Monday, 31 December 2012

'The Times': "Secrets of recycling success rubbish Eric Pickles’ bin policy"

Link to 'The Times' subscription web site

"A combination of fortnightly dustbin rounds and separate food waste collections are the most effective way of increasing household recycling, analysis of Government figures suggests.

"... The statistics fly in the face of moves by Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, to reverse the “unpopular and unhygienic” shift to fortnightly bin collections which began under the last Labour government."

Link to Daily Telegraph:
"Householders forced to recycle more because councils abandon weekly collections"

"Official figures published by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show for the first time ever more rubbish is recycled than goes to landfill.

"... Doretta Cocks, founder of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection, told The Daily Telegraph:
“The idea of reducing frequency of residual waste collection is that people are forced to recycle by the lack of capacity in residual waste bins. This is a far speedier way of changing attitudes than education which is costly and time-consuming. ..."

The Guardian: "Single men found to be rubbish at putting out the recycling"

"Women are doing more than their fair share of recycling, while single people living alone are less likely to recycle"

Link to web site

"As many homes come to terms with a backlog of discarded wrapping paper and empty packaging after Christmas, women will take on the most responsibility for disposing of it in an environmentally friendly way, according to new research.

"... As local councils offer better recycling facilities, people are increasingly viewing it as an essential part of their household routine, rather than a voluntary green act. The UK's governments have set ambitious targets to increase domestic recycling of all waste to 50% by 2020 – currently standing at 41.5% in England and Wales, 37.2% in Scotland and 39.7% in Northern Ireland.

"The study shows that making men the focus for green messages could be the best way forward."

Andrew Dismore AM: "Local Assembly Members welcome decision from Waste Authority to abandon Pinkham Way plan"

Recent PWA protest meeting in Friern Barnet
Link to Andrew Dismore web site

"Local Labour London Assembly Members Joanne McCartney and Andrew Dismore have today welcomed the announcement that the North London Waste Authority is to withdraw its plans for a Mechanical and Biological Treatment Plant on the Pinkham Way site.

"Over the past year, both members have consistently supported local residents, and opposed the plan for a waste treatment facility to be built in the middle of a built-up residential area of north London."

Barnet Greens: "Stop the £4.7 bn North London Waste privatisation – the battle goes on!"

Link to web site

"It’s great news that Veolia has withdrawn from the bidding for the North London Waste Authority’s £4.7 billion procurement contracts, and it is equally pleasing that the authority has scrapped plans for a huge mechanical bio-treatment plant at Pinkham Way, Friern Barnet. BUT THE FIGHT ISN’T OVER!

"NLWA chair Clyde Loakes and his Labour and Tory colleagues on the authority are pressing on with plans to award the two enormous contracts, even though there is only one bidder left for each contract."

North London Waste Authority statement

"The information recently released about the Authority’s procurement process, and plans for its site at Pinkham Way, is the only information we are currently in a position to provide.

"Bidder proposals continue to remain confidential."

(Er, that's it.)

Pinkham Way Alliance statement

"The new that the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) no longer intends to put a mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) waste plant on Pinkham Way, and has withdrawn its planning application, is excellent news.

"Despite this, Pinkham Way remains under threat. The NLWA has now earmarked Pinkham Way for 'delivering, sorting and transferring waste from local households'. As these waste uses have never before been proposed for the site, we can only assume that this is a hasty alternative proposal to justify the premature expenditure of £12million in buying it from Barnet.

"There is still much to be done to prevent the allocation of the Pinkham Way site for any waste use in the new version of the North London Waste Plan (NLWP). If we fail to achieve this, the site will be vulnerable to these new options announced by the NLWA, or, further down the line, even to the same MBT plans that have just been withdrawn.

"Haringey Council must now be persuaded to withdraw Pinkham Way from inclusion in the new North London Waste Plan, and to fully protect its strong conservation status. The council must carry out a full assessment of the site ASAP; until this is complete, they should protect it from all development.

"The NLWA attribute their change of plans to falling waste figures. The PWA has long been pointing out these figures. However, the change must also be because of the recently published planning inspector’s report on Haringey Council’s Strategic Plan, in which the council’s attempt to redesignate the site as 'industrial' was refused.

"This refusal is a significant success for the PWA, which created and presented successful planning arguments to the inspector, and urged the site’s proper protection as a Grade 1 Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).

"To read more detail on all of this, please take look at the latest page on our new website.

"You can also read the press release on the NLWA website.

"Together, we have achieved so much. But this could easily be lost if we don’t press on and ensure that Pinkham Way is not included as a site suitable for waste use in any future NLWP. We’ll send out information about how this can be achieved early in the new year.

"In the meantime, we warmly thank all MPs and councillors who have genuinely supported their communities.  By contrast, do not be lulled by opportunist councillors hastily claiming the NLWA announcement as 'their' victory, while failing to alert the public about the ongoing threat to Pinkham Way, as they have failed to do all along.  This sharply displays their continuing sloppiness and lack of authentic engagement with waste issues in north London.

"You can follow us on Twitter, join the Facebook Group, and make a donation here."

Kind regards,

Bidesh Sarkar
Chair, Pinkham Way Alliance

[Reposted from July 2011] NLWA plans new Edmonton incinerator - and it DOES have a 'Plan B'

The 'North London Waste Authority' Confidential Minutes, below (from an NLWA meeting held at about the time as the 'Pinkham Way exhibitions') include:
"... A further Member queried why the option of building a new Energy from Waste plant at Edmonton had been excluded from further consideration.

"The Procurement Director said that there were a number of considerations, including the likely cost of modelling such an option.

"The substantive issues were that there was no prospect of a good quality combined heat and power solution at Edmonton for all the energy that the Authority’s solution might generate, and it was highly unlikely that a large mass burn incinerator would be deliverable.

The Authority was, however, considering whether a smaller plant could be delivered at Edmonton, potentially associated with half the Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF)."

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Guardian: "We need a coalition of resistance against local council cuts"

"Barnet Blogger Therese Musgrove, with her avatar at [Friern] Barnet Library;
her group campaigned against services cuts."
Link to The Guardian

"As the new year dawns, councillors around the country will start drawing up budgets for 2013-14. Sharp and continuous reductions in government grants totalling 30% will result in severe cuts to balance the books. By law, they have to do this. Town halls can't run deficit budgets, unlike the government."

[Reposted] Waste site near to housing? See the Willesden example

Link to the Ealing Incinerator
(Ealing is the 'Queen of the Suburbs', traditionally)

'Green Alternatives to Incineration in Scotland'

Link to web site

"Waste incineration is fundamentally unsustainable, recovering only a tenth of the energy used to make the products in our rubbish. 

"Burning one tonne of waste represents the emission of up to 6 tonnes of CO2, consisting of:
  • 3 tonnes of 'legacy' CO2 (generated by the manufacture of the items in our rubbish) and 
  • up to a further 3 tonnes from the combustion process itself (1.5 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of wood/paper burnt, 3 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of plastic).
"Recycling recovers 3-8 times more energy than incineration (3x more for paper, 5x more plastic, and 8 times more for textiles) and produces proportionately less CO2 as a result. 

"Over the past 10 years, the Scottish Government has spent over £100 million on incineration in Scotland (either directly or via local authorities), but less than £2 million on improving Scotland's recycling infrastructure, i.e. facilities for reprocessing materials such as plastic and paper for manufacture into new items. This is incredibly wasteful.

"Friends of the Earth have calculated that recycing generates 36 times more jobs than incineration on a pound-for-pound basis). Despite this, all four of the main political parties in Scotland support waste incineration. Under European law incineration includes gasification and pyrolysis.

If we really want to save the global environment, we really have to stop producing so much waste in the first place. That means doing things like banning single-use carrier bags, and forcing manufacturers to redesign their products so they can be easily reused and recycled with minimal energy consumption or CO2 emissions. These are things that only the Government can do, but the Government is doing very little about it.

Campaign background
" 'Green Alternatives to Incineration in Scotland' (GAINS) emerged from a gathering of Scottish incinerator protest groups at the Scottish Parliament on 1 October 2009.

"Our purpose is to enable fellow campaigners to share information and inspire the 'Powers that Be' to turn away from the lazy approach of burning waste, and instead adopt forward-thinking and imaginative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste."
Zero Waste
"We reject the Scottish Government's view that waste incineration is a renewable source of energy,  compatible with the aim of achieving a zero waste society. [See the web site of] the Zero Waste International Alliance."

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Evening Standard: 26 Photographs of the Year

Click for the other 25.

# The Folk in Friern Barnet #

Link to song (click near top of screen)

"Dedicated to the folk running Friern Barnet People's Library, who occupied the building after the council tried to sell off the treasured community resource for short term financial gain. For more info go to:"

Friday, 28 December 2012

PLASTICIZED ~ Feature Documentary Film

Daily Telegraph: "Up to a fifth of recycling is 'contaminated'"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"The Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) admit that the amount of 'contaminated' rubbish has gone up by around 40 per cent in the last five years.

"The latest figures from the 'Waste Data Flow' show the amount of recycling sent to landfill or incinerators went up almost 50,000 tons between 2007/08 and 2011/12 to 180,000 tonnes."

Link to web site

"Wandsworth in recycling contamination clampdown"

"Wandsworth council is calling on its residents to be more vigilant when recycling after finding that 17% of materials put out for collection are contaminants.

"And the council said that if the problem continues some areas could have their recycling bins removed as a result.

"... Shaun Morley, head of waste management at Wandsworth, told
“We are not really sure why the contamination is high. As you know it is a new materials recycling facility (MRF) and the regime for sampling is fairly stringent. It is possibly more stringent than some of the other MRFs around the country. As it is new maybe they are being more careful and more selective about the waste."
"Mr Morley added that one reason for the contamination could be because residents living in high-rise buildings have their recycling collected in a communal bin meaning it is difficult to stop people putting bags of residual waste in them. The level of contamination for these bins is even higher than 17%, at almost 25%."

Thursday, 27 December 2012

If 'Nu-Barnet' (c) ran Christmas...

'A visit to Father Christmas'
Link to 'Flip Chart Fairy Tales'

... Little Johnny: "Actually, I asked you for a Chelsea strip last year but I never got it."

Santa: "Hmmm. I’ll look into it. It could just be a simple process error. On the other hand, it could be that your address isn’t on the service specification." ...

Saturday, 22 December 2012

'The Independent': Overpackaging: An alternative

"It sells everything you could ever need for a great meal.
There's only one catch – 
it won't give you anything to take it all home in."
Link to The Independent

"If you ever find yourself eyeing the kitchen bin guiltily, with its vast mound of plastic packets, cardboard containers and wrappers, you might be interested to know there's a whole movement that aims to go one better than even recycling: 'precycling', or cutting out packaging in the first place.

"Among those at the forefront of this consumer revolution is Unpackaged, a first-of-its-kind shop that eschews all packaging and invites customers to bring in their own containers and Tupperware to stock up on essentials such as flour, cereals, nuts, pasta, rice, lentils and so on. Bring bottles for oils, apple juice, wine and even gin. Simply weigh your container when you arrive so it can be deducted from the overall weight and then get filling. 

"Not only will you save money but by foregoing packaging you'll reduce the amount of material waste being either sent to landfills or incinerated."

Why Packaging?
"It’s hard to visit a landfill site without being struck by the craziness of taking very valuable minerals and resources out of the ground, using a lot of energy, turning them into short-life products and then just dumping them back into the ground. It’s an absolutely monumental waste of energy and resources. As someone from the fashion industry might say, its just so last century."
(Michael Pawlyn, The Guardian, November 21 2005)

The Problem with Packaging
Whilst some packaging is necessary in our modern industrialised food chain, unnecessary packaging is a waste:  
  • Cost: It increases the price of the goods you buy. You are charged twice – first when you buy overpackaged products and then through council tax for disposing of your rubbish.
  • Waste: It wastes resources at every level: production, storage, transport and disposal.
  • Pollution: Landfill and incineration are the two main ways of dealing with un-recyclable packaging waste. These are major pollutants for people and the environment as they release greenhouse gases.
"What about recycling? While some packaging is recycled, most ends up in landfill sites and some packaging is difficult and impossible to recycle. Recycling is certainly part of the solution, but it will only work if we use less packaging and adopt more ‘reusable’ ways of doing things – Unpackaged is based on this ethos. Remember:
  • Reduce by only buying what you need
  • Reuse by bringing your containers for a refill
  • Recycle what you can’t reuse.
"And… if you can’t reuse or recycle it, then don’t buy it!"

David Burrowes MP: Christmas present

"This is excellent news for all the tireless campaigners, who have made it clear that the Pinkham Way site was totally inappropriate for such a large-scale development.

"The withdrawal of the application is a great Christmas present for local residents. It means that the North Circular area can continue to regenerate without the blight of the waste management site on our doorstep."

David Burrowes MP
PPS to Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP Secretary of State for DEFRA

Enfield Bowes Labour: Great victory

No MBT plant at Pinkham Way

"North London Waste Authority just announced that they are withdrawing plans for a Mechanical Biological Treatment plant at Pinkham Way.

"Your Bowes Labour Councillors, together with local residents, have been fighting NLWA’s plans for years. This is a great victory for our ward."

Your councillors: Achilleas Georgiou, Yasemin Brett and Alan Sitkin

Cllr Alan Sitkin writes:
"This is a great day for Bowes ward, London Borough of Enfield, as well as our many friends in other wards neighbouring Pinkham Way. Many many local residents and action groups have been working flat out for years to achieve this result, and it has been an honour for Bowes Labour councillors Georgiou, Brett and myself to be part of this popular effort.

"None of us are NIMBYs, and we all recognise that the good society is one that takes responsibility for waste and manages its ecologically. But as Bowes Labour has always stated loudly and clearly, Pinkham Way was always the wrong place for a waste treatment plant:
  • from an environmental perspective, it is in the middle of a densely inhabited zone; would overload an already congested road network; and would further damage local air quality (this being the particular argument that Bowes Labour stressed at the NLWP hearings in Camden), and
  • from a social justice perspective, it is deeply unfair for the citizens in or near Enfield - such as our friends and neighbours in Edmonton - to continue to be saddled with the nuisance of a huge waste treatment plant, even as the NLWA's other member boroughs get off free. Hence the argument we formulated early on that the NLWA's original site selection process was flawed, especially given how Barnet was able to make money selling a site, while shoving waste on to Pinkham Way, meaning Haringey and Enfield.
"We received a lot of stick from Enfield's Tories for this position, largely because it reveals their old administration's complicity in the original choice of Pinkham Way as a site - something that Tory political hacks were always quick to gloss over.

"We also came under pressure because, even as we always opposed Pinkham Way, we found it wrong to continue burdening Edmonton's more deprived neighbourhoods with further waste volumes - a deep social injustice that Enfield's Tories found perfectly acceptable. Pinkham Way was not only an ecological battle - it was a moral one as well.

"To repeat, we are not NIMBYs, and we sincerely recognise the need for all of us to pay much closer attention that we have in the past to why waste is accumulating at such an alarming rate, and how unfair it is for some people to live near dumps filled with waste generated by other people.

"We will continue to fight this battle. We do this in part through our ongoing efforts to:
  • increase possibilities for recycling (with collection rates shooting up in Enfield in the two years since Labour took over)
  • pressure food manufacturers to right-size packaging and take greater responsibility for items' end-of-life disposal, and
  • promote market gardening and other more local agribusiness regeneration initiatives, that will not only reduce our collective food miles but also generate local jobs.
"The battle carries on, and we have many more challenges to face. But today was a great, great day for Bowes ward, our neighbours and friends, and everyone who has selflessly fought to achieve this result.

"By working together and avoiding stupid political divisiveness, we will have many more such days in the future. And we will make our corner of North London clean, human and sustainable. For all of us."
Cllr Alan Sitkin (Lab)
Bowes ward
Chair, Sustainability scrutiny panel, London Borough of Enfield

Friday, 21 December 2012

Haringey LibDems: "Campaigners rejoice as Pinkham Way application canned"

"Plans to build a waste plant at Pinkham Way have been withdrawn, after a long fought campaign by local residents. The North London Waste Authority, which had submitted the application for a waste plant at the site, has now backed down and formally withdrawn its application. [What about Barnet's dust-cart depot, on the same site?]

"The Pinkham Way plant, which would have been built close to local schools and homes, has been resolutely opposed by the Liberal Democrats and local campaigners. Over 1,000 people have signed a Liberal Democrat petition calling for the application to be withdrawn.

"Two Labour councillors, Nilgun Canver, Environment Cabinet Member and George Meehan, former Leader of the Council are board members of the NLWA, which had been determined to build the treatment plant at Pinkham Way.

"Alexandra councillor and Liberal Democrat lead on this issue, Juliet Solomon, says:

“This is wonderful news, and really shows what people power can do. I’d like to say a big thank you to the sterling work of our supporters and the Pinkham Way Alliance, and the tireless opposition which they have shown to this cause.”
Lynne Featherstone MP, Liberal Democrat for Hornsey and Wood Green comments:
“This site was thoroughly unsuitable from the very beginning, and the way in which Haringey Labour nodded the plans through and ultimately wasted taxpayers’ money was utterly disgraceful.

“The cancellation of the Pinkham Way development will be the best possible Christmas present for thousands of residents in Bounds Green, Alexandra and across Haringey.”

NLWA reacts to new PWA web site by announcing abandonment of Pinkham Way Biological & Mechanical Treatment Plant! (Well, there COULD be a connection)

"The North London Waste Authority has received notification from Veolia Environmental Services that they will not be submitting final tenders for either NLWA’s waste services or fuel use contracts.

"Veolia had been shortlisted for both contracts and, in withdrawing, Veolia has confirmed that the decision has no bearing on the quality and integrity of the projects. NLWA is now to pursue dialogue on final tenders with only FCC/Skanska for its waste services contract, which is to provide sustainable waste disposal services for north London in the long term, and with only E.On/Wheelabrator for its fuel use contract, it was announced today (21 December).

"NLWA is now following published Government guidance on managing a premature ending of a competitive process. This guidance makes clear that NLWA should consider the strength and quality of the remaining bid for each contract, consider the extent to which the competition up to that stage has been effective, and consider whether value for money can be demonstrated with only one bidder for each contract.

"NLWA is now at quite an advanced stage of a procurement process for a new waste services contract. The waste flow model tonnage projections have been updated at key stages of the procurement process using the latest available audited data to account for recent waste trends. While new mechanical and biological waste treatment (MBT) facilities at both its Pinkham Way and Edmonton sites had originally been proposed, it now seems likely that plans for MBT facilities will be taken forward at only one site. Subject to a successful planning application for new facilities at Edmonton, it is likely that plans for MBT facilities at Pinkham Way will not need to be taken forward, but this will become clearer in due course.

"NLWA has therefore announced plans to withdraw its outstanding outline planning application for a Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plant at the Pinkham Way site.

"The Pinkham Way site remains relevant to NLWA’s service requirements in terms of a delivery, sorting and transfer point for recyclable material and other waste that is collected from local households. Details relating to the future use of the site will depend on the letting of NLWA’s waste services contract and will, at the appropriate time, be subject to local consultation and planning processes.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Chair of North London Waste Authority, said:

“Although it is disappointing that we will not receive competitive bids, we will now work with remaining bidders and undertake work ourselves to ensure that we are still able to deliver long term, sustainable services that are the best possible in both quality and cost terms, and that value for money is delivered for tax-payers.

“I hope today’s announcement on the future use of the Pinkham Way site will provide some further clarity and certainty for local people. They now know that, subject to a successful planning application at the existing Edmonton site, there should be no residual waste treatment at Pinkham Way.”

"I say - isn't that Potters Bar?" (A Future On Rail [1957])

"An optimistic recruiting film encouraging school leavers to consider a career with British Railways. Unfortunately many who joined faced an uncertain future four years later when Dr Beeching announced job cuts."

PWA launches new web site

The 'Pinkham Way Alliance'
has a new web site

(Don't worry - we're staying pink.)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Bedford Times & Citizen: "Covanta: 'This is a scandalous decision'"

Link to web site

"Two councils have united to condemn news that the Covanta incinerator for Stewartby has been given the green light by the government.

"The Covanta proposal is for a 585,000 tonne per annum waste-to-energy and material recovery facility at Rookery Pit, Stewartby.

"It would burn rubbish from other counties’ authorities at the site [including possibly north London?] and has been opposed by residents and local MPs alike.

"Both Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council objected to the proposal from the outset. The decision made by the Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC) was to allow the development. However, because the development consent order involved the compulsory purchase of land owned by the councils it was subject to special parliamentary procedure." 

Link to MRW web site
MRW: "Covanta incinerator gets committee support"

"Plans for an incinerator in Bedfordshire have moved a step closer after a parliamentary committee supported the project and rejected petitions from local councils and other campaigners.

"... Covanta Energy’s UK managing director Malcolm Chilton said:
"I am very pleased that the Joint Committee has supported the project, finding that there is no case to answer in respect of the two councils’ petitions of general objection and the amending petition by WRG.

I believe that the Rookery South RRF is a good project that will make an important contribution to meeting the urgent need for new, low-carbon electricity generating capacity in this country and help deliver more sustainable waste management."

The site is south of Bedford,
between the Thameslink main railway line
and a branch line to Bletchley

New Southgate: Curators discover first recordings of Christmas Day

Link to BBC site and iPlayer

"Curators at the Museum of London have discovered what they believe to be the first ever recordings of a family Christmas.

"They were made 110 years ago by the Wall family who lived in New Southgate in North London. 

"There are 24 clear recordings on wax cylinders which were made using a phonograph machine between 1902 and 1917.

"Music curators say the sound quality of the music recorded is outstanding."

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Guardian: "Eric Pickles recommends 50 money-saving tips to councils"

Link to web site

"The government has outlined 'sensible savings' ideas for councils from opening a coffee shop in the local library to cancelling "glitzy" award ceremonies.

"The 50 tips for town halls from Whitehall also include sharing back-office services, bringing in hot-desking to free up office space to rent out, tackling fraud and clawing back money from benefits cheats.

"The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is urging councils to scrap the post of chief executive to save money, to end councillor pensions and introduce a recruitment freeze."

TurkeyGate: "£50 million bill as UK pours 15 million cups of turkey fat down the sink"

Link to Evening Standard

"Britons will pour 15 million cups of roast turkey fat down the kitchen sink on Christmas Day, enough to nearly fill an Olympic swimming pool, contributing to our £50 million bill for clearing sewer pipes.

"Research from the University of Portsmouth has shown how fat transforms into a hard soapy material when poured into the sewers, creating major problems for water companies."

"What Barnet's judicial review tells us about the future of outsourcing"

Link to The Guardian

"It's no surprise that the application for a judicial review placed by Barnet residents, challenging the council's decision to approve a major outsourcing contract, has generated headlines.

"... We are seeing a legal challenge by the electorate to an elected council's decision to undertake something, which it is argued, it had no specific mandate to do.

"... The court will have to be satisfied that Barnet council was under a duty to consult. Even if a decision-maker is not required by statute to consult, it may be an essential element of "fair process" to do so."

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Barnet Times: "Eviction order granted by Barnet County Court, but Friern Barnet Library squatters could seek reprieve"

Link to web site

"Squatters will be evicted from Friern Barnet Library at the end of January, if they fail to reach a licence agreement with Barnet Council.

"Circuit Judge Patricia Pearl sitting at Barnet County Court this afternoon granted a possession order to the local authority for the removal of the group, which has occupied the building since September 5.

"But Barnet Council has agreed not to enforce the order for six weeks while it discusses the possibility of issuing a licence to the squatters to officially run the building."

Save Friern Barnet Library Group: Up in Court: 12 Angry Bloggers

Link to web site

Court case update
17th Dec.

Thanks to everyone who tweeted messages of support using hashtag #SaveFBL. Please keep it up!
Follow updates on Twitter: @SaveFriernBtLib and @OccupiedLibrary

"It was not clear for a long time whether the good humoured judge, who made every effort to accommodate the needs of the public to understand the proceedings, would allow an amended defence to go ahead (i.e. the arguments, or pleadings by Leigh Day now acting for the defendants Keith Martin, Peter Phoenix, Daniel and Petra).

"The Judge then asked about the defence (their skeletal central arguments). Our side, represented brilliantly by SS (Sarah Sackman) quickly conceded that she was not contesting the issue of title. That left two main issues: Articles 10 & 11 of the European Human Rights Directive, regarding Freedom of Protest and Freedom of Assembly and implied licence - i.e. whether Barnet Council (LBB) - in holding talks with the Occupiers – had granted them some right to remain."


Monday, 17 December 2012

The Guardian: "Jeremy Irons talks trash for his new environmental documentary"

Link to web site and video

"Jeremy Irons, the Oscar-winning actor, has teamed up with the British filmmaker Candida Brady to produce a new feature-length documentary called Trashed. It sets out to "discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution".

"Ahead of its first theatrical screenings in the US later this month, Irons answered my questions about the film via email...
... [Question] "The film talks about that much-used term - 'zero waste'. How close can we ever realistically get to that goal? What's more important to tackle at present: reducing our waste stream, or adopting more sensible ways to manage/dispose of our waste?"

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tue 18 Dec: "Help shape the future of Recycling Communications in London!" (No longer to be inadequate, underfunded and directionless?)

"Help shape the future of Recycling Communications in London!"

"In 2013, the North London Waste Authority will be launching an awareness campaign, to encourage people across the region to recycle more of their rubbish.

"As you can imagine, we want to get it right! [Yes, we can imagine.]

"On Tuesday, 18th December 2012, we will be testing the campaign, and are looking for volunteers who have an hour or so free to take part.
  • You need to be a resident in Barnet, Haringey, Hackney, Enfield, Camden, Islington or Waltham Forest.
  • You should be able to get to Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, WC1H 8NJ near Kings Cross St Pancras Station, and be available between 11.00am and 1.00pm.
  • You must be over 18 years old.
"Market testing involves being shown various types and designs of advertisements, messages and layouts and you then providing your opinion on what you are shown. That’s it!

"It’s interesting, lively….plus, as a thank you for taking part, we’ll give you a £15 voucher to spend with Green Rewards – a company that has over 1,000 eco-goods for you and the home.

"If you are interested in taking part, please send an email by 5.00pm on Monday 17th December to Stephen Bates at EnviroComms: You can also call him on 07970 717041."

Kind regards (No, kind regards to YOU.)

North London Waste Authority

Barnet Press: "Greens' leader backs library's occupation"

Link to Barnet Press

"THE leader of the Green Party visited Friern Barnet Library this week, to lend her support to the community activists occupying the building.

"Natalie Bennett joined a meeting at the library in Friern Barnet Road on Monday [and] said that the library, which was shut to the public in April and reopened by squatters in September, was a 'symbol of resistance'."

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Thu 20 Dec: Muswell Hill Sustainability Group:

"Don’t miss our talk and social on Thursday 20th December at 7.00pm, at the Royal British Legion Hall on Muswell Hill Road N10 3NG. We’re lucky enough to have Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy from UCL to talk on:

Economic Growth and the Environment

"Prof Ekins is a leading green academic who has advised the Government on many issues relating to energy policy, green taxes and the natural environment. He was also a co-Founder of Forum for the Future along with Sara Parkin and Jonathan Porritt, and is Chair of the Ashden Awards judging panel.

"There’ll also be lots of festive food and drink. All are welcome, so do come along (and if you can bring some food even better!)" 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Stopping a waste plant - in Ealing (putting objections to a local authority)

From Triangle Island Residents Association:

Q1 – Ealing Council participated in the draft 'West London Waste Plan' which assessed 116 potential sites for waste treatment and shortlisted 24. Given that the site chosen by Clean Power did not make the shortlist, on what technical grounds does Ealing Council now think the chosen site is suitable for development?

Q2 – Given that the Health Protection Agency has yet to publish its research into the effects of incinerators on communities, have Ealing Councillors been supplied with independent, long term studies into the impacts of pyrolysis (incinerator) plants on residential communities as part of Clean Power’s submission?

Q3 - Has Clean Power given council officers or councillors a detailed plan of how it will commission the anaerobic digestion units in the site as well as train personnel to minimise safety risks, given that there have been fatalities from explosions at poorly commissioned AD plants in the UK and Europe?

Q4 - What evidence is there that Councillor Atallah Said has reviewed documents, attended meetings or corresponded with council officers relating to this proposed development and on what basis could his role to date satisfy requirements for an East Acton councillor to give due consideration to a developer’s application? 

Q5 – Given that North Acton & Harlesden residents have regularly been troubled for years by odours from ancillary activities at the nearby Powerday waste processing site – waste-carrying vehicles causing vibration in homes in or near Old Oak Lane, odours from such vehicles not being adequately cleaned before leaving the site and odours from site buildings’ doors being left open – what written and auditable plans does Clean Power have in place to address and resolve odour management issues that can be expected from the site traffic / ancillary activities associated with its planned waste processing?

Q6 - The Localism Act 2011 creates an obligation for developers to “publicise the proposed application in such a manner as the person reasonably considers is likely to bring the proposed application to the attention of a majority of the persons who live at or otherwise occupy, premises in the vicinity”. Since Clean Power’s own site emissions modelling shows that as well as North Acton residents, people in Harley Road, Harlesden less than 300m away, could be affected, on what basis has Clean Power’s consultation met the act’s requirements?

Q7 – The London Plan’s Objective 4 is to: “Improve the public realm and connect green spaces and other areas, providing a clean, safe and well-managed environment with high quality buildings and design.” On what grounds does Clean Power’s development meet this objective, given its own environmental assessment (EIA) anticipates PM10 / NO2 pollution, odour, noise and vibration hazards from its development?

Q8 – How will Ealing & the Environment Agency guarantee to prevent odours and pollution hazards from Clean Power’s development, given that the agency has demonstrably failed to control these issues at the nearby Powerday site since it opened in 2005?

Q9 - Clean Power representatives did a door-to-door survey of local residents in October/November to attempt to gain some support for the development – or possibly  “energy recovery” in principle.  On what basis does this exercise fit into the required consultation process as described in the Statement of Community Involvement (required by the Localism Act) and when are the survey results to be put in the public domain?

Q10 – Can Clean Power or the councillors provide the details - subject to required privacy constraints - of any North Acton resident that is in favour of this specific development?

Q11 – Are Ealing councillors aware that the Clean Power Plant will be only 400-500 metres from the existing Powerday waste processing site which will mean odour issues for North Acton people from both directions?

Q12 – Have Ealing council officers met Clean Power company directors at any point in the application?

Q13 - Since Clean Power is an offshore company, assembled to develop this and other sites, whose directors it is understood have not met local residents, what reassurance can councillors give that company directors’ development and management of the site will act in local people and the local environment’s best interests?

Q14 – The London Plan’s OAPF addendum states that “The wharf at [Powerday] allows materials to be transported by water as well as by road and rail.” Given that Powerday has never used the wharf for material transfer by water, and that waste material will go into Clean Power’s site entirely by road, on what basis do councillors think this situation will not cause odour and environmental hazards for residents along access routes in North Acton and Brent?

Q15 - As the Channel Gate Road off the A4000 Old Oak Lane is the only access road to the Freightliner site and it already carries additional HGV traffic - because the Mitre Bridge serving Scrubs Lane hasn’t been upgraded - on what grounds does the Council think it is acceptable for Clean Power’s supply vehicles to be allowed to access this road on a 24/7 basis? 

Q16 – TITRA learned in November that the Tarmac company that uses the Freightliner site was unaware of the details of Clean Power’s application. On what grounds do councilors think there has been adequate consultation of the Freightliner site’s users and tenant companies?

Q17 - Since TITRA has been unable to determine definitively the number of vehicles movements (even using FOI requests) to and from the Freightliner site over a 24-hour period, on what basis does can Clean Power claim in its application that overall vehicle movements will decrease?

Q18 – How can Clean Power’s claim of reduced traffic from operations be credible when TITRA has learned since its original objections submitted in November that the Freightliner site will attract additional traffic from developments such as DB Schenker’s own planning application and potentially from the High Speed 2 project’s interest in securing the clear for tunnelling waste removal operations?

Q19 - Given that Clean Power cannot provide credible estimates of site traffic, and since TITRA residents have been troubled for years by other companies’ vehicles already accessing the Freightliner site, on what grounds does the council think the Clean Power site operations will not cause a continual environmental and noise nuisance to residents, or operate with acceptable environmental standards?

Q20 – By what means did Ealing communicate and consult with Brent Council over the Clean Power application and in what ways does it meet the requirements of the Localism Act requiring co-operation between neighbouring local authorities?

Q21 – Given that Harlesden town centre will soon be converted to “shared space” zones for vehicles and pedestrians, on what basis do councillors think that adopting Clean Power’s proposal and allowing waste lorries to travel through Harlesden would not cause additional safety hazards to the town’s residents and not be considered a failure of consultation over developments between the two boroughs under the Localism Act?

Q22 - Given that the North London Waste Plan is now being revised to make it compliant with the Localism Act and Ealing’s West London Waste Plan partners intend to do the same, does Ealing Council now consider that it will be logical and better - for all Ealing residents - to resume this strategic option for treating the borough’s waste, rather than step outside it by adopting the non WLWP-compliant Clean Power development?

Q23 – At a meeting with residents in June, Clean Power representatives said that, to assist environmental monitoring of its planned site emissions, Ealing Council was ‘seeking funding for the first three years of the plant’s operation.’  Does the council agree that it is acceptable that:

a)    the taxpaper could end up funding the regulation of a potentially hazardous industrial site, run by a company retaining its profits offshore?
b)    at a preliminary stage in an application, the developer is could be attempting to offload aspects of its legal and operational responsibilities to Ealing Council, which is planning to make £85 million in overall budgetary savings by 2015?
Q24 – Given the high proportion of gas produced by anaerobic digestion processes, the high resulting proportion of recyclate for disposal, and the long term – and as yet, incompletely assessed – pollution risks to local residents, does the council think that allowing this plant is the most intelligent approach to avoiding landfill use in the borough?

Q25 - The UK government is to tighten the rules on offshore companies using locations such as the Isle of Man to avoid paying tax. Do councilors consider that Clean Power will be able to successfully complete the development of the site without asking for public funding from Ealing Council, given the resulting reduction in revenues that these future changes will most likely bring about?

Let's Recycle: "Work to start on new North London Waste Plan"

Link to Let's Recycle

"Work to develop a new North London Waste Plan has been scheduled to start in early 2013, after the plan was formally withdrawn for not meeting its legal requirements.

"... Despite the ruling, the procurement process for the North London Waste Authority’s PFI contracts to provide waste facilities and services from 2014 are not expected to be affected, although it is thought that the delay could cause problems for the locations of some of the sites, as the plan included designated sites for waste facilities.

"Plans for one of the designated sites, Pinkham Way in Haringey, have attracted strong opposition from local residents. The planning application for the site is currently on hold until the NWLP is completed."