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ONE of the councillors due to decide whether or not an incinerator should be built in the county has said he is 'struggling to find good reasons' to build it.

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 28, 2012

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ONE of the councillors due to decide whether or not an incinerator should be built in the county has said he is 'struggling to find good reasons' to build it.

More than 40 people attended a public meeting held by campaign group Glosvain to hear why the plans should not go ahead at Javelin Park.

Councillor Simon Wheeler (Hester's Way and Up Hatherley, LD) was at the meeting and after a series of presentations he made his thoughts on the issue known during a question and answer session.

He said: "I am really struggling to find good reasons to build this. That is where I come from. I would rather this was not political but what I would ask is that with a county council election coming up, ask the people knocking on your door where they stand on this issue."

Mr Wheeler prefaced his comments by stating he is a member of Gloucestershire County Council's planning committee and he stressed he does have an 'open mind' about the plans.

The committee will be voting on whether or not the incinerator should be granted planning permission at Gloucester Rugby Club on January 17.

During the Glosvain meeting held at Bethesda Church in Great Norwood Street campaigners urged people to write to Shire Hall to voice their concerns. Sue Oppenheimer from the campaign group said: "Incineration is the worst possible option to landfill and there are better tried and tested means that are used elsewhere and we think should be used in Gloucestershire."

Concerns were raised at the meeting about the potential impact the incinerator and its accompanying lorries could have on junction 12 of the M5.

Also, the numbers used by the county in its waste disposal projections were questioned.

People were told the county council would have to pay a £16million 'penalty clause' to Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB), the company behind the incinerator, should it not be given planning permission.

However, Councillor Stan Waddington (Nailsworth and Minchinhampton, C) confirmed earlier this year no such 'penalty clause' exists.

UBB project director Javier Peiro said: "There will be no new traffic passing through local villages as a result of the facility. Current restrictions on heavy HGV access to local roads will ensure that large waste trucks will not pass through local villages on their route to and from the proposed facility."

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  • CleanAir  |  November 30 2012, 5:18AM

    I expect my Tory Cllr to represent the views of his voters. I voted for the man not his party and there should be little room for politics at local council level - I am so annoyed that I have torn up my conservative membership card and stopped supporting the party after 39 years of being a 'true blue',and I am not the only one. It will be interesting to see how the vote crumbles in May. Already we have seen the conservative candidate lose the police elections when on paper she should have been the sure-fire winner. How can we have an Energy from Waste solution when we vent the heat produced to the air - in its present guise it is no more than a big bonfire in a building which English Heritage, Natural England and The Cotswold Conservation Board all say is a BLOT on the Vale. Surely these Government Consultees count for more than the 'Planning Consultant Team' brought in to massage the application through!

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  • Shireresident  |  November 29 2012, 10:18PM

    By expressing an opinion prior to the meeting the councillor in question will forfeit a right to vote in committee whilst gaining the approval of those present at the public meeting concerned. It's easy to play to the gallery but fairly worthless if you gag yourself as a consequence. As for the Tories voting in a bloc, what did those who elected them expect?

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  • CleanAir  |  November 29 2012, 8:30PM

    At least someone is prepared to say what he really thinks - the Conservatives vote on block as if they are puppets on a string - their hands all pop up together and I'm sure that some of them have not read half of what they are voting for!

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  • Shireresident  |  November 28 2012, 10:35AM

    Mr. Wheeler's shameless playing to the gallery will doubtless mean he is not allowed to vote on this issue when it comes to the planning committee. Will the Fib Dems never learn that you really can't be "all things to all men" and retain any sense of integrity.

  • Bonkim2003  |  November 28 2012, 10:29AM

    Politically misguided anti-energy from waste lobby will cost us dear.

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