Today, Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas writes for the Havering Daily on his battle to stop the building of a waste incinerator.
Mr Cruddas writes:
Since last September I have been leading the fight against plans to build a second mass waste incinerator in Bexley; plans that threaten the air quality across the whole of Rainham, South Hornchurch and all across the London Riverside Opportunity Area in Dagenham.
Every report has suggested that these plans would be bad for human health, biodiversity and the environment – even the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority have thrown their weight behind my campaign.
Due to the size of the incinerator the final decision to approve or reject it rests with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. That means from October the fate of our air quality lies with the Tories and if we are to go by their track record one thing is clear; the Tories don’t care about toxic pollution or it’s long term impacts on human health.
Incineration is the least environmentally friendly form of waste management after landfill and under this government, waste incineration has doubled in the UK whilst recycling rates have stagnated. Knowing what we know now with an aim to significantly reduce emissions by 2030, we should be moving away from energy production methods that are harmful to our environment such as waste incineration – yet the government seems to have other ideas.
Earlier in the year I visited the existing Cory site and was shocked at just how close Dagenham Dock, Rainham Marshes and the new Beam Park development area was to the incinerator. Previous reports had pointed out this would impact Rainham, but with the prevailing wind direction air quality across the south of Dagenham will take a serious hit – I don’t want the residents of tomorrow to suffer ill health and poor air quality because we didn’t act today.
That’s why I launched a campaign against the plans. So far, I have represented residents and the interests of the area at every stage of the examination process. Next month the Planning Inspectorate will present their findings to the government.
This isn’t a done deal, we have won tougher fights than this in Dagenham and Rainham when the community comes together for a common cause. That is why I am urging residents to sign my petition which I will be presenting to the Secretary of State, whoever that may be at the time, ahead of their decision.
Sign online here: https://joncruddas.org.uk/belvedere-incinerator-petition