Extra dates, for Dearne Valley Consultations!

Extra dates for the ‘consultation road show’ announced!

They are as follows:

St Andrews Church Hall, St Andrews Square , Carr Head Lane, Bolton on Dearne, on July 7th,  11am to 8pm.

Silverwood Miners Welfare Resource Centre, Doncaster  Road, Dalton, Rotherham on July 15th,  11.30am to 7.30pm.

Stainforth Community Resource Centre, Church Road, Stainforth,  Doncaster, on July 16th, Doncaster. 12.30pm to 8.30pm.

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Dearne Valley Waste Incinerator Proposals – tell us the full truth!

BDR Waste Partnership are consulting, on the proposals to site a waste incinerator in the heart of the Dearne Valley.

There has been a very poorly organised and chaotically delivered road show, that was virtually useless and was concealing at least as much as it revealed.

I would have thought that an, up to 75 Metre, chimney, (Up to 5 times the height of the building, no less!) would be shown on the illustrations and mock ups as it will be visible for many miles and will have flashing lights on the top making it fully visible, even at night!

If they are being dishonest about this, what else are they not telling us? Richard Russell, it is time to get a grip on this farcical charade that you call consultation! We deserve and demand the full facts to be presented, without equivocation. If you want to gain trust in this proposal, you must give us the truth, we can take it!

We are not fools, this proposal is bad news for anyone who lives or works in the area and even much  further away, up to more than 20 miles in all directions, in fact. This includes a great deal of the northern Pennines as well as Chesterfield in the South, Thorne in the East and Wakefield towards the North. A simply huge area of over 1250 square miles in fact!

Much more thought needs to be put in to this, there are better technologies such as anerobic digestion, which will produce huge quantities of methane. When burnt, methane, only produces CO2, water and heat, a much safer approach for the environment than simply burning the waste directly, with all the complexity of emissions control or the damaging Dioxins and heavy metals that will pollute our environment for ever!

Does no one remember the past? The toxic burden of the old polluting industries, only relatively recently gone, is surely a considerable but as yet unknown, burden already. No one seems to want the tests done, is it because, they have reason to fear the implications of the most probable results? We must be told!

Millions of Pounds has been spent ameliorating some of the very most heavily polluted areas of the Dearne. This toxic legacy is still with us today and will be forever because the very worst pollutants, will never break down. Dioxins, Furans and heavy metal pollution will last for ever!

Richard Russell, again take note, before any proposal has even the remotest chance of getting at least acquiescence from the people of the Dearne. A full sampling and analysis of samples taken throughout the Dearne, enough to make the results credible, in order to establish the true nature of the current pollution/toxic load we  have. This needs to be performed sooner, rather than later and the results made public, prior to advancing this proposal further.

Those campaigning to stop this amazingly short sighted and inadequate proposal should be supported by all in the Dearne Valley and beyond. The campaign, Dearne Valley AIM (Against Incineration in Manvers) is getting prepared for the battle to come.

If you are concerned? want to know more? Email them here.

Rik

Further reading:

Wikipedia Dearne Valley

Friends of the Earth (FoE)

FoE Briefing, Incineration and Health Issues pdf

Green Party

Greenpeace

Greenpeace, The Weekly Geek: anerobic digestion

SITA Uk

PPP Focus on the proposals.

Catalyst Lend Lease

Text of email sent to Richard Russell, the Councillor for, Rother Vale Ward and Cabinet Member for Streetpride and a member of the Planning Board. Sent 26th June, 2010. I will publish his response when I get one.

For information, here is his Email address, richard.russell@rotherham.gov.uk.. Write to him yourself!

“Dear Cllr Russell,

I print below comments from my Website, Rotherham Politics, regarding the Dearne Valley Waste Processing and Incineration, proposals:

“There has been a very poorly organised and chaotically delivered road show, that was virtually useless and was concealing at least as much as it revealed.

I would have thought that an, up to 75 Metre, chimney, (Up to 5 times the height of the building, no less!) would be shown on the illustrations and mock ups as it will be visible for many miles and will have flashing lights on the top making it fully visible, even at night!

If they are being dishonest about this, what else are they not telling us? Richard Russell, it is time to get a grip on this farcical charade that you call consultation! We deserve and demand the full facts to be presented, without equivocation. If you want to gain trust in this proposal, you must give us the truth, we can take it!”

“Richard Russell, again take note, before any proposal has even the remotest chance of getting at least acquiescence from the people of the Dearne. A full sampling and analysis of samples taken throughout the Dearne, enough to make the results credible, in order to establish the true nature of the current pollution/toxic load we  have. This needs to be performed sooner, rather than later and the results made public, prior to advancing this proposal further.”

I and my readers, would appreciate your answers to the questions posed in the above extracts?

In addition to the above I would also appreciate the results of any previous testing done in the Dearne Valley? If no testing has been performed please confirm this fact?

Yours Faithfully
Rik Van Hegan”

Freedom of information

Read, find – Freedom of information enquires : Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.

whatdotheyknow.com.

Emergency Budget – Far From Fair or Balanced!

I mentioned in my previous posting on the Budget, that further probing would reveal the ‘devil in the detail’. They would reveal themselves if there were any uncomfortable facts hidden deep inside the ‘Red Book’. There are such details and now they are public.

The details unearthed so far, not by Labour this time, but by, of all people, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) an economic lobby group, not noted for major criticism of Conservative Governments in the past, as it is about as right wing as they come. Robert Chote, of the IFS, has gone on record, with the evidence that tells the lie, to any claim that this budget was fair!

The IFS has now done a detailed analysis of the Budget, including the inconvenient facts, buried deep within the ‘Red Book’, it confirms the overall regressive nature of the Budget, that had been trumpeted, by some Government Ministers, as the ‘Fairest Budget in History!’ The use of such ridiculous hyperbole, now shows clearly the essential hubris running through the Government currently.

Some of the evidence for a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment, was visible on Question Time on the BBC last night. Vince Cable batted for the Coalition Government, he visibly wilted in front of the audience as it appeared to have dawned on him, during proceedings, that the LibDems may just have been had on the Budget and he made a very poor job, at least for him, in defending his increasingly indefensible looking position. Audience reaction, to his attempts at justification, also appeared to strike home hard.

Looks likely that they have made a serious miscalculation on this one and there are already signs of LibDem backbench restlessness, as they are getting a wall of flak from their constituencies and in particular their own Party Members. To their horror, they have realised one important fact overlooked until now, they did not fight as hard as they did, in the General and Local Elections, for LibDem MPs just to become lobby fodder, to drive through such a draconian Budget as this one, now the full facts are appreciated.

This issue is in the process of testing the loyalty, of everyone signed up to the Coalition, to breaking point perhaps? We shall see?

Labours’ poor performance at the polls has resulted in one amusing happen stance, that may yet end up with the best Candidate for Labour Party Leader, not on the ballot paper. I speak of course, of Labour’s Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, who may yet find her feet at the dispatch box, only to be superseded by someone else, with lesser ability.

Rik

Emergency Budget, was it worth waiting for?

Tuesdays Emergency Budget, delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on behalf of the Coalition Government, was probably the most political, in every sense of the word, that I have ever heard or, even perhaps any of us, will ever hear again.

The Chancellor set himself the goals of cuts with care and fairness at the heart of the budget. Did he succeed?

I am afraid we might have to wait a little while for the details become apparent, under Labour, the ‘devil was always in the detail’ and close inspection frequently uncovered vast expenditure or borrowing, kept below the radar in the Budget Speech itself. Not much chance of this here, but embarrassing detail may yet be revealed.

Before the election, many had considered George Osborne, too young and light weight, to boot. He has emerged from the experience of his first Budget with his reputation enhanced, as a serious heavyweight political player. At least we now know, he is no ones fool and indeed if the future is kind to him, may even be a good Chancellor as far as these things are judged.

Political considerations run through the Budget like lettering through rock. He has a fine line to walk if his claims that his Budget has fairness built in, is to survive close inspection. It will have to deliver, the squeeze on the public sector and on benefits must appear fair, once implementation is under way.

We have discovered recently, that Labour’s concealment of the true position before the election was over, was basically a con trick, even the loan to Sheffield Forgemasters would have been withdrawn if Labour had been returned to office. Labour’s breathtaking cynicism has been exposed and this area disproportionately adversely affected. Perhaps this explains the fact that Labour in Rotherham, is held in frank contempt,  especially vitriolic are those who voted Labour recently it seems.

We will all welcome the increase in basic rate tax allowances and the linking of pensions to incomes once again but the increases in value added tax, VAT, from 17.5% to 20% a rise of over 14% in this most regressive of taxes will impact most heavily on those already at the bottom of the pile.

The freeze on Council Tax next year is to be welcomed, because it sends a message to all local councils that they will not be able to fleece the Council Tax payers to cushion the ending of local council profligacy. No small wonder then, that the ‘Consultants’ are already ensconced in council offices, desperately looking for cuts as I write and Councillors are reported to be unusually glum!

The 25% reductions required of parts of the public sector and the 2 year moratorium on pay rises for the over £21,000 earners, will seriously impact on spending power amongst such a large body of workers that further decline in Rotherham’s local economy is, I am afraid, inevitable in the short and medium term as spare cash dries up in our pockets and reduces still further local spending power.

One of the functions of this Budget, though not explicitly stated, is to bear down on the problem of personal debt, which is so high, that it must be brought down, though not without much pain for those affected. The costs of servicing all of this personal debt is so large that this alone could stifle any spending driven retail business recovery.

It is already clear that the overall balance of this Budget is not neutral in it’s effects, the bottom segment of society will be required to pay a disproportionately high price because of the changes announced yesterday and therefore I believe it to have failed, in it’s fairness criteria, because overall this Budget is a regressive one.

Rik

Denis's Rant! – now the analysis, what was really on his mind?

I reproduce below MacShane’s contribution to the debate on the £2billion of cuts just announced, to the pre-election gimmick give aways that had been announced in the months, weeks and days leading up to the election. I have already commented on the cynicism involved in these when none of them had been budgeted for nor would have survived post election even if Labour had won!

Commons Hansard. 17 Jun 2010 : Column 1048

Mr Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab):

“In 1979, the then Government started destroying South Yorkshire’s industry, and the right hon. Gentleman is truly an heir of that Government. Does he realise that the name of liberal democracy must hang its head in shame in Sheffield, now that Sheffield Forgemasters has no future? His right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister can now send back his Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority travel allowances, because he will never be welcome in Sheffield or South Yorkshire again.”

This largely synthetic rant by MacShane at first listening appeared to have nothing to tell us about him that we didn’t already know. Thanks to the BBC however for repeating it ad nauseam, in their Parliamentary coverage it gradually dawned on me that there might be more here of significance than immediately apparent.

He started quite calmly but gradually got more excited until he explosively spat out the words “IPSA travel allowances” and finished with an angry flourish aimed at Clegg, the Deputy PM and Member for the Hallam Constituency, in Sheffield.

Firstly, he would be well advised to check his facts before making statements such as, “now that Sheffield Forgemasters has no future”, alarmist nonsense of course, but potentially damaging nonetheless, if it becomes believed, as a result of this little intemperate, but now recorded, piece of stupidity. MacShane has a duty to rectify the impression that these words convey without delay.

Secondly, is Denis a little upset about the new allowances regime perhaps? He has certainly been unusually careful to stay out of the limelight on this area of debate, currently raging at Westminster, as greedy Members find out that they will not be able to get away with it in the future to anything like the extent they did before.

We already know that Denis has unfinished business to be held to account for, regarding his use of our money in the past. His previous accounting has been lamentable, apparently designed to conceal rather than reveal the true position. The questions that remain concern similar accusations that now four Labour members, including one sitting MP, Eric Illsley are undergoing criminal justice proceedings currently.

I don’t need to remind readers that this is a very serious position for a sitting Member to be in and should be remedied by the only reasonable response in current circumstances, full and open disclosure!

MacShane must now, if he is to retain any credibility in Rotherham or even be welcome here, openly account for his expenditure and put this issue to bed once and for all.

The alternative is for further barrages of questions based on detailed study of the facts that are in the public domain, further erosion of confidence, inevitably resulting in serious attempts to recall him, as soon as that right is available to his constituents. Already angry at Labours betrayal over the last 13 years, constituents want proper answers to their perfectly reasonable questions and will not give up on this issue until the have satisfaction.

It is not rocket science that Denis is being asked to do, it is not a difficult or even particularly arduous task to perform. Locally he even has a model to follow, John Healey, the Labour Member for Wentworth & Dearne has been publishing his information for years and I am sure would advise him if he needs help.

Rik

Further reading;

Forgemasters £80M Loan Cancelled! Labour Cynicism Revealed!

What planet is MacShane on?

Disgraceful Denis, disgraces himself again! This time for being drunk and not fully in charge of his mouth!

MacShane still doesn’t get it! Give us our money back!

Look! Who was missing! Yes it was MacShane, of course!

MacShane the Truth! Time for Change in Rotherham!

Peter Thirlwall, Independent for Rotherham. What motivates my campaign!

MacShane or is that MacShame, makes friends with Guido Fawkes Again!

Question Time for MacShane?

Peter’s Perspective – On MacShane

More Questions for MacShane?

MacShane has many questions to answer?

‘Two Homes’ MacShane must go! Part 2

‘Two Homes’ MacShane must go!

MP’s Expenses – What’s on the Web

MacShane PFIM No 2

MacShane PFIM No1

Peter Thirlwall’s Parliamentary Website

Rotherham Independents

Worth keeping an eye on:

Kevin Barron’s appreciation site. Politics in the Rother Valley


Eric Illsley Appears in Court. Labours' dirty secrets, gradually being exposed!

Eric Illsley, for the first time, attended City of Westminster Magistrates Court in London yesterday.

He is charged with dishonestly claiming more than £25,000 in expenses.

The allegations he faces are that he dishonestly claimed expenses for council tax, service & maintenance, repairs & insurance, utilities & communications at his second home in South London, between May 2005 and April 2008. Sound at all familiar to readers, anyone?

Eric Illsley indicated that he will be contesting these charges and will be pleading not guilty.

The Labour Party acted with unusually commendable speed on this and has suspended him from the Party, but the question still remains, why did they let him stand in the first place? None of this was news to them after all! See previous story here.

Another rather sad and seedy episode for the Labour Party that will further undermine trust in ‘the Party of the People’. As will the many other cases yet to reach the attention of you and me, that will punctuate the future on a regular basis.

Labour really didn’t do as good a job of checking out it’s sitting MPs before letting them stand again as the Tories. Brown’s assertions, during the campaign, that all his candidates were, ‘whiter than white’ and had been thoroughly vetted, now has a distinctly hollow ring.

Illsley was granted unconditional bail and his case committed to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on July 22nd.

Rik

See previous story, Eric Illsley, Labour Member for Barnsley Central, now first to have ‘unfinished business’ exposed!

Forgemasters £80M Loan Cancelled! Labour Cynicism Revealed!

Every announcement of funding by Labour in the early part of the year, to try to convince their voters in the ‘traditional heartlands of Yorkshire and the North’ to trust them, are now exposed for the cynical election bribes they were. Only the memories of the local euphoria the £80m for Sheffield Forgemasters now remains.

Disillusionment cannot adequately sum up my feelings on this matter, to find that we were basically conned when these promises were being announced, makes me very annoyed indeed!

It transpires that they were inadequately budgeted for and would, in all probability, have been axed by Labour if, by some miracle, they had clung on to power.

The sight of MacShane practically frothing at the mouth today in Parliament, with a synthetic rant of complaint that Labours cynical ploys had been rumbled, did him no favours in the esteem department. Few, if any, constituents will have been much impressed by this and must also have reason to question his sobriety even at this early hour, if they were to have witnessed it themselves, as I did.

While not, I am sure, disastrous in the long term, this will undoubtedly put back planned development that would have directly benefited the whole of South Yorkshire, at a time when our local economy needs improvement, that this will now postpone.

This may also undermine, perhaps fatally, Nick Cleggs local support in his Sheffield Hallam Constituency and confidence in the Liberal Democrats generally in South Yorkshire if having the Coalition Governments Deputy PM as a local Member does us no good at all.

Next weeks emergency budget is not going to be pleasant for anyone, on this evidence the fun will really start next Tuesday, when George Osborne delivers his maiden budget, we shall see.

Rik

The Conservative Party has issued Labour’s Legacy, well worth a read if you have any lingering doubts that Labour’s Term of office was the usual economic disaster, nothing ‘New’ about that then?