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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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Francis Guidera

Cllr Guidera: Is maintaining Queens Sq really too much to ask?

Tilgate Cllr Francis Guidera has spoken out about what he calls the ‘filthy’ state of newly refurbished Queens Square in Crawley.

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In an open letter Cllr Guidera says:

“Queen’s Square is costing the tax payer millions to renovate, but if you sat in Queen’s Square today you would be forgiven for thinking that the paving slabs had been down for a decade!

It is utterly filthy, highlighted by the patch in the centre where the fountain operates which is of course clean and shows what the rest looked like when it was installed just over a year ago.

The issue of keeping the square clean after it was done (including chewing gum) was raised by many councillors at consultation meetings before they began the work, and Ifield Councillor Peter Smith (Labour cabinet member for planning and economic development) assured us that these stones would be coated with a substance that helps to repel dirt… well, if they were I hope he’s asking for a refund because it clearly doesn’t work!

Perhaps Councillor Geraint Thomas would like to comment on the state of it also as the cabinet member for environmental services and sustainability? I’ve been told that council staff still do not have the right equipment to properly clean it. Why not? And then there’s The Pavement (the footpath down the side of M&S) which hasn’t even been fully opened yet and there are already issues. The block paving is uneven with gaps and paving stones at randomly different levels across the entirety of it! If this was someone’s driveway they’d rightfully be demanding answers for such a shoddy job!

So to sum up, the first bit is now filthy and hasn’t been looked after properly and the second bit is badly done and isn’t even finished yet…

As a Crawley-born local I’m very proud of this town and a basic thing like keeping Queen’s Square looking decent is not much to ask of the council.

While I’m writing this, I might as well (again) mention that Chichester Close play area urgently needs renovating… (just asking for a few thousand Tilgate residents)…”

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera

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