AFTER decades in the pipeline, the Javelin Park incinerator is finally about to fire up.
It’s a monumental folly and a sad day for Gloucestershire.
Planners refused permission for the incinerator because of its visual impact on the landscape and anyone who drives past on the M5 and sees this blight on our countryside will understand why. Sadly they were over-ruled.
But the impact is far more than visual and, at the very least, we should learn the lessons from this white elephant so that other counties are not also burdened.
Firstly, there must be greater financial transparency with a lack of full scrutiny of one of the biggest financial undertakings by Gloucestershire County Council, with only a handful of Conservative councillors privy to the full financial details.
I am also concerned about the traffic implications, particularly lorries arriving via Junction 12 of the M5, already a difficult junction.
But my prime concerns remain health, impact on air quality and the wider environmental impact.
I have been working with experts for two years to look at emissions from incinerators. It has become clear that regulations are inadequate, and so too is monitoring technology. Quite simply, the very smallest particles emitted by incinerators are not properly monitored.
These are the most dangerous to health, able to enter the bloodstream and the implications are not fully understood.
Sadly, just as we have declared a Climate Emergency and society is waking up to the need to reduce plastics and waste, Gloucestershire will be lumbered with backward technology which is a disincentive to reduce waste.
Our county is now home to an edifice to out-dated technology and political inadequacy. I will be joining protestors on Saturday outside Shire Hall in Gloucester to highlight this tragedy and the message that it must never happen again.