I was pleased to help organise and speak at a meeting at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool calling for a moratorium on all new incineration capacity. I was joined at the event by Ian Hammond from the campaign group Aire Valley Against Incineration (AVAI) which was formed to fight the proposal to build an incinerator in Keighley.
Since I lost the Keighley seat in 2019, I have been advising, in a voluntary capacity, the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) to which the Keighley group is affiliated. We have had some major successes with both the Welsh and the Scottish Governments putting a stop to the building of new incinerators. Throughout the United Kingdom we now have more than enough capacity to deal with the amount of residual waste that is left after the increase in recycling which is projected. The meeting heard that a British Government could enact a similar moratorium in England simply by strengthening planning guidance and environmental standards enforced by the Environment Agency. No change in the law would be needed.
Daniel Zeichner, Labour’s Shadow Environment Minister told the meeting
‘We should now acknowledge that the time for incineration is over and that the age of incinerators should come to an end’.
I was very encouraged by the words of Mr Zeichner and hope to see national policy change when Labour gets into Government. Sometimes in politics you have to keep plugging away over the years and local campaigns can really make a difference.