Incinerator protestors “forced” to leave meeting

Protestors against the Croydon incinerator. Pic: EastLondonLines

Protestors against the Croydon incinerator. Pic: EastLondonLines

Protestors against the building of an incinerator in Croydon found themselves removed from a South London Waste Partnership committee meeting which they described as “unsatisfactory”.

Following the leak of documents, which showed prospects of bigger and noisier incinerators being built in Sutton, Stop the Incinerator campaigners gathered at the SLWP meeting for a ‘peaceful demo’.

Of the 25 minutes the public was allowed at the meeting, councillors allowed 10 minutes of questions.

Residents were then “forced” to leave so that members of Merton, Sutton, Kingston and Croydon councils could discuss the documents in a closed session.

David Pettener, a protester against incinerators, was allowed to ask questions.

However when he touched on the subject of the leaked documents, Chair Councillor Judy Saunders said that the committee would not be commenting on issues that were not on the official agenda.

“How can I not have my questions answered in a public meeting?” he said. “The bulk of this meeting is being held behind closed doors. These people are supposed to be public officers and we are not being allowed to hold them to account”, he added.

The leaked SLWP reports indicate that contractor Viridor found the planning permission given to them by Sutton Council too restrictive in terms of size and hours of operation.

Stuart Collins, Labour councillor for central Croydon’s Broad Green ward, urged the SLWP to have an alternative plan to the proposed Viridor facility, which is to be built in Beddington, near Croydon town centre.

However, Collins’ call did not receive support from councillors from the other boroughs.

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