7th November 2016 - Digging at Javelin Park?

Last week Javelin Park developers UBB declared they are starting major construction work [1]. We are no doubt expected to understand this as proof positive that the incinerator is going ahead. 

However given the (unpleasant) skulduggery in the project's history, we should take UBB's press release with a pinch of salt.

Ongoing secrecy

The Freedom of Information tribunal judgement is due in December or January. Redactions in the contract have been so fiercely defended (using our money!) that something seminal may well emerge that could affect progress.

UBB's project director Andrew Bendall says "We are continuing to update the wider public on construction progress through our regular Community Liaison Group meetings" [1]. However this is not happening. Firstly, the UBB website says CLG minutes will be made publicly available [2], but they have not been. Secondly, as you may recall, when 38 Degrees members said we were coming to a CLG meeting, it was cancelled. Subsequent meetings have not been publicized at all. If UBB are so confident the project will sail ahead, why the secrecy?

Further legal options

Pending the tribunal outcome, local initiative Community R4C is taking legal advice on re-examining the whole situation. UBB may want to give the impression all options have been exhausted - but CR4C have found this isn't the case. Watch this space!

Government's obligations

Last week the High Court decried Government plans to alleviate fatal levels of air pollution as "woefully inadequate" - in fact, they are illegal [3]. A far more drastic plan of action will now have to be drawn up and implemented for the UK.

Also last week, the Paris agreement officially came into force [4]. This means the UK is obliged to accept and cater for a climate-warming limit of 1.5C. It will require steep cuts in carbon emissions - much steeper than the Government has been aiming for up till now.

These obligations leave no room for commissioning incinerators. Indeed, at this rate it can only be a matter of time before atmospheric pollution becomes a criminal offence.


[1] Stroud News & Journal http://bit.ly/2fK0qL8

[2] UBB website http://bit.ly/2fo7IQw

[3] BBC http://bbc.in/2fhjkF1

[4] BBC http://bbc.in/2flStJH 

Jojo Mehta