19th July 2016  - Deputy Leader of County Council misleading the press - and meeting TODAY

Pleased about what? 

If you click here http://bit.ly/2a35c3k, you will find a grinning Deputy Leader of the County Council posing with a spade at Javelin Park. 

Yes, Mr Theodoulou seems to be very happy about the first bits of work (perimeter fencing etc) taking place at the site. He seems to state that the incinerator will be "treating Gloucestershire’s rubbish that can’t be recycled in a clean and efficient way".  In fact it won't be "treating" it at all but simply burning it - and will actually require recyclables such as paper and plastic to keep it hot enough. 

As we know - and so does he, since like all the County Councillors he received the proceedings of the Talking Rubbish seminar [1] - it is simply untrue that the incinerator will be taking waste "that can't be recycled". In fact over 90% of our black bag waste is recyclable or recoverable in some way (the R4C plant is designed precisely for that).  From the same proceedings he will also know that incineration is heading for overcapacity across Europe (too many incinerators, not enough waste). And as for savings for the council, even with the millions already spent on the contract which we still haven't seen, even if some kind of compensation clause takes effect, it will still be cheaper to cancel and use the recycling plant instead.

Why then is Mr Theodoulou rejoicing so? Is there a reason the County Council has repeatedly refused to show even most of its own Councillors the full contract, ignoring the Information Commissioner's order to disclose and instead using taxpayers' money to appeal it in court [2]? What, we wonder, does Mr Theodoulou have to gain [3]?

UBB - a polite steamroller...

If you click here http://bit.ly/2ao55Nt, you will find the reply we received to the letter [4] we sent a couple of weeks ago. If you also wrote, you will probably have received something similar. Clearly UBB has no intention of diverting from its course at present.  We believe this will change when the R4C plant is built, which is looking increasingly likely. [5]

Meantime, although there is no reason why the public should adhere to the channels of communication suggested by UBB or anyone else - indeed we reserve the right to peaceful protest at any time - we also note that we are invited to attend "Community Liaison Group" meetings (minutes of last meeting below) [6].  

Meeting TODAY

We have just learned that the next meeting of this group is this evening Tuesday 19th July at Hardwicke Village Hall - details below [7] - and wouldn't it be interesting if that meeting was rather well attended?  I shall certainly be there, and warmly invite as many of you to join me as are free and inclined to do so at such short notice... at the very least, we can challenge the messaging going out to the local press.



[1] All the presentations from the seminar (full transcripts of which were sent to councillors by Community R4C) can be seen here http://communityr4c.com/videos/

[2] The Freedom of Information tribunal hearing (Gloucestershire County Council vs the Information Commissioner) will take place in London on September 27th-30th inclusive. Exact details will be provided nearer the time so that those wishing to attend may do so.

[3] Ray Theodoulou (along with Stan Waddington and Mark Hawthorne) is one of the main architects of the incinerator project... and although he gets very cross about it, and seems not to have been convicted of anything so far, Theodoulou has been suspected of dodgy dealings in the past, see for example http://bit.ly/29Pkw5u and http://bit.ly/2a3Yf0C . If you wish to contact him directly his details are publicly available on the GCC website: http://bit.ly/29PkJ8I

[4] Letter to UBB as agreed at the monthly meeting of 38 Degrees Stroud on 20th June, see PDF here http://bit.ly/29QfNuX

[5] The R4C project currently has:

  • a letter of interest from an international funder for the plant itself
  • at least two major waste suppliers interested in sending waste to the plant
  • a local waste specialist considering operating the plant
  • a developer willing to provide a site and a building for the plant
  • a job vacancy for a locally based executive director of Community R4C - see http://bit.ly/29Qvd2z

[6] Minutes of UBB Community Liaison Group meeting 14th June - see http://bit.ly/2a5xGuJ - the last item is particularly interesting.

[7] 7.30 pm on Tuesday 19th July 2016 at Hardwicke Village Hall, Green Lane, Hardwicke.  Agenda can be seen here: http://bit.ly/29HpNKV and schedule of works here: http://bit.ly/29QjzVc

Jojo Mehta