Last Monday myself and another comrade decided to get up off our armchairs and go and check out the local ware town council public meeting held to discuss the latest Hertfordshire waste management plans.
We turned up not thinking many would turn up on a chilly Monday evening to a usually dull council meeting. How wrong was I? There was possibly 200 to 300 there with more queuing out of the door. If people think people don’t care about what happens anymore they are so wrong.
Biffa the company who plans to build an incinerator just outside of our town faces strong opposition. After attending the meetings and protests over the planned incinerator in Hatfield last year this one in Ware not so far away seems equally as angry.
The meeting started with one of the councillors Tory dominated by the way with a report back from Hertfordshire county council on their latest updates. As it stands Biffa has planning permission till 2017 but at present haven’t submitted plans to start building anything.
This did not stop the local residents voicing their frustration and anger at said councillors. There were lots of good points. One was from a local teacher at a school not far from where the incinerator is planned for telling the councillors that this plan will damage the area and harm our children and their health. It is not right for Ware and it’s not right for anywhere.
Lots of people got up to raise similar points in opposition to the plans with many of the comments being targeted at the councillors at the front who seemed keen to not stay for longer than they had to.
My comrade then got up to speak and made the excellent points referring back to the earlier comments on the increase of rodent activity in the area if this goes through saying that the biggest rodent that needs to be driven out of this town is Biffa. Going on to say that Biffa are only interested in making a profit from this, not waste management or the environment they only have one thing in mind and that is increasing their profits.
My comrade at the meeting also raised the excellent point that waste management used to be controlled and run all in house by the councils in the local area. This is no longer the case and is out sourced to a private firm not interested in the town or the people living there only getting the cheapest deal for the plot of land and the maximum amount of profit for dealing with the waste.
It is true we have a waste problem in Hertfordshire and across the country but burning it into the already polluted atmosphere for profit is not the answer. Greater emphasis on recycling and greener ideas is what needed not is purely going for the cheapest and most polluting option to get the matter done and off their hands.
My comrade also did a bit of ad hock democracy by asking all in the room to put up their hands if they are against Biffa and the incinerator the whole rooms hands went up all apart from the councillors at the front who felt a bit taken a back and were not prepared to have the meeting show such opposition like that. At that point they felt they were loosing control of the meeting so quickly hurried on to ask if there were any further serious points which angered people even more.
Many people in the meeting felt like the local councillors do not represent our views and have failed to stand up for us. Many hostile comments were thrown at them including how much are you getting in expenses for being here tonight.
One councillor I believe to be a Lib Dem found this too much to take and shouted back NOT A SINGLE PENNY! Clearly we’d touched a nerve.
But the failure of the councillors to firmly oppose this plan by Biffa claiming their hands are tied and its county who decide anyway is a big cop out in my eyes and shows a lack of fight and determination to represent the people who elected them.
I suggested as we were walking out that if a candidate proposing to oppose the whole thing in Ware and elsewhere saying no to all incinerators and burning of waste following that meeting they’d gain a big echo I reckon. Standing against these Tories who cant stand up for those who elected them would really put it up them I think.
Personally waste is a big issue but making money out of it and also with it possibly leading to environmental issues and health issues is not something I’d support and will be continuing to monitor this project and be opposing it all the way not just in Ware but anywhere as it is wrong full stop.