NWLA’s recent refusal of my invitation to attend a public meeting to hear local people and answer questions says it all.
NWLA say they prefer small meetings and presentations with resident groups and that public meetings aren’t productive. I disagree. Those who wish to put a 15,000 sq meter plant processing up to 300,000 tons per year of waste in our borough should be prepared to meet local residents en masse – as well as in small groupings. If they are worried that people may get angry – that is something they should be prepared to face, engage with, understand and respond to. Having one or more public meetings is particularly important because my repeated experience of local issues of all sorts is that such meetings get people along who don’t go to the usual gatherings of local groups and organizations. There is something about the big public meeting which says to the community ‘this really matters’ and so gets more people involved.
NWLA have now distributed leaflets door-to-door with some information about their proposals– so at least after much pressure they are beginning to inform people more fully of their plans. However, we await sight of the actual outline planning application.
Having gone out petitioning and campaigning, I have found that collecting signatures for a petition has never been easier. People are desperately worried about the effect this processing plant will have on their lives – the increase in traffic and pollution (the plans would involve over 330 vehicle visits to the site each day – a huge amount of traffic); the danger to the nature habitats which sit right next to the proposed site; the effect on the North Circular – already overloaded; pollution, noise and many other concerns.
Gathering with campaigners in Hollickwood Park by the children’s play area at the weekend drove home the point. This proposal is the wrong size, wrong scale and wrong place – just wrong. (See picture).
We were joined in our efforts by Mike Tuffrey who is a Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly. Given Mayor Boris Johnson has to review all large planning applications in London this is important link and we will need to bring pressure to bear on Boris – who will be facing re-election next year.
The three local MPs – myself for Hornsey & Wood Green, Theresa Villiers for Chipping Barnet and David Burrowes for Enfield Southgate are all in opposition to the plans. Local councillor Juliet Solomon, the residents’ associations and of course – the Pinkham Way Alliance – are all working to fight these proposals – as are local people.
If you have not had the opportunity yet of signing a petition against the proposals the Liberal Democrat petition is on line at http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/pinkhamway