Call for action over planned waste incinerator at Wisbech sparks multiple campaign ideas
A call to arms to the people of Wisbech wanting to stop a 50 megawatt waste incinerator being built in the town has led to multiple campaigns being launched.
Wisbech Town Council, which has already set up a Facebook page against the incinerator, is planning to hold a public meeting towards the end of next month when people will have a chance to learn more about the project and what it means for residents, who will also be able to voice their concerns and raise questions.
Meanwhile former councillors Michael and Virginia Bucknor have put on their campaigning mantles and have written to local authorities including MP Steve Barclay, as well as contacting a neighbouring campaign group, to see what needs to be done to get the ball rolling.
And independent town councillor Dave Patrick is calling for a public rally on Wisbech Market Place on February 16.
This follows on from a plea made by KLWin, the King's Lynn campaign group, which successfully stopped an incinerator being built in their town five years ago, for Wisbech to act to stop MVV Environment Ltd's plans for the incinerator on land off Algores Way.
KLWin are looking at fighting the proposed Wisbech incinerator "from their end" as West Norfolk and King's Lynn will be on the receiving end of toxic particles emitted by the Fenland plant and carried on prevailing winds.
However, they are adamant, that while they are happy to support and offer expert guidance on how to oppose a waste incinerator, it is up to the people of Wisbech to actually fight the plans.
On Monday (27) town council leader Councillor Sam Hoy met with members of KLWin to discuss options open to Wisbech.
She said: "It was a very useful meeting. We have been trying to get together for several months but the election and then Christmas got in the way.
"These guys know their stuff and what they had to say was very worrying. The waste incinerator will let tiny particles full of dangerous chemicals into the air which have serious health implications and will blow over the whole of Wisbech.
"Not only that it will generate half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide - that is massive. We are trying to cut CO2 emissions but this incinerator will generate so much more than a gas or coal run power station.
"On top of that it is going to generate hundreds of lorries a day because it needs so much waste to feed it. In fact even if all the waste from Norfolk and Fenland was burnt this incinerator would still need tonnes more, which could mean importing it from abroad.
"It will also affect recycling as it needs so much waste that rubbish which should be recycled could end up being burnt.
"We really do need to be united in opposing this and people need to speak up if we are to have a chance of stopping it. We will be organising a public meeting at the end of next month when we will have speakers and people can find out more about what this plan means.
"It is going to be hard, because the decision is not being made by the local authorities, but if we are united then we can win."
The Bucknors also want a public meeting and will be inviting MVV Environmental. Mrs Bucknor said: "I thought Michael and I had hung up our campaigning coats but it seems we have to do one more."
Meanwhile Councillor Patrick, posted his idea of a public rally on the Kirkgate Matters Facebook page. He said: "Its not just about Wisbech but also all the outlying villages around our town.
"We have been very slow to grasp this and I do remember the very high profile campaign so successful in King's Lynn.
"I think we need to engage the public, and extremely quickly and wish to put forward the idea of having a public rally in the town to show our objection to this project. I propose that the 16th of February 2pm in Wisbech Market Place might be a good time to start the ball rolling.
"The people in and around Wisbech need to stand strongly together to show their opposition to this project. If you agree share wherever you can and let's get a strong campaign under way."
More by this authorSarah Cliss