Sunday, October 02, 2005

Letter to RBC & WCC

From: L Pallikaropoulos
Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2005 11:02 AM
To: 'Cllrs and others...
Subject: Call for action by RBC and by Rugby Community Forum

Dear Ms Robbins

1. It records in the minutes that you were to obtain details about the planning permissions that WCC gave for the lorries connected with the cement plant, and various other actions that were to be carried out. This was over a month ago, and if you have done this could you please advise the Forum members of what you have managed to find out? The Agency said that Warwickshire County Council ALONE was responsible for the enormous number of lorries connected to the works and that WCC had considered it and give it all permission when they gave the planning permission. So WCC and its policies are in a good part responsible for the air quality impact in Rugby, the creation of the AQMA zone for nitrogen dioxide that has been created in Rugby which is causing ill health in the town. Of this there can be no doubt. What is WCC going to do about it? It can limit the number of HGVs in Rugby for a start - as it does in Warwick! In the meantime the hapless public of Rugby are paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to monitor our air and try to protect ourselves from the impacts of pollution - illness and death. These monitors are only for a few pollutants and do not include many of the killers emitted by the cement plant. The biggest emitter of dioxin (the most dangerous substance known to man) in the country is Castle Cement at Padeswood - a Rugby we simply do not know how much is emitted!

All this has been inflicted on the people of Rugby by WCC,and its councillors, without ANY public consultation. They keep on compounding it. They gave permission for the plant to become a co-incinerator when they allowed Rugby Cement/RMC to have a retrospective permissions for tyre burning equipment in 2002 despite the objections of Rugby in Plume, planning consultants, and lawyers. Despite RBC pleas for them not to do it - via Cllr John Wells who asked them to postpone the decision. WCC are totally to blame for this co-incinerator in the middle of Rugby, and now they wish to go on further taking action to further spoil the lives and health of Rugby people. WCC made the 2002 decision based on false information, and even when told the truth they, the officers and councillors of WCC, chose to ignore the truth. Rugby Cement Community Forum was set up as a "form" of public consultation, but we are NOT being consulted on the vital issues! RBC deliberately sent off the Air Quality Assessment to DEFRA FOUR days before it needed to in order to shut down any debate on it at the Forum. The same was happening about the TOC variation, until a special meeting was called after pressure from RIP. Now we have asked you to call a special meeting and you do not even answer the emails. The RCCF seems to be being manipulated by officers and councillors in co-ordination with the EA and RMC/CEMEX in order to "smooth out the passage" in the commencement of the operation of the plant as the biggest CO-INCINERATOR of WASTE in the country. Your complete failure to answer any emails shows that you are complicit in this, otherwise you would want the matter aired, and openly and transparently consult the public.

2. I have written several times to ask you to call a special meeting to discuss the planning application for the new increased size of the pipeline, that closes on 13th October. Or you could ask RBC for an extension of time for a reply from the RCCF to be considered by the planning department. So far you have not even answered my emails.

3. I have suggested that the meeting is called to discuss the planning application for the bag filters at the same time as the pipeline. The reasons as I have explained to you are that the pipeline WILL Increase production. You heard how cagey Cemex were about answering the questions about the plant capacity at the last meeting. I will send you a fully typed up transcript of the whole meeting so you can hear exactly what was said, as opposed to the abbreviated minutes that we receive from RBC. They would not answer a straight question and fudged on about "plant optimisation".

Do you, or do you not, realise that

A) The increase in the pipeline will increase production, emissions, pollution, lorries, and their pollution, and have an air quality and health impact?

B) That the bag filters once fitted will allow the plant to burn ALL HAZARDOUS wastes including the following. The emissions from the plant are NOT monitored now and will NOT be monitored then, as you well know as the EA have admitted they cannot monitor for cancer causing chemicals like mercury, PAHs, and dioxins,etc which are known Carcinogens! This increase in waste burning will be with NO FURTHER CONSULTATION because the EA will just issue a VARIATION NOTICE in line with the Substitute Fuels Protocol Revised February 2005 edition. This cuts off ALL public consultation and allows the burning of many more waste streams of virtually NO calorific value, from any source and any country.

It seems you personally who have the "power" to call an extra special meetings have chosen for Rugby to become the waste capital of the UK. RIP will not be blamed but RBC will be.

Low grade explosives
Sewage sludge
Household wastes
Medical waste

The obvious and apparent attempt to stifle debate on this needs to be brought out into the open. The RCCF will be used as a scapegoat by the EA and they will say "we consulted with the public via the RCCF", and they "had no objection".

The RCCF meetings are working better than they did at the Cement works, but the Agenda is controlled by RBC councillors and officers, and the public have no voting rights and no ability to influence any of the things that are happening at the cement plant. The RCCF is still a put-up job by the EA and Cemex to show that they are "liaising" with the community, but let's be clear about it, it is merely a talking shop where the EA and Cemex explain what they are going to do, and we just argue about it, and then they get on and do it. Most of the people on the Forum do not UNDERSTAND any of the technical issues and the documents and reports. Most of the people on that FORUM do not read other related documents and do not understand anything about what is going on. I will refrain from mentioning the stupid things many of the people on the Forum come out with, but anyone listening to the tapes can see how they are all being manipulated by Cemex and the EA, and how gullible most of the Forum members are. You can tell that also because they do not answer any of my emails or show any concern for what is happening. If they were not either "failing to understand" or perhaps "asleep", or "in denial" or "unable to read" they would answer these emails and join RIP to make a chorus of protest asking for a FULL OPEN DEBATE on what is happening here.

Of course the Council insists on changing the members frequently so there is no continuity and new members arrive "fresh and green" with no idea of what has gone on before, and have no chance to learn. You yourself are a similar victim, and you came on the Forum recently and admitted at your very first meeting that you had "no idea what this was about" and that you were on a "steep learning curve". It is more than "unfortunate" for the people of Rugby that you still do not know "what this is all about" and you refuse to listen to those of us who do know!

This is the CRUNCH time and RBC and WCC have it in THEIR OWN POWER to refuse both these applications and STOP the situation from getting any worse for Rugby people. At the very least WCC and RBC should stop behaving as if they are two unrelated authorities and get together to work on this. A halt should be called while a full ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT is carried out. WCC and RBC and the EA are playing "pass the parcel" with this, and at stake is the continuing degradation of Rugby town and the ill health that is increasing. RBC EHO officers admit publicly that the "Rugby Borough has the highest level of winter mortality in the county". The Director of Public Health at the PCT was quoted in the paper as saying "yes, more people are ill and dying in New Bilton and Newbold, in the wards round the cement plant, but it is because they are old/poor/had hard lives/cannot look after themselves etc" as far as she knows.

1. Can Rugby tolerate any further increase in: the types of emissions, the total pollution, lorries, air quality and health impacts?

2. Do you and RBC "want" and "permit" Rugby to be known as the incinerator capital of the UK?

3. As a Council RBC could take a MUCH more pro-active stance and ask the EA for a comparison of the emissions from say Coventry incinerator. A comparison of the tonnage of waste that goes in there and also the amount of lorries and the associated pollution from them. RBC could INSIST that the EA give us the address of the cement plants of which the EA claim there are MANY that are like Rugby in a town cement so we can go and see them and check their emissions. But the OPPOSITE of this is happening, and I fear that behind the backs of the people RBC officers are working with WCC officers and EA officers to inflict more misery on the Rugby people. How many councillors are involved in this I do not know but we do know that the officers are having "private" meetings to see how they can get this over the people of Rugby without them knowing. All along WCC and RBC have been doing this, and the minutes of these meetings should be made publicly available.

4. An immediate investigation into the amount the RMC/Cemex lorries contribute as a percentage to the AQMA for nitrogen dioxide. An immediate assessment of what they contribute in terms of particulate - each lorry contributes about as much as 100 cars, so they are in total about 100,000 cars a day extra in Rugby town centre. An immediate assessment of the whole TOTAL BURDEN of the cement plant including al its associated elements, such as the unloading of 1,400 tonnes of coal a day in the town centre and trucking through the town in hundreds of lorries.

5. RMC itself stopped the Western Releif Road from being built, along with WCC, and now the people are still suffering from them and their bullying. The EA even compounded the problems for Rugby residents by permitting the plant to become an ulimited DISTRIBUTION centre for clinker and cement, increasing even more the lorries and emissions from the plant. Cemex will not even say who IS running the plant because they know they have not been FAPP tested to run a waste management site which is a legal requirement of such operations when they change hands. One minute they say we are new, we are Cemex, we are better, and we will run the plant better as they admit it was disastrous before, and the next they say but we are still the same old Rugby Limited. It is manipulation and bullying of a whole town and this Council is not only "allowing" this to happen but actively participating in it and helping this to go on.

I think we need some straight answers as to what this COUNCIL is playing at, and I call for another urgent meeting of RCCF and also a full scale public meeting to discuss these issues. The Officers and councillors at RBC are well out of their depth in these matters and none of you seem to have grasped the enormity of what is going on here, or you are condoning and colluding to get this through. Which is it?

Rugby in Plume is due to have its AGM in the near future and the Agenda is being finalised. One of the items will be about the way the Council manipulates the meetings, sending off data without consultation, and refusing to answer any correspondence. Another item will concern the possibility that Rugby in Plume is being used as a scapegoat by this Council to let themselves off the responsibility for what RBC is doing. It could be that Rugby in Plume members and supporters will be voting on whether to take any action against RBC and WCC for allowing the people of Rugby to suffer even further, and for malpractice. Avenues are being explored to see what possibilities exist. Rugby in Plume cannot be held responsible for this "sham" of public consultation and liaison, and for the events that are now happening. The responsibility for this lies with RBC and WCC who are apparently actively seeking to make Rugby the co-incineration capital of the UK. RIP would not like to withdraw from the RCCF but if we are being abused, bullied , mis-informed by the EA and Cemex who repeatedly refuse to answer questions, and if we are being made into scapegoats then at the AGM we will have to consider our position.

In the meantime I would appreciate an urgent response, say within seven days, else I shall have to use the Councillors Code of Conduct and take this up with the Standards Board.

Thank you.

Lilian Pallikaropoulos

This email wil be widely circulated
To all members of RBC
Some members at WCC
And others


Super Hands said...

I am just sick of nearly getting run over by Rugby Cement lorries everyday.

And why the hell is the Air Quality Monitoring Unit outside the Magistrates Court?

Why isn't it down ON the Lawford Road where it should be?

I washed my car yesterday and literally within hours is was dirty again.

It really scares me to think I am breathing that stuff in.

Ski said...

I know what you are saying and recently took matters into my own hands...

I moved...

A little drastic i know but i was fed up of looking at cemex's temple of doom and listening to RBC's endless lies.