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Sure it’s freezing but so what?

With the Beast from the East making national headlines, we ask a question quite a few people are now thinking.

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Is it just me?  I have been asking myself this question for the past few days as I sat by my office window looking out at Crawley with the light dusting of snow and the blustery wind.

Sure, it’s cold out there, absolutely freezing in fact, but so what?  I had to walk the half mile to the office today and whilst my body felt every inch of the icy wind despite wearing more layers than I care to share, I still got to work on time.

The roads are icy, the cars coated in frost and snow, but nothing that would stop anyone from going about their business.

In rural parts of the country, mainly in the north there are news reports aplenty of cars stuck, drivers having to sleep overnight in their vehicles, train lines closed, bus routes abandoned but…

..we’re in Sussex where the most amount of disruption has been down to the sheer panic that seems to be ensuing across the area.

The roads are always treacherous when it’s icy, we know this, it isn’t something new.  People have had accidents because of the conditions, but this happens when it’s not frosty.  Of course we have to take more care in these conditions, so why does it feel to me that the whole area is shutting down for no more reason than, it can!

I was astonished last night to see tweets from some local schools informing their students and their parents that they would close today because of the terrible and dangerous conditions here.  Where?  Am I looking out of the wrong window?  Am I reading the wrong MET office reports?  This isn’t the ice age.  We are not swallowed up in the vicious weather circling Scotland and the north of the country.

So I ask again, is it just me who is so confused about all of this OR is our county about to have a deluge of snow deposited down upon us like something from a greek mythology?

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Opinion

Peter Lamb: Opposing the Horsham incinerator

In his article this week, the leader of Crawley Borough Council urges locals to voice their opinions on the proposed Horsham incinerator.

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Toxic chemicals pumped into Crawley’s air supply would make headlines, you’d assume. Unfortunately, like other important decisions, people tend to only become aware of an issue after the decision has already been taken.

Next Tuesday, West Sussex County Council’s Planning Committee will be ruling on an application for a 24-hour incinerator with a 93 metre chimney to be built. While the structure itself would be built in Horsham, the wind direction would scatter much of the material over Crawley and that’s the worry.

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In theory, a well-regulated incinerator could remove most toxic material from its exhaust, but the UK’s regulatory regime is weak and that leaves claims about the safety of the technology highly suspect.

Crawley’s air quality is poor, with an Air Quality Management Area already in place around the worst affected part of the town. Campaigners estimate that the new incinerator will put out an additional 162,000kg of nitrous oxide alone into our air supply. When better alternatives to burning waste exist, we shouldn’t allow our health to be put at risk.

“YOUR HEALTH ISN’T A COMMODITY TO BE SOLD OFF”

So what can you do about it? Write to Planning members and encourage others to do likewise, let them know what you think about the proposed incinerator’s risks. Fortunately the committee’s chair is Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley’s Conservatives and County Councillor for Tilgate and Furnace Green, who will hopefully be open to protecting Crawley’s air quality.

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Next, try and make it along to the Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday. Unfortunately, they’ve refused to have the meeting near to where the incinerator would be built, so the meeting will be taking place in Chichester. Finally, sign and share this petition, to show the level of opposition to the proposals: http://www.change.org/p/no-incinerator-4-horsham

Your health isn’t a commodity to be sold off, let’s hope the committee remembers that next week.

Cllr Peter Lamb
Leader, Crawley Borough Council

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