley the managing director of British Gas, Sir Win Bischoff the chairman of Lloyds bank, and Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies."

"AmeyCespa preferred for Milton Keynes waste treatment facility"

Link to 'Government Opportunities'

"On behalf of Milton Keynes Council, AmeyCespa will design, build and operate a new, state-of-the-art waste treatment facility in the borough. The facility will deal with household 'black sack' waste, and some commercial waste.

"... It will bring together three different technologies to treat waste which has not been reused, recycled or composted, rather than continuing to send it to landfill:
  • mechanical treatment technology
  • an anaerobic digestor
  • an advanced thermal treatment facility.

Brian Coleman's Court Hearing

Link to Wikipedia

Court hearing:
10am, Mon 5 Nov.
Uxbridge Magistrates Court
The Court House
Harefield Rd

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Barnet Times: "Barnet Councillor Brian Coleman suspended from national Conservative Party"

Link to Barnet Times

"Former Barnet Mayor Brian Coleman has been suspended from the national Conservative Party.

"High ranking party officials took the decision, hours before the Barnet Conservatives were due to vote on whether to suspend the disgraced member from the group at a meeting tonight."

MRW: "'I wouldn't want a waste facility near my home' says Veolia director"

Link to MRW web site
(may need registration)

"A boss at Veolia has said he would not want to live near one of his firm’s waste incinerators.

Speaking at an industry policy event, the waste giant’s executive director for external affairs, Robert Hunt, said planning for waste facilities was a big issue, because nobody wanted one built near them. Hunt added:

"I don’t think I’d want a waste facility near my home, I have to say."

Friern Barnet Library

Friern Barnet
 Community Library 


Thursday, 1st November: Halloween Party 7pm (bring food to share) followed by the fantastic Blues of Cain, will be performing at the library at 7.30pm -
Wednesday 14th November, 7pm: Will Self will be answering questions and signing copies of his latest novel, Umbrella, which is set in Friern Barnet, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012.
Thursday 15th November, 7pm: The amazing Classical Mix are returning to play another night. They will be bringing a very special guest, a lady who took the first library book out!!!
Saturday 17th November, 2pm: Greenacre Writers are holding a creative writing workshop, Ways into Creative Writing

6.00pm - 7.00pm: Monday Organisational Meeting
6.00pm - 7.00pm: Proposals Meeting
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Pilates - CANCELLED due to knee injury
Thursday 8th November:
11.15am - 11.45am: Story & Song time for pre-schoolers (Tanya, a pre-school teacher will be running it)
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm: Halloween Party 7pm Followed by Blues of Cain
4:00pm - 5:00pm: French
6:30pm - 7:30pm: Yoga
10.00am - 12.00noon: Chemistry Tuition

Big appeal for local volunteers to come in and stand behind the desk and run your library and community centre. Two hour shifts. Now is the time for the local team to step in, step up and reclaim their library and community centre. We have a wish list:
  • Upholstery Cleaner, Vegetable rack, Video projector, stationary, printer ink, photocopier, computers, transport offers
  • Savoury healthy (veg) meals for the occupiers and locals to share each evening around 7pm (as cooking facilities are limited)
  • A working electric cooker with hob and oven
  • Cleaning equipment - brooms, bin liners, etc.; plastic bins for front and back.
TWEET - @occupiedlibrary,

Monday, 29 October 2012

"Offshore Tax Havens: how the wealthy loot the world"

"Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique is a UK-based affiliate of the Les Amis Le Monde Diplomatique, which supports the writings and tradition which has evolved over 50 years of publication of the Le Monde Diplomatique Newspaper. Our 'Cafe Diplo' meetings at The Gallery at Farringdon, in the City of London on selected Monday evenings, are presented (in English) in the context of our global anti neo-conservative-liberal tradition, and give an opportunity for lively debate between speakers and audience."

Next Cafe Diplo - Monday 5th November - Offshore Tax Havens: how the wealthy loot the world with Richard Murphy

Dear Friend of Le Monde Diplomatique,
We cordially invite you to join us our next Cafe Diplo on Monday 5th November 2012
The talk begins at 6.45pm and ends around 8.30pm, giving plenty of time for questions and discussion. Wine and soft drinks will be on sale. We suggest you arrive 15 minutes beforehand so that you can settle in with a glass of wine or fruit juice.
The Cafe is at our usual venue at The Gallery, 70/77 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ. The nearest tube station is Farringdon - the station has recently been re-built and after you emerge from either of the two exits you head up the hill into Cowcross Street. Map of the venue
Entrance fee: £3 (£2 for concessions). Tickets on the door.
Further details on Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique website and see also the future programme of events
Monday 5th November - Offshore Tax Havens: how the wealthy loot the world with Richard Murphy
Tax havens are secrecy jurisdictions lying at the centre of the Global Economy. Half the world’s trade passes through them, and they afford the opportunity to avoid tax, financial regulation, criminal law and democratic scrutiny. They hide trillions of dollars on behalf of banks, multinationals, wealthy individuals and criminals, leaving the rest of society to pay for the public services on which we all depend. Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant, economist and tax expert will discuss this web of corruption and concealment. He is a founder of the Tax Justice Network, director of Tax Research LLP and co-author of 'Tax Havens': How Globalisation Really Works (2009). His most recent book The Courageous State, was published in 2011.
We look forward to seeing you,
With Best Wishes,
Committee, FLMD

LetsRecycle: "Compulsory recycling ‘next logical step’"

Link to web site

"A council is set to introduce a compulsory recycling scheme next year, in a move which it said was the ‘next logical step’ in increasing recycling rates and diverting waste from landfill.

"At a meeting of Croydon council’s cabinet earlier this month (16 October) councillors approved the introduction of compulsory recycling from 1 January 2013, in a bid to save the council money by diverting waste from landfill, as well as engaging with residents who do not recycle.

"... At the meeting, the cabinet noted that the London borough of Barnet was the first council in the capital to introduce compulsory recycling, in 2005. Since its introduction, Barnet has only imposed one fine. A number of other councils have adopted a similar policy, including Brent, Islington and Lambeth."

Saturday, 27 October 2012

BBC: "New Barnfield incinerator approved by county council"

Link to web site

"Plans for a waste incinerator in Hertfordshire have received county council backing, despite opposition from Tory party chairman Grant Shapps.

"He described Wednesday's approval as 'fundamentally the wrong decision', based on 'flawed mathematics'.

"Members voted 11 to four in favour of the energy-from-waste plant at New Barnfield near Hatfield."

Waste Protest: "Neighbours blockade road, in protest at Old Oak Lane incinerator plans"

Link to 'Ealing Times'

"RESIDENTS blockaded the road on Saturday morning, as they stepped up their efforts to stop the development of a waste incinerator plant.
"The Triangle Island Residents’ Association protest aimed to highlight the disruption that Clean Power’s lorries* would cause them along Old Oak Lane, Acton, near Willesden Junction. Their temporary blockade ended around midday."

* Clean Power Properties Ltd., a tax-haven company,
also proposes a waste incinerator at Brent Cross.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Broadway Ham & High: "Alexandra Palace reveals bid for future of its theatre and BBC studios"

Link to web site

"Even the crumbling ceiling and icy October air circulating in Alexandra Palace’s theatre cannot mask its once glamorous past. Looking out into the dark, abandoned auditorium, one can almost see a legion of theatre-goers waiting expectantly for the performance, yellow light bouncing off the magnificent chandelier, mumbled voices mixing with the sounds of musicians tuning their instruments.

"... To make it safe once more will take millions of pounds - money which, until now, has not been forthcoming. But, if everything goes according to plan, it could be welcoming new crowds by the end of 2016."

Link to web site

'Bye Bye Brian, Don't Cry

Plus NoToMob discussion

Bye bye Brian
Brian bye bye :dancing:

Bye Brian, Brian bye bye

Bye bye Brian,
Brian don't cry :'(

Bye Brian, Brian don't cry :'( :-* :P

'Famous Five' Barnet bloggers set up new Twitter public list

Click above to subscribe to all or some

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Growth and Infrastructure Bill

The Pinkham Way Alliance has received a request from Chris Faulkner who is responsible for the Pinkham Way Village Green application. He received the letter (below) from the Open Spaces Society, he says It is vital that this matter is raised with local MPs by as many people as possible. Please send emails if you can to:

Lynne Featherstone
Theresa Villiers
David Burrowes

The letter that Chris received is as follows:

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday 30 October. Please write urgently to your MP to press him or her to speak against clause 13. This will make it more difficult, if not downright impossible, to register land in England as a town or village green once it has been identified for development.

The government wants to stop “vexatious” applications to register greens which, it claims, are being submitted solely to thwart development. In fact few applications are purely vexatious and the clause has the effect of killing genuine applications too.

The Bill says that a 'trigger event' 'which includes first publication of a planning application or identification of the land for potential development in a local or neighbourhood plan' puts an immediate stop on any new application to register the land as a green. The trigger event may not even be public.

Furthermore, as soon as this part of the Act takes effect, no application to register can be made for land already subject to a trigger event unless that application has already been submitted.

When writing to your MP do, if you can, cite an example of a green in the constituency which has been registered in the last few years, is clearly being used and enjoyed by local people, and which might not have been registered had the Growth and Infrastructure Bill been law at the time. Send us your examples too.

The Open Spaces Society is briefing MPs to speak against this, and will be drafting amendments for the committee stage of the Bill. We shall keep you posted on progress.

Do contact me if you need further information. Please act fast, the second reading is on Tuesday.

Thanks for your help.

Kate Ashbrook
General Secretary
The Open Spaces Society
25A Bell Street
Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BA
The Open Spaces Society is a registered charity (no 1144840)
and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 7846516).

Bidesh Sarkar
Chair, Pinkham Way Alliance

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

[Updated to Oct 2012] BBC South Yorkshire reports, "Man dies and another hurt in Rotherham plant explosion"

Earlier update: Video released of explosion:

Link to news item on BBC web site
"South Yorkshire Police said a waste incinerator had exploded, creating a hole in the factory's wall."

Link to Sterecycle web site

"We plan to have at least 6 plants operational by 2013 including in Yorkshire, Wales, London and Glasgow."

October 2012:
Link to LetsRecycle web site

"Administrators ‘abandon’ Sterecycle autoclave"

"Creditors of Sterecycle (Rotherham) Ltd are likely to get a dividend from the demise of the business, but the amount could depend on the outcome of any talks with the Health and Safety Executive and South Yorkshire Police, with regards to legal action following a fatality at the plant in 2011.

"... In January 2011, an explosion in one of the vessels at the plant resulted in two men being injured, one of whom subsequently died (see story). An investigation into the explosion is ongoing and is being led by South Yorkshire Police.

"... Observers put the failure of the Sterecycle plant down to various factors, including financing and difficulties in securing the markets for compost-like outputs. The bulk of the material into the plant came from a grouping of councils – Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham – who are now sending their waste to the Veolia ES energy recovery plant in Sheffield (see story)."

Barnet Times

(See also Barnet Times letter on Colindale)

Will Pinkham Way's incinerator-fuel be trucked out to Brent Cross?

Link to 'Brent Cross Coalition' web site
- and another Brent Cross link
to a tax haven!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Evening Standard: "Leading Tory councillor Brian Coleman charged with assaulting café owner in street"

Link to web site

"Tory councillor Brian Coleman has been charged with 'assault by beating' after allegedly attacking a café owner.

"... He is due to appear at Hendon magistrates’ court on November 5, where he will also face a charge of 'driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a public place without reasonable consideration'."

Monday, 22 October 2012

Barnet Bugle: "ITV London Tonight features Barnet's latest 'Polemical' film, and Brian Coleman being charged"

Link to Barnet Bugle

Link to 'Not the Barnet Times':
"Richard Cornelius has got to go!"

"Brian Coleman knows that his political career is in its death throes and, like a spoilt child, he is determined to take the whole Conservative Group down with him. It will undoubtedly serve them right, but it will be the residents who ultimately suffer, as we will end up with another ruinous Labour administration.

"If the Conservatives wish to retain any credibility as a serious political party, then Mr Cornelius must be removed as leader, and replaced by someone who will deal with recalcitrant and errant councillors. Time is running out if they want to hold on to power."

Mon 22 Oct: World Premier of "Barnet - The Billion Pound Gamble"

"From the makers of the critically acclaimed documentary 'A Tale of Two Barnets' comes a new film exposing the shocking way that Barnet Council is planning a huge gamble with your money.

"Film maker Charles Honderick has spent 18 months interviewing people across Barnet to find how their lives have been affected by the cuts, service changes and policies of Barnet Council.

"This shocking film lifts the lid on the way ordinary people are being neglected, whilst the Council wastes millions on pet projects.

"The film also includes an exclusive interview with award-winning director, Ken Loach, talking about the danger to Barnet's economy of outsourcing jobs and services."

Stop Press, 22 October 2012:

"To Celebrate the official release on 22nd March 2012 of 'Barnet - The Billion Pound Gamble', Charles Honderick has announced the official release of the full length version of 'A Tale of Two Barnets' on YouTube."

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Express & Star: "Foul smells threaten future of waste plant"

Link to web site (from September)

"The future of a giant waste plant in Staffordshire is under threat as residents, who say their lives are being blighted by foul smells, launch action which could see the £24 million site closed down.

"People living near the Biffa Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Heath Hayes say their lives are being made a misery. They met Biffa representatives, Environment Agency officials and Aidan Burley MP for behind closed doors talks, after the Express & Star was refused entry last night.

"... Launched in spring 2011, the plant aims to process up to 120,000 tons of food waste every year. The digestion site is equal in size to two football pitches."

Sunday Telegraph: "Underground art is still fresh after 150 years"

Interchange with web site

"It’s a bit odd that the greatest British invention of the 19th century – the railway – was largely housed in mock-medieval stations. St Pancras and the neighbouring Midland Grand Hotel are marvellous buildings, but how strange that they’re designed like a 13th-century cloth hall in Ypres. John Betjeman pointed out that Liverpool Street Station was even built on the plan of a Gothic cathedral – with the canteen where the altar should be.

Something different happened with the London Underground, which celebrates its 150th birthday next year, commemorated in a new book, Underground: How the Tube Shaped London by David Bownes, Oliver Green and Sam Mullins. We British aren’t usually much good at anything avant-garde, but the Tube’s designs were utterly modern. Even though the old infrastructure is creaking, the union demands outdated, and the carriages packed, Tube style remains astonishingly fresh."

[Reposted] Anaerobic Digestion in Spain

The North London Waste Authority has said it wants to use either 'composting' or 'anaerobic digestion' at Pinkham Wood.

Link to a previous Channel 5 video on composting.

Here is a description of Ecoparc 2 de Montcada i Reixac, a Spanish 'Mechanical and Biological Treatment' plant, only slightly smaller than that intended for Pinkham Wood, and which uses anaerobic digestion:

Click above to enlarge image, and sometimes again to magnify
or link to a description of the plant in Spain.

"Feedstock: Mixed Municipal Solid Waste (presumably after collection of recyclables) and source-separated biowaste from Barcelona. [The NLWA has said that Pinkham Wood would not be a destination for separately-collected food waste.]

"Throughput: The facility full capacity is of 265,000 tonnes/year, or approximately 1000 tonnes/day. [The NLWA says Pinkham Wood would be for 300,000 tonnes/year.]

"Anaerobic digestion (AD): biodegradable material is converted by a series of bacteria groups into methane and carbon dioxide (CO2). Anaerobic digestion has been used for over a century to process sewage biosolids. If the MSW feed is processed in the solid phase, AD is often referred to as 'anaerobic composting'.

"The biogas produced can be used on site to generate electricity and heat using a generator (reciprocating engine, microturbine, conventional turbine, etc.). The biogas can also be purified extensively (dehydrating, H2S removal) to pipeline quality and pressurized, for example to be used as compressed natural gas (CNG), a safe and clean vehicular fuel.

"For every 100 tonnes entering the Ecoparc,
  • 45 tonnes are rejected in pre-processing [seemingly for 'packaged landfill' - Pinkham Wood 'Solid Recovered Fuel' would go for incineration at Brent Cross.]
  • 5 tonnes are recycled;
  • 8 tonnes are rejected in post-processing; and
  • 42 tonnes are converted to biogas and compost."

Click to enlarge image above
(or click here to see a map
- co-incidentally, this plant is also on the border of three local authority areas!)
By the way, 
of the London Borough of Barnet
is open countryside!

How's your Spanish?
('ecoparc' is Catalan; 'ecoparque' is Castillian!)

Friern Barnet Library: Opening Hours

Photo: Mustard Photographic Services

Barnet Labour: "Friern Barnet Library – ‘it was clear that this judge had a sense of justice’"

Link to web site

"Following on from the court ruling on Friern Barnet Library, Coppetts Labour councillor, Pauline Coakley Webb said:
"Today was a good day for Friern Barnet and for justice, but I believe that dialogue and negotiation between the occupiers, residents and Barnet council must continue.

What is the logic of running up expensive legal bills when the council has such a committed group of people who want to talk about feasible ways of keeping the library open and preserving the one and only public community space in the area? I call on Cllr Thomas to allow the discussions to continue."

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Friern Barnet Library petition

Friern Barnet
 Community Library 

This Monday 22nd at the Phoenix Cinema, 6pm
is the premiere of Billion Pound Gamble:

Charles Honderick, the Director of the film, 
will be performing with his band Hamptons,
in the library on Thursday at 7pm:

Thursday, 18 October 2012

[Reposted from Jul 11] Edmonton Incinerator and Compost Centre

(Click to enlarge any image; sometimes again to magnify)

June 28, 2011:

Link to LondonWaste Ltd.
North London Mayors visit EcoPark

"LondonWaste, presented seven North London Mayors with a donation in support of their chosen charities.

"The presentation, at the EcoPark took place on the 23rd June, and enabled seven North London Mayors to see first-hand how their borough’s waste is presently transformed into valuable resources. The Mayors first toured the Energy Centre [incinerator], which uses black-bagged rubbish to generate enough energy to power close to 70,000 homes, and then the Compost Centre, which receives organic waste from seven North London boroughs, and turns it into rich compost.

"LondonWaste Ltd. Managing Director, David Sargent, has encouraged support for the Mayor’s charities for some years now. He said
“We are proud to be involved in fundraising; it is a pleasure to be supporting these charities.

LondonWaste Ltd, encourages weekly tours. As a waste management company, tours are an important part of our communication strategy. To book a tour, contact or 020 8884 5529."

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Link to Pinkham Way Alliance

"Pinkham Way Alliance (PWA) has been following the story of the Mechanical & Biological Treatment (MBT) plant at Farington for over a year. It opened in late 2010, and during the commissioning period, there were severe problems with the bio-filters.

"... From its inception, there have been severe odour problems at Farington. It seemed last year that the initial faults had been rectified, but in the autumn they returned. Since then the operators have tried various strategies, the last one being to raise the height of the five stacks on the building.

"... The activities at Farington are Materials Recovery and composting of various organic wastes. The plant accepts 3,000 tons of residual waste, 1,000 tons of dry recycling, and 1,000 tons of green and kitchen waste per week. The residual waste is sorted – by hand, by shifts of 200 or so employees – and the recyclables are sent into the dry recycling stream (thereby, presumably, contaminating it).

"We remarked that there had been some odours as we walked towards the building, and the receptionist agreed that there had been ‘some small problems’. However, the smell was not as strong as at the newer Southwark Integrated Waste Facility in London, which we visited recently."

Global Renewables Lancashire

"In March 2007, Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council and Global Renewables Lancashire Ltd. signed what was then the UK’s largest waste PFI contract; a £2bn, 25-year agreement to process the household waste of 1.4m people in Lancashire. This move heralded the start of a new approach to waste treatment in the UK, where the rising costs of landfill and the growing awareness of the damage this method of disposal causes to the environment, has forced a radical rethink of how we handle our waste.

"Two facilities – one in Farington, (photos) near Preston, and the other at Thornton, (photos) near Blackpool, have been designed to treat over 300,000 tonnes per annum of household waste."

The Guardian: "Large-scale privatisation of local government proved to be political poison"

Link to web site

"The outsourcing of individual council services to large private corporate companies such as Capita, Serco and BT has been common practice across local government for four decades. But the past two years have seen the emergence of a series of grandiose mega-schemes which aim to privatise most, if not all, of a council's services at a stroke.

"... Barnet, teetering on the brink of chaos after its chief executive quit two months before it votes on a huge £1bn plan to outsource almost all its services, could be next."

The Guardian:
"Tory privatisation plans dealt blow in Cornwall"

"The project to part-privatise Cornwall Council services, including libraries, benefits and payroll, to either BT or CSC, the US IT services giant, is now in doubt after Alec Robertson, the Tory leader of the authority, was toppled by his fellow councillors. He faced a vote of no confidence at an extraordinary meeting in Truro which he lost 63 votes to 49.

"... The upheaval at Cornwall council, which is the county's biggest single employer, is the latest crisis for Conservative-controlled councils seeking to sell off public services. Earlier this month, the chief executive of the London borough of Barnet quit, casting into doubt the direction of his authority's radical 'easyCouncil' plan to reduce the town hall to a commissioning body."

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sky: "Remembrance Day 2014: Calls To Close Shops"

Link to Sky News video

"There are calls for shops to be closed and major sporting fixtures to be postponed on the hundred-year anniversary of the First World War.

"In a letter to The Times, several public figures also say that flags should be flown at half-mast from every town hall in the country on Remembrance Day 2014, as well as extending the traditional silence at the Cenotaph."

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

[Reposted again from Feb 2011] Anaerobic Digestion: Accident and Description

- click above then read pages 10 and 11 of 'AD & Biogas News'

"There have been three recent fatal explosions at AD plants in Germany, and although there has been only one AD-related death in the UK - an employee at an on-farm AD plant based in Dorset - it is in the interests of all, that this is the last.

"However, one high profile figure within the industry, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that his company has been forced to make numerous visits to one plant, to rectify issues that a competent operator should have addressed. No-one would disagree, therefore, that training within the AD industry is vital, not least because of the risks inherent in the production of biogas."

"A biogas plant is not 'plug and go': you feed it carefully, you nurse it when it is not well and, most importantly, you must know what to do when something goes wrong."

"Safety issues ... include risk of explosion, confined space asphyxiation, hydrogen sulphide poisoning, gas poisoning, and risk of accidents."

In case of difficulty, try below, or copy and paste this into 'Adobe Reader' or similar (notice the word "amended"!):

or (since that no longer seems to work! - as of Sept. 2011):