Friday 19 July 2013

Pinkham Way Alliance calls for support on ill-considered waste plan

The Pinkham Way Alliance, has launched the petition below calling on the North London Waste to abandon the current contract presently being negotiated.  Please sign, and distribute to friends and other networks in North London, urging them to sign.
Rest assured, that this development could impact financially on all council tax payers in all seven boroughs of North London. It does NOT only concern the Alexandra and Bounds Green Wards of Haringey.
North London waste contract negotiation should stop NOW
The Pinkham Way Alliance (PWA) initially fought crazy plans for a colossal waste plant – one of the biggest in Europe - in a residential area.  But we have since found profound flaws with North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) whole waste strategy.  This should be fundamentally rethought now, otherwise ill-considered decisions will be implemented, and for 30 years North London taxpayers will pay over the odds, with corresponding cuts in services. Here’s why:

Non-competitive, poor value, potentially illegal
Only one bidder remains for each NLWA contract, for waste treatment and  the production of fuel pellets for incineration. When the original plans were abandoned, these contracts fundamentally changed. The procurements infringe Government rules, which stipulate three bidders, to ensure competition. Only huge multi-national operators were permitted to bid; smaller and perhaps more innovative UK companies were thus forced out. Lack of competition = poor value for money.
Over-long 30-year contracts
Based on inaccurate ‘upwards only’ waste predictions. If insufficient waste is produced, this ‘failure’ (NLWA words!) is paid for by the Councils (us).  Aren’t we supposed to be preventing/reducing waste and increasing recycling?
Inflexible strategy
The NLWA plans to build large plants immediately; these will not be able to adapt to changing technology. Waste has declined since 2006/7 and was flat before then. Habits and attitudes are changing; waste is seen as a resource and better processing methods constantly appear.
No accountability
The NLWA claims ‘partnership’ with its 7 member councils saying they ‘scrutinise’ its actions and strategy. We wrote to the councils about this. Most replies were virtually identical.  The councils confessed they’d been written ‘in consultation with the NLWA’, admitting they’ve ‘no formal ability to influence or scrutinise NLWA decisions’! 
Planning process not transparent
Trying to re-designate Pinkham Way as ‘industrial land’ to fit London Plan requirements; the distorting influence of NLWA requirements on the failed North London Waste Plan, highly questionable scoring/ criteria in site assessment, are some examples. NLWA secretly bought Pinkham Way outright (for £12m) – without planning permission. Last December it admitted it didn’t need it for the proposed use.
Conflict with Government policy
The Government has pledged, by 2050, an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions. Yet NLWA proposes manufacturing, for 30 years, fuel pellets in which waste plastic provides the main energy content. No disposal method emits more carbon. Furthermore, continuing development and increase in plastics recycling will probably reduce the guaranteed quality of the pellets (more financial risk for us). 

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