ACTOR Jeremy Irons has urged campaigners to be "really naughty" to stop an incinerator being built in Javelin Park near Stroud.
The star made the comments during a sell-out screening of his documentary, Trashed, at Vue cinema in Stroud.
The film, narrated by Jeremy, investigates the two most common forms of dealing with waste – landfill and incineration.
It drew links between health issues and the toxic waste associated with incinerators. Specialists explained how concentrated levels of dioxins in women, for example, can be transferred to foetuses as the body’s way of trying to be rid of the broken-down toxic waste.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.”
Another issue the film raised was the level of dioxins cows consume, as they can eat the same amount in one day that a human will consume over 14 years.
The group protesting against the planned incinerator in Haresfield, GlosVAIN, has objected for a host of reasons including the health risks to humans and animals.
After the viewing, Stroud-based barrister Polly Higgins hosted a Q&A with Jeremy and Sue Oppenheimer who heads up GlosVAIN.
Since all attempts so far to stop the incinerator have failed, Jeremy urged people to “gird their loins”, “embarrass people” and be “really naughty”.
He added: “Change will not happen if you are reasonable”.
Gloucestershire County Council signed a contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty to manage the incinerator.
When Sue was asked why details of the contract can be “hidden because of commercial sensitivity” she said that she would be contacting the Information Commissioner because “the lack of transparency is a key issue and by hiding the information [GCC] have created a huge outrage.”
GCC has released what GlosVAIN called a “redacted” version of the contract, which the council said was “abbreviated”.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou told the SNJ: “The vast majority of the contract has been on our website for some time. We’re currently working to see what extra information could be published now the project has moved forward."
Activist Jojo Mehta organised the viewing of Trashed and offered complimentary tickets to all the councillors at GCC. Of the 53, only Sarah Lunnon, (Green, Stroud) and Steve Lydon (Lab, Dursley) attended.
The incinerator battle
- Former government planning minister Eric Pickles approved the £500m incinerator in January after UBB appealed against the GCC planning committee decision to reject the application for the burner
- Stroud District Council is challenging Mr Pickles' decision and a hearing will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice on June 25
- At an extraordinary meeting of GCC, members voted 27 to 24 in favour of upholding the contract with UBB, after a Labour motion called for the authority to axe the agreement
- Councillors demanded to see the contract at the meeting but GCC said it was "commercial sensitive"
- A GlosVAIN petition with 7,600 signatures against the incinerator was handed to councillors before the meeting