Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Competition Time!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and girls, It's competition time here on the Rugby Town Blog.
Send in your cartoons so that we can post them on this blog and win yourself £50 lovely pounds...

You can place as many entries as you want and after we have a good amount online we will find an independant judge to vote for the best cartoon.

As we have limited space please don't be upset if we don't post yours, we will only be posting the good ones.. ;)

..And here is our first entry from Mr X in Hillmorton..

How to buy off a town

Check back here to see the gifts/donations associated with the Rugby Cement plant.

£25,000 a year for three years from 2003 towards air quality monitors. (Who had access to the data? Not the public of Rugby!)

Here are more examples from 1999, and at that time everyone's eye "was off the ball" as the Council and all the people of Rugby should have been looking at the IPC application for the cement works. (Integrated Pollution and Control) The public were not made aware of the public consultation. Why not? What did RBC do at that time? Their files are mysteriously empty.

  • Gift? info HERE

  • Newbold Shops - £10,000 is being provided by Rugby Cement for the environment enhancement programme.
    Hillmorton Locks - £20,000 is being provided by Rugby Cement towards the refurbishment of buildings at the Locks to create suitable premises for small businesses and visitors.
    Air Quality Project - £15,000 is being provided by Rugby Cement for an air quality project which is also being funded by the Council and the Environmental Agency.
    St Andrew’s Benn Park – The Millennium green - £46,650 is being provided by Onyx Environment. Trust to help convert the disused school playing field into an urban park.
    Great Central Walk - £61,250 is being provided by Onyx Environmental Trust to make the stretch of Great central Walk in the built up area into more of a nature reserve. Other projects have been awarded to the local community in the Rugby rural area by Onyx Environmental Trust.

    Councillor Martin Eversfield, Chairman of the Environmental services Committee said,

    "This is excellent news for Rugby. This is another example of the Council working in partnership with other organisations for the benefit of local people."

    (Ed: "Scuse me while I go get a bucket.")

    Missing Links

    Here is the link to RBC :

  • Rugby Cement Community Forum Minutes

  • It would appear that RBC has "lost" or "temporarily mislaid the attachments".

    We apologise on behalf of RBC who are attempting to locate the missing Documents which lawfully should be a part of the RBC records, as the Committee was set up by them, facilitated by them, chaired by them, and the Agenda, and Minutes are controlled by them. The Council has a Duty of Care, so why this reluctance to give out completed copies of the Agenda items?

    This is anyone's guess, but surely there cannot be something in there they do not wish the general public to see?

    Monday, January 30, 2006

    Agency reassurance not very reassuring.

    Clearly the Enviroment Agency (EA) is trying its very best to reassure people that there are no "extra risks" from burning waste at Rugby, but they have started in the wrong place. First we want to know what the risk is from the coal burning cement plant, before they start "adding in" a few more toxic pollutants. They quote (Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants) COMEAP in reply to the EA/HPA (Health Protection Agency) request "to consider data collated by the HPA and EA on the effects of emissions of air pollutants substituting Substitute Liquid Fuel and used tyres for a proportion of coke used in specific cement kilns."

    COMEAP reported, "the substitution of Substitute Liquid Fuel and used tyres.. in comparison to the use of COKE as a fuel, is "unlikely" to cause an increased risk to health." Well that certainly makes us all feel better! Where are these plants that they studied located; how many people in the plume grounding area; are they wet/semi-wet process like Rugby where the heavy wet plume grounds easily; how many people did they study; what was the methodology; how many people live in the two kilometre plume grounding area that they studied?

    This report is not relevant in Rugby where COKE is not burnt. Does the EA, or the HPA/COMEAP, have any relevant health studies on the substitution of tyres for COAL in any cement kilns, as opposed to coke? And even more important what about their study of "Rugby town air quality and health without any cement plant emissions", or have they not carried that out yet.

    In the meantime "look behind you" as the Agency have commissioned a Market Researcher to knock doors in Rugby to find out what people really think and experience in Rugby as regards the cement plant. They will be sorry they asked!

    Stack Cam

    I don't know if anyone remembers the wonderful web images produced last year by a local webcam called 'StackCam'..

    The camera supplied by the general public of Rugby allowed us to keep tabs on the plume 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

    Unfortunately the camera ceased to operate when it's location could no longer be used.

    Why don't we get it back up and running? Does anyone have a room with a view of the plume where we could place a video camera and small computer? A broadband connection is also important and I am sure we could find a way of helping out with the costs.

    If you think you can help let me know by emailing stackcam@rugbytown.org

    As you can see by the attached photo, sometimes the plume is much more menacing at night than it is in the daytime.. I wonder why..? ;)

    Saturday, January 28, 2006

    Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

    Today I have been spending yet another Saturday (what a sad and wasted life - I never realised there were SO MANY Saturdays in four years) wondering how all this fits together, and wondering what have I done wrong, and why no "officials of the Council" including my own FIVE ward councillors (Caldecott) will not even talk to me or answer me. I mistakenly thought Councillors were appointed to represent the people of Rugby, but out of the 48 Councillors only one seems to be doing that?

    Can anyone name any Councillors who are doing their job - the job the public pay for? I have asked the following few questions of the Rugby Borough Council Environmental Health Director, Leader of the Council, the Mayor, and all councillors, (we have no Chief Executive, but I believe we are paying one on full-time salary?), and I will publish the reply - if I ever get one?

    Last time I asked a question, (albeit in the Council Chamber where we are told we, the public, who pay their salaries, MAY be seen but MUST not be heard), when they were misinforming the Councillors and people of Rugby, they did not like it at all that I butted in as the public are apparently not allowed to point out "untruths and misinformation", and we are "supposed to sit through it all and take it on the chin". They asked me to "leave the Council Chamber!" Apparently people who speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, are not welcome. Maybe I will get an ASBO for speaking the truth out of turn, but they should remember the Three Monkeys: "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil!"

    Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2006 4:03 PM
    To: RBC EHO, Leader of the Council, Mayor of Rugby and all Councillors:

    Dear Mrs Stone, Leader of the Council, and Mayor of Rugby,

    On the RBC web site it states that the Air Quality Review and Assessment is open to public consultation until March 15th "2006. Why is the raw/ratified/unratified data not supplied for people to look at? You have supplied the 2003 hourly data and the 2004 data, so how can the members of the public reply, if they have not got access to the essential data?

    1. Where is the RBC Air Quality helpline advertised currently?

    2. Where has it been advertised since November 2003: please list?

    3. What is the telephone number?

    4. What is the email contact number?

    5. You write, at RCCF meeting 25th January 2006, in response to the question "Where is the data from the Stack Cam, and how can the public view it?"

    "The Stack Cam images are not available to be viewed by the public. They are continually recorded through the Council's control centre, which is based in Rounds Garden. Specific software is enquired to be installed on a host computer before the images can be viewed. Images are routinely retained for 7 days, after which period they are erased. When incidents are reported to the Council concerning visual emissions from the stack the images can be reviewed and transferred to a cd-rom for long-term storage. These are available to the Environmental Agency for viewing or other purposes."

    A) How much of the recording (in terms of hours per day) do council officers actually routinely view the stack cam?

    B) Do they only view it when they get complaints from the public?

    C) Do they only view it when they get request from the EA?

    D) Do they view it at all, or just send the "transferred data" on CD ROMs, to the Environment Agency?

    E) How much does it cost to run this "service" each year?

    F) Rugby in Plume managed to record at night: why can the RBC stack cam only record during the daylight hours?

    G) is this good value for money?

    6. Where is the Environment Agency hotline advertised to Rugby residents?

    7. Can you please confirm that any complaints about the plant and the plume should be telephoned immediately to the Environment Agency emergency number of 0800 807060, and also that the persons reporting in MUST ask for the NIRS reference number, so that they get a reply in writing.

    8. Should people also contact RBC to record their complaints, and if so what is the emergency 24 hours RBC hotline number? And the Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 number.

    9. Can you confirm that this plant is allowed to put out black smoke in the "smoke control zone of Rugby" because it has an "exemption".

    10 Can you confirm that the Statutory Nuisance Regulations, as applied to all other industries and persons, do not apply to the Rugby Plant because they have an exemption under the Legislation?

    11 Can you tell us where in the UK or Europe there is any such 2 million tonne a year cement plant, to the west of a town where the wind is predominantly westerly, within a smoke control area in Western Europe?

    12 Why did RBC allow a massive semi-wet co-incinerating cement plant, that has the obvious and uncontrollable plume grounding problems, to be built in a town with no raw materials?

    13 Please list the names of all councillors, and officers, who have agreed to this development.

    14 How much has RBC been paid to agree to this?

    15 What action can the Rugby residents lawfully take against RBC for the damages to the Environment and Health? What route is open to us and what evidence to we need?

    16 Why does RBC refuse to meet with Lilian and members of RIP, and refuse to answer their questions and emails?

    17 RIP lawyers have written to RBC at great length, explaining where and how RBC is failing in its duties, and the reply has been "thank you for your letter - we have put it on file!"

    Thank you.

    Artists Needed.

    Thanks Keith for being so quick sending in this montage..

    At least I hope it's a montage and not some new angle of the cement works I am yet to view. It's called 'Burnin' Rubber'.

    Keep them coming guys, photos, sketches interpritations on what the cement works and air pollution means to you in any format you like.

    Perhaps we could eventually have an exhibition... I am sure Cemex would love to sponsor it.

    Friday, January 27, 2006

    Blog off (Editorial Note)

    If you notice any changes on the site (as in edits) shortly after publishing, this is due to potential misquotes that may have to be removed as we sometimes make the mistake of writing what the big wigs mean and not what they say... Allegedly....

    Here's a pic dated today, thanks go to Squid for seding it in. It looks like the plume is once again straying a little too close to the ground.

    If anyone else sees the plume grounding or looking darker than it should, please send a pic in so we can post it here.

    Thursday, January 26, 2006

    Community Forum

    Last night's forum was as entertaining as ever with the Environment Agency and Cemex admitting that the plume, whether visible or invisible, will ground on Rugby residents, due to circumstances beyond their control - the weather! I do not see why God, and the met office, should get all the blame? Perhaps they should shut the plant when the weather conditions are "favourable to plume grounding", but then again perhaps not! That situation can be even worse as no limits are placed on it at all when it is in the "shutting down" or "starting up" mode as it cannot be controlled at those times.

    Start up is only considered to be complete when the "raw material throughput" reaches 200 tonnes an hour, so theoretically they could be on nearly 5,000 tonnes a day with no Emission Limits! So much for the Agency's claim of "tight limits". The Devil is in the detail as ever. Compare this to the situation of the old works which only made a 1,000 tonnes of clinker a day. The limits must have applied by 50 tonnes an hour at least.

    Air Quality experts were also present to tell us "not to worry" as the air quality monitors show that the plant contributes only 1-9% of particulate pollution in Rugby. They struggled with the maths of it when they realised that on 28/11/05 and 29/11/05 the plume grounding caused the monitor in Addison Road to read 90mu/m3 instead of the background level of 20mu/m3. What percentage increase is that then? Oh they said but that is only for a short term peak. The jury is still out on how much dioxin, mercury, arsenic, VOC etc would have been in the "toxic one metre cubed boxes" as they had to admit that they only know about the daily average and not about any concentrations in each box.

    As ever the interesting questions were left to last, and as "arranged", and as always we ran out of time before getting down to the nitty gritty.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    Toxic cabbage

    I think it is fantastic that the local people under the shadow of the stack have managed to keep hold of their allotments throughout the whole Redrow debacle.

    One concern I have though... Has anyone tested actually tested the veg produce on the allotments for pollutants? The huge earth mound nearby was found nearby to have 200 times the accepted amount of toxins presant!

    Please guys, get the soil tested. Or at least pop up at night to see if your 'greens' glow in the dark.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Plume With A View

    Did anyone pop out to taste the air today as it grounded on Rugby town centre?

    The thick acrid particulate cloud probably did wonders for the local coffee shop scene infact we should do a little survey.

    Any volunteers to see whether a polluted town centre makes people more thirsty as they try to get rid of the dryness in their throat.

    Applicants apply to this blog... Must supply your own clipboard.. ;)

    This afternoon the town air really got to me so i decided to head to the eye of the storm and walk the greeny-white fields of Long Lawford only to see that it was to be a day when the works were hedging their bets and leaking things from all over. As you can see by the following pic it's not just the main stack we have to contend with.

    Friday, January 20, 2006

    How Crazy Is This?

    This is the 21st century right?

    Why on earth do we have views like this from our homes. When this house was built the view was much less intimidating. The monstrosity that you see happened with the consent of our local council!

    Who do they really represent?

    I am sure there are worst views out there. Please feel free to email them and I will see if at some point it we can get a gallery going. Or maybe even a calendar printed up. :)

    Please send photos to... icansee@coincinerator.com

    (Remember.. if you click on any photo on this blog.. It gets bigger.. )

    Thursday, January 19, 2006

    The Angel Of Death

    Real Angel needed

    Who saw the piece in the Rugby Observer dated January the 19th 2006 regarding suggestions for a rugby landmark?

    Rugby Chamber of Commerce should get real! I am sorry to say that a mere statue of an angel will not help attract tourists to Rugby. Anyone visiting would be most unwilling to stay more than day because of the overpowering cement plant and hovering plume of doom that is experienced from everywhere, including all the conservation area.

    The Environment Agency have confirmed that the plume does ground on Rugby residents, but they consider it not to be a "significant hazard" - not to them in their offices anyway.

    I suggest they get a real Angel to watch over us and try to protect us from the acid gases and particulates, and the toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that pour out of the stack 24/7 and escape as fugitive emissions from transfer points and leakages.

    Then the Angel can also pray by the graveside of those whose lives are terminated prematurely by the toxic cloud!

    Keep your eyes posted here for more great info and pix of our wonderful town of Rugby..

    Saturday, January 14, 2006

    The First Post

    Why Am I Here?

    The whole world seems to be blogging... So here I am.

    In time I will fill in the spaces as to why I got involved in the whole battle with the huge industry sat within our plesant market town.

    At this moment in time I have a head full of numbers and a small room piled high with papers, letters, reports and other documents that pushed together look like a lifetime of reading.

    It's amazing what you can get done in a 20 hour day. But is it all enough? We shall see soon enough.

    Please take some time to read through this blog. Keep checking back as through the power of technology and internet publishing we will travel back and forth through time documenting and discussing this huge stuggle for a cleaner enviroment we can proudly leave our children.

    This blog was born in January of 2006 but please search back through the archives as posts will be made in history to fill in the gaps.