Nearly twenty years ago the Dearne Valley was under threat of a Toxic Waste Incinerator that was slated for the old Dale & Brown Site in Swinton under cover of claimed ‘glass making’.
Swinton residents and many others throughout the Dearne Valley formed a campaign group when we were told by our then local Councillor, Michael Eagleton, now deceased and the then Chair of the Planning Committee, that it was a done deal and ‘nothing could be done’ to stop it.
Swinton Against Toxic Waste was eventually successful after much campaigning that involved large numbers of local people, determined to stop more toxic pollution being generated in this already heavily contaminated area.
Now all the residents of the Dearne Valley are under even greater threat to their environment with the proposed incineration of waste and waste processing on behalf of all three local Councils that make up the waste partnership BDR. (Barnsley, Doncaster & Rotherham)
The site chosen is in fact less than a mile from the Dale & Brown site in Swinton and would affect exactly the same people that campaigned successfully previously, to prevent waste incineration in the already heavily polluted Dearne Valley area.
The political oversight for this project is headed by the Rotherham Cabinet Member for Streetpride one Richard Russell.
Until the recent local elections, he was a Councillor for the Hoober Ward. Deselected by Labour members there, because of a complete lack of faith in him to continue serving the Hoober Ward as a Labour member and I am informed also for his overweening arrogance towards fellow members and the electorate at large.
Undaunted, he hawked himself around the Rotherham Borough until he found a seat with members even more gullible than those of Hoober Ward, finally achieving success in Rother Vale Ward at the other end of town where his reputation was less well known.
His victory this year was somewhat diminished by the fact that he would have lost the seat to the Rotherham Independent, Rob Foulds, on any other year since 1974, if the General Election had not ensured the turnout of many voters who had no real idea of the local Labour Candidate foisted upon them by a handful of amazingly stupid local Labour members.
The task of overseeing such a complex project is a job for someone who is capable of understanding the processes involved and the potential for dangers both in the short and the long term. They must be capable of ensuring that all information made public is balanced and reasonable while at the same time responding to local concerns in ways that inspire confidence.
Is is vital therefore, that this task is performed by one of the ablest of councillors, not by such a frankly piss poor one, such as Richard Russell. The mere fact that Roger Stone*, or anyone else for that matter, has confidence in him to perform this task is breathtakingly arrogant and shows the basic inadequacy of Rotherham Labour Group and it’s overall level of competence to oversee the running of our Town.
A local campaign, Dearne Valley AIM’s (Against Incineration at Manvers) has formed already and are busily engaged in fighting these proposals that will burden all in the local area with further pollution to add to the already unacceptably high levels accrued in the area because of the heavily polluting industries of the past.
If you live anywhere in the Dearne Valley you should join them to stop this catastrophic proposal. They can be contacted by email by using this address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do so without delay, this ill-conceived proposal will not stop itself!
People Power is the only way! Get involved and have your say!
* Roger Stone OBE, Leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, What? No Knighthood! like Jack Layden? Understandable really, because he is definitely not in the same league as Jack once was.