A FORMER probation officer from Stroud was back in familiar territory after being arrested at the Javelin Park incinerator site last Tuesday.

Martin Stockwell, accustomed to time in the cells due to his previous profession, was one of four anti-incinerator protesters arrested for obstructing the highway last week with a ‘sofa party’.

The 78-year-old explained that he was doing it for his children and grandchildren, who he claimed would have to live with the pollution caused by the incinerator.

He said he was “very unhappy that the county council were taking this decision which was a very unhealthy, more expensive option than other choices that could be made.”

Joking after his release at around 9pm on the same day, Martin referred to his earlier career: “I’ve been inside a police cell many times but in very different circumstances!”

Protesters had gathered at the gates of the site in Haresfield on Sunday, August 20 and remained there until late afternoon on Tuesday despite warnings from police.

The gathering had originally been organised to celebrate the 48th birthday of Ebley man Matt Wimpress.

Stroud News and Journal:

Above - Protesters at the sofa party last Tuesday

Martin’s wife Chris, 72, added: “I want my grandchildren to have a safe world to live in; this incinerator is one way it is being made very unsafe for them.

“They will live directly within the plume of it; I am outraged that the democratic process has been exhausted so that we are forced to take these measures.

“We need a democracy that listens to the people; and now the people are speaking!”

GCC has always held firm on its stance regarding the project.

Deputy leader of GCC Cllr Ray Theodoulou, said: "This project was initiated after a transparent public procurement process, which looked neutrally at every technology proposed, and has been repeatedly democratically agreed by the council.

"It is a good deal for residents - the incinerator will save taxpayers over £100m over its life, whilst protecting our environment by cutting CO2 emissions and ending our reliance on landfill."

In a full county council meeting in June, leader Mark Hawthorne said: “The rise in my vote share in the election is a vote from the people of Quedgeley who want us to get on with it, this is now a dead issue.”