A ‘ failure of democracy’ over incinerator plans?


SURREY County Council (SCC) has denied claims by a pressure group that it is hell bent on incinerating the county's waste.

After a 15-week public consultation on waste development, Guildford Anti-Incinerator Network (GAIN) has called on SCC to abandon promoting incineration as the "best option” for waste disposal.

The group, recommends instead “an incinerator-free approach based on recycling, composting and biological treatment”.

GAIN chairman Colin Matthews said: "We are deeply troubled that the recommendation to incinerate is buried in background papers, which call for two incinerators to burn commercial and industrial waste.

"In consultation, residents have rejected incineration and there is now a great danger of a failure of democracy in Surrey on this issue.

"The latest waste plan demonstrates that the councillors and officials currently in charge at SCC are listening to

themselves rather than the people they serve."

GAIN claim they sent over 1,500 letters of objection to the council. But Surrey's Minerals, Waste and Development Manager Hilary Herbert said the consultation asked for public feedback on a range of waste issues including waste reduction, reuse, recycling, landfill, land use planning and new technologies.

"The consultation did not, and could not, propose incineration as the ‘best option’. Nor did the consultation propose sites specifically for incineration," she said.

"Unfortunately, the Guildford Anti-Incineration Network (GAIN) has attempted to pre-empt the results of this consultation and claim to speak for the people of Surrey by submitting a standard letter from 1500 that register an objection to incineration.

"In our view, this stance ignores the views of hundreds of people who took the time and effort to consider all the challenging issues and options the county faces," she added.

The next stage of public consultation is scheduled for this autumn and will ask the public their views on the suitability of sites for a variety of waste treatment technologies.