The Labor Group is watering down a Conservative-led motion calling for plans for the Edmonton incinerator to be reconsidered, says James Cracknell
City councils have turned down a request that Enfield Council ask the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) to “pause and review” the construction of a new, larger incinerator in Edmonton.
Throughout the council meeting last night at Enfield Civic Center, an urgency motion tabled by the opposition Conservatives was changed by the Labor Administration to instead ask the council to write to the NLWA for its “response to calls for a ‘pause and.” Verification ‘”to ask. .
The amended proposal was rejected by the Conservatives and the Community First group of independent Green and Liberal councilors, but was accepted with Labor votes.
This was followed by a protest outside the civic center prior to the meeting, during which activists held up banners urging Spanish company Acciona, the only bidder to build the new incinerator at Edmonton Eco Park, to withdraw from the program. In an earlier protest in September, hundreds of activists marched along the northern district.
At the recent COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Acciona’s CEO José Manuel entrecanales was asked about the incinerator at a panel event and said: “The massive oversizing of the system is something that we cannot influence”.
The motion agreed by Enfield City Councils last night included a request written by the council to the NLWA “to take into account Mr. Entrecanales’ comments” and “to reassure residents about the size of the proposed facility”.
Lindsay Rawlings, the Conservative councilor who made the original movement Watered down by Labor, said: “I am extremely angry – and I am sure Edmonton residents will feel the same way – that this is not being looked at again.
“I’m absolutely mad at them [original] Movement did not go through. I will write to him [Entrecanales] to ask him to withdraw. “
Cllr Rawlings had previously warned that the incinerator “would end up as a white elephant – and a very expensive one,” because she said it was much larger than would be needed for the seven north London boroughs that would use it. She added, “As it will be in our district, we feel obliged to speak to the other districts about our concerns.”
Her comments were taken up by Conservative Group leader Joanne Laban, who said: “The decision was made many years ago and during that time climate change concerns have been on the agenda while costs have skyrocketed.
“We need to pause this scheme and see that it’s the right size. Even the manager of the company that applied to build it said it was too big. It is not our place to check it – our needs have changed. “
Community First Parish Council Derek Levy highlighted health concerns related to the incineration, saying the decision to pause and inspect the incinerator cannot be made by Enfield Council alone to “free councilors,” to express oneself.
Vice-President Ian Barnes hit back, accusing Cllr Levy of “intimidation” and claiming there was “no evidence” of the harm caused to human health from the burn. Cllr Barnes also noted that Enfield motor vehicle emissions are significantly higher than incineration, saying, “If you ask residents to drive less, you will be yelled at [like incineration]but we will never agree to increase landfill. “
Cllr Levy later replied, citing a scientist who had linked burns to poor health, saying, “I know this is only one, but there are many more.”
Another major argument from activists is that building a larger incinerator goes against the goal of increasing recycling rates. However, Cllr Barnes claimed that the new incinerator “can operate at lower levels” and “does not need to import waste from other counties”.
In response to complaints that the cost of the project had increased from £ 650 million when the incinerator was first proposed to £ 1.2 billion, Cllr Barnes said the total bill now includes the cost of a new recycling facility at Edmonton Eco Park .
However, Green Councilor Anne Brown said she believed that attempting to expand incineration “would take resources away from developing alternative waste disposal methods” and claimed the incinerator posed “a significant health risk.”
Another workers council defending the council’s position was Ergin Erbil, who said he could see the incinerator from his bedroom window. Edmonton Green City Council accused Conservatives of “selective eco-warriors” who opposed measures to reduce car pollution in Enfield, while “cherry picking” other environmental concerns in support of other environmental concerns.
At the end of the debate, the amended proposal was adopted. It called on the NLWA to “take into account” the comments made by the Acciona Board of Directors, respond to the break and review request, “continue to review costs,” and “encourage the NLWA to redouble their efforts to educate residents about the benefits of the To clarify recycling “.