The incinerator at St Dennis is in the news again when, on Monday, with one of the two 100m high chimneys began to sway. Concern is rightly being expressed by local people, who are extremely worried and know that the final height of the chimney will be further 20m higher.
About 250 years ago, a French Chemist Antoine Lavoisier discovered the truth about the process of combustion. There is no magic stuff called Pholgiston, he discovered that when things burn they combine with oxygen to produce ash and gaseous products that escape with the smoke.
Now in the 21st Century another bunch of Frenchmen called Sita are denying the truth of this research. Until they were banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, their first advertising booklet said "Nothing comes out of the chimney"!
There are two reasons for telling you this, the first is that shortly the ghastly twin stacks of the incinerator will rise to an incredible 400 feet over a major European Special Area of Conservation on Goss Moor ready to release 22 tonnes per hour of combustion products over the landscape and farms below, and secondly to point out that some of the Political Parties who played a key role in forcing this monstrosity on the public are now asking for support in the coming election.
The Liberal Democrats controlled Cornwall County Council in the days before Unitary and hatched up the idea, and in the first administration of the new Cornwall Council the Tories were hell bent on making sure that it could not be stopped. One of their candidates even chaired the committee that refused to challenge the contract. And of course the wonderful "Environmentally Green" Coalition Minister Eric Pickles put his rubber stamp on it after the Public Inquiry. The Labour party are fully backing Incinerators (I think on the misguided theory that they bring jobs) and I don't think UKIP can find the fag packet they wrote the policy on as they probably burnt it.
During the Public Inquiry (which went on for over six months), the Greens were conspicuous by their absence, but there was one man who was present every day. He stood up and spoke for the local people and took flack from QCs on £1,000 per day without flinching and defended the Community, the countryside and the livelihoods of the farmers. That man was Dick Cole the Leader of Mebyon Kernow.
So when you see those two fingers going up to Cornwall, and when you realise that waste will have to be trucked into Cornwall to keep the fires burning, remember on May 7th. who put it there, and who tried to stop it.
Thank you for your kind words, Rod. I am extremely proud of the role I played in opposing the incinerator and was privileged to be able to produce the 33,000 word “proof-of-evidence” and represent the local community. But for the record, while I did attend the vast majority of days at the Public Inquiry, because of other commitments, I did miss a few days.