BELOW is an open letter written by 38 Degrees anti-incinerator campaigner Jojo Mehta which she has sent to all Gloucestershire county councillors.

The letter has already gathered some prominent signatories.

Dear County Councillors,

As you know, construction work has commenced on the Javelin Park incinerator. However this should not blind the council to the many and persistent problems with this project.

1. Contract is of a type (similar to PFI) long discredited, inflexible and unwieldy, locking millions away which could be available for vital local services

2. Revealed figures show it does not offer value for money and is anti-competitive, possibly illegal

3. Projected savings are speculative, accrue late if at all and only in comparison to landfill (even alternative incineration is absent from the figures)

4. Using other available regional processing capacity would be cheaper - and instantly available

5. Incineration is heading for overcapacity in the UK very soon, as it is elsewhere in Europe

6. Two legal complaints are already underway (with Competition & Markets Authority and with Grant Thornton, GCC's external auditors)

7. The project does not comply with 2011 waste regulations

8. There is huge local opposition on grounds of air pollution and toxicity

9. The UK has failed repeatedly to keep air pollution within legal limits

10. The UK has signed the Paris Agreement - with which building new sources of climate-affecting emissions is incompatible

Official communications from GCC in recent years have been misleading, focussing on inflated cancellation costs, speculative savings and incomplete comparisons.

Repeated reference is made to a "transparent procurement process", but many of the problems with this contract lie instead in the detail of the pricing structure, which is both too expensive in the bring-or-pay phase and too cheap thereafter, actively discouraging recycling in both.

As you no doubt know, there have been many challenges to the Javelin Park project, for all the reasons above and more.

Official communications from GCC have used the fact that these challenges have been unsuccessful in the past to imply that the project has somehow "stood up" to challenge.

In fact what this history shows is exactly the opposite - there are so many problems with it that they keep (re-)appearing.

The continued quashing of opposition only indicates the stranglehold of the previous cabinet over the council - it does nothing to address the problems or make them disappear.

It should by now be clear to all councillors that public opposition is also not about to disappear.

With 20,000 children attending educational establishments within 5 miles of the site, in the face of recent reports on the severity of air pollution and in the wider context of climate change, residents will continue to withhold social licence for this project.

There is an opportunity right now to re-examine the situation in the light of all the above, and to do the right thing - by the climate, by local residents and by taxpayers' pockets.

Cancellation costs need not affect budget spending, as substantial capital sums have already been put aside for the project.

We urge the council to act according to its Code of Conduct and have the courage to halt works and re-examine the moral, financial and environmental implications of its current course.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathon Porritt, Writer and Environmentalist, Founder, Forum for the Future

Jeremy Irons, Actor & Environmental Campaigne

James Price, Campaigns Manager, TaxPayers Alliance

Molly Scott Cato, MEP South West

Steve Lydon, Leader, Stroud District Council

Humphrey Cook, Chair, Haresfield Parish Council

Richard Woolston, Headteacher, Beech Green Primary, Quedgeley

Adam Clark, Chair of College, Wynstones School, Gloucester

David Drew, MP Candidate for Stroud (Labour)

Sarah Lunnon, MP Candidate for Stroud (Green)

Dale Vince, Founder, Ecotricity

Martin Large, Director, Hawthorn Press Ltd

Greg Pilley, Founder, Stroud Brewery

Helen Brent-Smith & David Kaspar, Founders, Days Cottage Apple Juice

Ray Purdy, Senior Law Fellow, Oxford University

Jamila Gavin, Children's Author

Jojo Mehta, Toxin Free Network / 38 Degrees

Clare Mahdiyone, Chief Executive, Stroud Valleys Project

Stephanie Layhe, Headteacher, St Peter's High School, Gloucester