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Cornwall Forum

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The incinerator and councillor Biscoe

Meeting with councillor Biscoe

Dear Campaigners,

On Tuesday 6 August our committee met with Cornwall Cllr and Portfolio
Holder for Transportation and Waste Bert Biscoe at Claytawc, St.Dennis.
Starting at 2pm the meeting lasted until 5pm.
This was basically a cards on the table exercise when opinions were
exchanged and factual evidence including risks involved with continuing with
the waste contract as it stands to taxpayers money being presented by our

Following introductions Cllr Biscoe gave a brief update on the position he
has inherited and his opinion on situation as he sees it. Athough he has
always been opposed to the incinerator his opinion remains that the waste
contract with SITA is the problem.

CWFSDB presentations involving the SAC extension, the Environment Agency,
Waste Hierarchy, and Finance were made by Charmian Larke. This involved
reference to the previous shadow screening and new situation brought about
by the new features in the extension of the SAC and additional species. Also
Cornwall Council's non-compliance to the waste hierarchy.
Rod Toms spoke on recycling backed up by figures and a drop in waste
arisings outlined by the use of a flip chart and the forthcoming EU Resource
Efficient Europe road map which sets recycling targets and limit what can be
Phil Ugalde spoke on his position as a Cornish food producer including the
effect which the incinerator would have on the local community and county's
produce and image. Mt Ugalde also gave a passionate statement on how this
proposed incinerator is wrong for St.Dennis and wrong for Cornwall.
Brian Arthur spoke on a broad range of negatives and endorsed other
Paul Richards spoke on health issues including confirmation from the HPA
that it cannot be ascertained that emissions from the incinerator will not
have an adverse effect on human health, the lack of evidence on the
interaction of incinerator and China Clay emissions, and the chemical
element in incinerator emissions. Also the continuing of ignoring the
precautionary principle.
I spoke on the legal advice we have received endorsing that legal challenges
can be made once the SAC enlargement is ratified.
During these presentations there were many passionate exchanges and much
dis-agreement with Cllr Biscoe's responses.
Following presentations an open question and discussion period took the time
up to 5pm. During this period again very passionate exchanges, dis-agreement
and comments were expressed.
Summing up I would say that Cllr Biscoe did not show it but there is no
doubt he was obviously enlightened by all the various in depth information
presented. One thing made very clear was that councillors had not been
officially informed about all the risks involved with proceeding with the
contract as it stands. During summing up I did ask Cllr Biscoe if he was
aware that Cornwall Council is the laughing stock of other authorities
regarding its contentious waste contract with SITA, not sure if I had a
I was very proud of how people responded to this opportunity to express
feelings and how the speakers did their usual professional and detailed
presentations on respective subjects. It would be wrong to single out
individuals, however we all agree that Pat Blanchard's compassionate and
very poignant speech on the effect the incinerator would have on the younger
population and future generations touched us all.
Cllr Biscoe promised to reply to certain questions, not all, and stated that
he hoped this meeting would help to result in establishing the community's
co-opration with SITA and the Council.
The response to this was very hostile and in total agreement that there was
no chance of that happening and endorsed that our campaign would continue.
Cllr Biscoe was informed that we would be prepared to give our presentations
to any other parties if required.
As the time had reached 5pm I then thanked those who attended including Cllr
Biscoe and closed the meeting.
I hope it will be appreciated that this is only a brief report of the
meeting as it is not possible to record three hours of dialogue while
chairing the meeting.