Wiltshire Publications

‘Anger and concern’ as gasification petition goes to County Hall

Members of Westbury Gasification Action Group outside County Hall, Trowbridge.

THE Westbury Gasification Action Group (WGAG), who are opposing the advanced thermal technology plant, planned for Northacre Trading Estate, presented their petition to Wiltshire Council last Tuesday.

Spokesperson Margaret Cavanna, said, “The petition asks Wiltshire Council to scrutinise any planning variations that may be submitted by the operator of the incinerator and to look at its impact on public health.

“It also asks councillors to review their waste strategy to make waste incineration unnecessary by increasing recycling and reducing waste. The petition collected nearly 1,800 signatures in eight weeks, representing a high percentage of the town’s residents.

“The signatures, many of which were collected by dedicated group member, Radek Evans, are not just names on a piece of paper.  They are about real conversations with people on their doorsteps or in the town centre.  People stopped in freezing weather to talk about this, and the signatures represent a high level of anger and concern about what is being seen as another imposition on Westbury”.

Wiltshire Council’s overview and scrutiny committee received the petition and heard short statements asking for ‘joined up thinking’ to ensure that Westbury is not turned into Wastebury.

Margaret added, “We were pleased that in response, the committee agreed a resolution to arrange a meeting of the cabinet members and committee chairs who lead public health, waste management and planning within the council, to discuss issues petitioners have raised.  We see this as a very positive outcome.”

Westbury Town Council plan to hold a special extraordinary meeting on Tuesday 27th March (see full story on page 2).

Councillors have agreed to discuss at the meeting questions which were put to them at a public meeting last month, and correspondence received from residents since then, about environmental concerns, including the  issue of air quality.

Harriet James, another member of WGAG, announced a further development – six members of WGAG have raised a UK-wide petition calling for the government to stop incinerating waste which could be recycled, and also for a halt on building new incinerators.

It can be signed and shared online at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/214627.  On reaching 10,000 signatures, the government will respond to the petition, and at 100,000 it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

The Westbury Gasification Action Group on facebook , started by Zoe Mann, now has 830 members.