Incinerator planning inquiry - Former Stroud MP David Drew says he was 'kept in the dark'

Incinerator planning inquiry - Former Stroud MP David Drew says he was 'kept in the dark'

Incinerator planning inquiry - Former Stroud MP David Drew says he was 'kept in the dark'

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Stroud News and Journal: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

FORMER Stroud MP David Drew has told how he was ‘kept in the dark’ about Javelin Park being a potential site for an incinerator during his time in office.

Mr Drew was the first to give evidence at the planning inquiry into the proposed £500 million Javelin Park incinerator project today, Tuesday.

The inquiry is being held after waste firm Urbaser Balfour Beatty appealed the decision by Gloucestershire County Council’s planning committee to refuse permission for the controversial facility in March.

Speaking on Tuesday, January 14, in front of a packed out function room adjacent to the Hallmark Hotel in Matson where the appeal proceedings are being held, Mr Drew said that during his time as MP he was ‘kept completely in the dark’ despite consistent attempts to find out what was going on.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stroud, Mr Drew, said: “I tried to find out why suddenly there appeared to be some interest shown over Javelin Park as a potential site.

“I was kept completely in the dark and indeed more than once was assured that the county council had no particular interest in purchasing the site.

Mr Drew, who is also a Stonehouse town councillor, added: “Stonehouse sought regular updates and assurances from the county council as soon as it became known that Javelin Park was its preferred site.

“We have had absolutely no contact from the county council outside of the statutory requirements and even then people in the town have complained to me about the way in which that has operated.

“This is at best a negation of democracy and given the importance of this issue to all those residents living locally there should have been proper attempts made to listen to what councils on behalf of their residents had to say.

“We are now today faced with what I have called the worst decision I have even known in over 30 years of front-line politics in local government, with a site that is not suitable, a technology that is not wanted and an authority that is both incompetent and devious in how it carries outs its business.”

Speaking on behalf of Stonehouse Town Council, Mr Drew also voiced concerns about transport issues and visual impact.

“Quite simply the proposal is both unsustainable in terms of good transport planning and will be entirely a threat to the community of Stonehouse and the villages along the B4008 as volumes increase, especially of HGVs,” he said.

“However, our primary reason for opposition is the visual impact.

“The view across from the AONB to the Severn Vale and beyond is stunning.

“It is sacrilegious to spoil this view especially with a stack that at 70 metres high will dominate the landscape for miles around.

“This plant would forever change this part of the vale and we feel that this area has already made enough sacrifices for this proposal to be anything other than entirely unfair and damaging to all this part of Gloucestershire stands for.”

The inquiry continues.

Comments (1)

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7:42pm Tue 14 Jan 14

James Makepeace says...

David Drew is a decent and honest politician with some serious points to make about the scandal of Javelin Park, and he wasn't the only one kept in the dark !
The entire process of trying to railroad this project through is littered with countless efforts to confuse, deceive, bully and misinform a whole range of people... primarily the tax payers who actually live near the site AND would end up having not only to pay for this abortion but also breathe its toxic fumes ... day and night ... for at least 25 years... !
The half-truths and un-truths perpetuated by "interested parties" are well-known. One person may know exactly where the bodies are buried... but now of course is not talking... since the plan was unanimously rejected by GCC planners. I daresay that person has "washed their hands of the whole affair" and "moved on".
There are clear rules on "proper behaviour in public office" and many of us have wondered how what has happened can possibly go un-questioned when past events are analysed in the light of a result over Javelin Park. The public have felt deeply wronged by elected representatives and the officials who have apparently done their bidding. In due course, some members of the public are very likely to seek to have the bright light of a formal investigation shone into some of the dark corners of what was done.
Back in the days when the truth somehow "failed to reach the ears of the public" until it was almost too late... we can only hope that no inappropriate promises were privately made, which could not possibly be honoured in light of what has been revealed about the way the public (and even Members of Parliament) were kept in the dark.
Let us hope that Mr Pickles has the good sense to smell a rat when he hears of the disgusting way this nasty scheme was pushed forward. If somehow this monstrosity is still allowed to proceed, an enormous injustice will have been allowed to pass... and the forces of greed and dishonesty will have won the day. Keep on fighting...! The monster incinerator at Javelin Park MUST NOT be built !!!
David Drew is a decent and honest politician with some serious points to make about the scandal of Javelin Park, and he wasn't the only one kept in the dark ! The entire process of trying to railroad this project through is littered with countless efforts to confuse, deceive, bully and misinform a whole range of people... primarily the tax payers who actually live near the site AND would end up having not only to pay for this abortion but also breathe its toxic fumes ... day and night ... for at least 25 years... ! The half-truths and un-truths perpetuated by "interested parties" are well-known. One person may know exactly where the bodies are buried... but now of course is not talking... since the plan was unanimously rejected by GCC planners. I daresay that person has "washed their hands of the whole affair" and "moved on". There are clear rules on "proper behaviour in public office" and many of us have wondered how what has happened can possibly go un-questioned when past events are analysed in the light of a result over Javelin Park. The public have felt deeply wronged by elected representatives and the officials who have apparently done their bidding. In due course, some members of the public are very likely to seek to have the bright light of a formal investigation shone into some of the dark corners of what was done. Back in the days when the truth somehow "failed to reach the ears of the public" until it was almost too late... we can only hope that no inappropriate promises were privately made, which could not possibly be honoured in light of what has been revealed about the way the public (and even Members of Parliament) were kept in the dark. Let us hope that Mr Pickles has the good sense to smell a rat when he hears of the disgusting way this nasty scheme was pushed forward. If somehow this monstrosity is still allowed to proceed, an enormous injustice will have been allowed to pass... and the forces of greed and dishonesty will have won the day. Keep on fighting...! The monster incinerator at Javelin Park MUST NOT be built !!! James Makepeace
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