Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hear no.. Speak no.. See no..

After five years of persistent and increasing complaints the Environment Agency has now faced reality and belatedly decided to prosecute Cemex Cement over last October's dust storm, just one of a long series of pollution incidents. It has also, incredibly, just spent public money conducting a Survey asking 500 people what they think about the Rugby Cement. The people of Rugby had this to say about the cement plant:

"Unnecessary pollution, cars covered in dust, frequent outbursts of unhealthy dust, should not be burning tyres near the town, there is black smoke, washing gets dirty, dust comes in to the house and when it rains there is a grey film everywhere, it affects us in our old age, children's health, people with breathing problems, air pollution, dust particles, general ill health in the area of they works, cough, continual dust, dust all over trees, long term effects unknown, eyesore, bad for the environment, they get away with murder, and no meetings or appeals have any effect."

There are many more unprintable comments, and also the hard unpalatable facts that Warwickshire County Council in collusion with the AGENCY, have granted an unlawful planning permission, and the Environment Agency, in collusion with Rugby Borough Council, have granted an unlawful IPC operating permit, followed by another unlawful IPPC permit. The question is what is the point of merely "slapping the wrists of the industry", that no doubt earns about a million pounds a week profit? Apart from embarrassing them what actual IMPROVEMENT will there be for Rugby residents?

The reality is a stark choice - either:

  • the plant shuts down
  • or the TOTAL BURDEN increases and things get much worse.
They cannot control the world's largest piece of moving machinery - a semi-wet process cement kiln that was ill thought out, a botch-up construction, and wrongly located in a town with no raw materials, with no road or rail connection, and with 90,000 terrified people huddled underneath it. Now Cemex are burning the awful poisonous petcoke, and are set to increase production, waste burning, lorries and POLLUTION!

Readers will, I am sure, be relieved and delighted to hear how much the Agency cares about Rugby Residents:

The agency have this to say about their concerns:
"We have listened to what people are telling us and we take their concerns very seriously. We will use the results of this survey to COMMUNICATE BETTER with people about our regulation of Rugby Cement."

How jolly spiffing!

This after FIVE YEARS of public meetings, cement forum meetings, letters, communications, complaints, EA Board meetings, court cases, and innumerable times where the EA have blamed "a few disgruntled local campaigners" for "bringing the truth to the attention of the public".

The people of Rugby are not sitting ducks, nor mushrooms, nor pawns in the games the Government is playing with us. There is only one answer, stop playing the games and tinkering round the edges, and SHUT DOWN this unlawful plant.



M.A. said...

I was at the cement forum meeting for the first time last night and although the place seemed full i feel that if more people knew about it the place would be stuffed with concerned people.

Although i feel there is a certain lethargy in this and many towns when it comes to fighting industry in the name of public health (like why bother trying) I felt positive to see the people in charge of cemex shift uncomfortably in their seats when they could not answer an accusation suitably.

There is obviously so much wrong with the plant it should be shut down.

Cemex Go Home!

(I hope there will be more publicity for the next meeting.)

Jenny B. said...

Is it true that at the meeting last night one woman came in with a bag of clothes which were 'safely' in her bedroom cupboard and they were visably covered in dust!

If so i will be at the next with my car, my garden furnature, my kids toys, my kitchen and come to think of it this keyboard!

I hope there is going to be room for this show and tell.

I would bring you the interior of my lungs but I am rather attached to them at the moment.

Jenny B.

Mark Thompson said...

I am really sorry i missed the meeting now. I just heard about the questionnaire that was handed out to local residents. Not round here they weren't, at least not to any i have asked in Hillmorton.
We get forgotten up here, yet we are all still very affected by the works.

I could see it may have been a valuble asset to the town in the dim and distant past when it created jobs and production was more modest but now it is holding us all back. Who will ever take this town seriously with that industrial monstrosity stuck like a wart on our side.

Not to mention the as yet undisclosed health impact.

How many like me suffer from breathing disorders in this town?

Surely that should be an easy statistic to come up with.

Anonymous said...

Wot's all this about a prosecution. Wot are they being done for?

Concerned said...

I hope the prosecution gives them a criminal record.. That way they may have problems getting work in say..... the cement industry. :)