Sadly, 2015 failed to deliver the demise of the GCC/UBB incinerator project that we all wanted for Christmas. I hope you all enjoyed the festive season nevertheless.
Despite the best efforts of a group of nomads, the Javelin Park site has not been rendered unusable for incineration and the threat of site works commencing in the next few months is upon us.
So what is Glosvain’s ongoing role?
Well firstly, we never give up hoping that better options will somehow prevail and the only show in town that might make that possible any time soon, is R4C. Those of you that attended our July meeting or the AGM, will know that the proposed technology, a combination of Mechanical, Biological and Heat Treatment (MBHT), is a high quality version of what we have always advocated.
The big question is, will a viable enterprise and proposal emerge in time that either enables GCC to countenance a contract cancellation, or persuades UBB and their financiers to withdraw. I hope so.
There are a lot of issues to be addressed, involving both the County and District Councils, so please lobby your councillors to remain engaged with this. They are the decision makers and responsible for the solution we end up with.
Meanwhile we continue to pursue a number of issues:
1. The County Council has appealed against the Information Commissioner’s instruction to reveal contract data. This means that the case will now be heard by a judge at a Tribunal. It will probably take until next Christmas to exhaust the process and arrive at a resolution. Cos Ttofa has been and is our resolute participant. See here for more info.
2. Chris Harmer is working with parish councillors to provide technical data about air quality monitoring and soil sampling equipment, which the consultative group will ask UBB to fund.
Hopefully, UBB will see that it is in their interests to find ways to reassure the public about their greatest concern – the volume and nature of the projected emissions. Obtaining equipment asap would enable a data collection and measurement regime to be established and benchmarking to commence. It’s important to understand that other pollution in the Vale, from the A38, M5, diesel trains and canal boats, and industrial premises is all discounted when incineration emissions are projected (see next). That is why we need monitoring equipment asap.
3. Plumeplotter continues to provide an invaluable indication of the anticipated level and nature of incinerator emissions, mapped onto the likely areas of deposition and displayed on the Glosvain website. Created by a local activist, the quality of this work has been positively peer-reviewed by a nationally recognised expert. We are grateful to both experts for enabling us to advise local residents in a more informed way than either GCC or UBB have managed to do.
4. This year will see the start of a new refuse collection contract in Stroud District. We hope residents who don’t compost will make use of the new food waste collection. We need to reduce waste and increase recycling in every way we can. The County Council’s waste strategy aspires to a 70% recycling rate, which is probably unattainable if the incinerator goes ahead. We suggest that the weight and volume per head of waste not recycled is a more critical factor and will ask that this data is regularly published on their website.
Finally, I hope the new year brings improvements in the quality of those things that are most important to us all and that Glosvain's work is a contributor to that.'
Gerald Hartley (Chair)