Monday, June 18, 2007

The Outlaws

As polluter refuses to pay.
Rugby Cement rips off Rugby residents, yet again, as sorry saga goes on, and on, and on......

RUGBY CEMENT COMMUNITY FORUM to be disbanded because the polluter does not pay, and Rugby people can no longer provide the approximate £10,000 each quarterly meeting costs in order to try to protect themselves.

Imagine this - Rugby people sitting quietly at home minding their own business, and along comes Rugby Cement who claim they wish ONLY to "improve" the environment and air quality in Rugby by "upgrading" their old stinking, polluting, 300,000 tonne a year cement plant, which cannot meet the new IPC regulations. So they hatch a plan to tell people it will only be three times bigger; submit an application to Warwickshire County Council, without any environmental impact assessment, and gain a planning permission, without appropriate and honest public consultation in February 1996. Then they go on and on increasing the planned size of the plant to 2 million tonnes - in secret.

Meanwhile the arch enemy of the environment is secretly involved in a "staged" IPC application which was never DULY MADE and for which not one penny for the "application" changed hands - so we are told - as being "staged" Rugby Cement put on each "stage", of which there are many from 1995 to 1999, that "no money need to be paid for this application until the application is finished, because it is staged". So on June 16th 1999 Rugby Cement finally finished the last of all stages, and then a decision was made by the Agency to keep the application secret and to tell only a few trusted statutory consultees, and to tell them NOT to put any of this on the Public Register. Warwickshire County Council, having been involved all along in this trickery, were suddenly denoted as "NOT" consultees.

Rugby Cement decided NOT to advertise the IPC application in the London Gazette and local press - as required by Law. Rugby Borough Council officer/s/councillor/s (?) decided in secret, and in grave dereliction of duty, with no records, minutes, or consultation with anyone, simply "not to reply" to the IPC application. That was the sum total of this Council's considered opinion and care for the community - NO WE HAVE NO OPINION! They decided to make no effort whatsoever to try to limit the damage that was about to be inflicted on Rugby people and environment in February 2000 when the new plant was to start up.

The secret IPC permit was issued in September 1999, by which time the IPPC regime had been brought into Law and the plant SHOULD have made an IPPC application straight away BEFORE operating at all. Then by stealth the IPPC application was made in September 2001, but the public were told by all the conspirators that this was ONLY a tyre burning application. Only data and reports about tyre burning were given out, and the IPPC application was never revealed - except to RBC EHO who yet again chose to ignore a PPC application, and to make no response!

This then collapsed into farce as the Agency wasted thousands of pounds of public money in the sham and false consultation, and ably aided by RBC, they then allowed Rugby Cement to put its hand into Rugby tax council tax payers pockets for the long-term suppression of Rugby people. They set up a Rugby Cement Community Forum to be funded by Rugby residents, and later on a tyre Burning Review group was suggested by the Agency as a means of assessing the impending tyre trial. So Rugby volunteers, and councillors, worked night and day for the community studying cement plant issues, while the Rugby tax payer funded the officers and administration to the apparent tune of about £10,000 each meeting. Plus many hundreds of thousands of pounds on consultants and reports, legal opinions. large public meetings, etc.

Rugby Borough Council, COUNCILLORS, wrote to the Agency saying that the Tyre Trials had NOT been a success, that there were major concerns about plant instability, efficiency, abnormal operations, lack of data and that the SEVEN CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS had most definitely NOT been met. The Agency took not a blind bit of notice as usual, and it was left up to the public to issue JUDICIAL REVIEW proceedings against the Agency as RBC wasted yet more of our money and FAILED to follow through. RBC looked ever weaker and more pathetic as the cement company and Agency continued to refuse to respond to the Council's concerns. RBC should be LIVID!

But instead they have meekly given in to the Agency and Cemex. Now as a final straw you can read about how RBC has suddenly decided to back-track, after all this time that Rugby people have been ripped off, SEVEN YEARS of banditry, that the POLLUTER must now PAY for the meetings, and for the liaison committee. The people can no longer afford to PAY to PROTECT OURSELVES. After years of Rugby Cement's filching off us, and demanding that we have meetings at their every beck and call, when they wish to increase pollution, increase wastes, increase emissions, increase capacity, increase hazardous waste to landfills, etc, now they are going to be in charge of the liaison committee. As they were previously when it was a closed shop, held at the works, with the cement plant controlling the members, agenda, minutes, and prohibiting the public and press.

# ask too many questions
# understand only too well what is going on
# refuse to be fobbed off by the non-answers
# follow through
# punch above our weight
# write reports Cemex and the Agency do not like
# tell the truth about the forum and how it "operates"
# realised that RBC officers have also been with holding crucial information

OFFICERS REPORT makes interesting reading:
# "RBC took over the responsibility for the forum from Rugby Cement as a short-term measure when the initial tyre burning application was made". Oh really? And now they have got it all "through", and brought in full scale co-incineration we are of no further use and are to be discarded - is that it?

# "A community/industry liaison group has a valuable role to play in education and informing the local community about the activities and developments at the Rugby cement Plant. It is also a mechanism for community issues and concerns to be raised and discussed, and addressed in a constructive and positive manner. The Current RCCF does not realistically achieve this as it can be adversarial in nature which is probably due to the history of hostility, abuse , and ongoing litigation between participants." Oh really? The problems have arisen because the authorities and Rugby Cement refuse to answer questions, reveal information, discuss openly and honestly, to engage with the community, because fundamentally what has happened is unlawful, and the RCCF was set up in order to blind and confuse the community, and to "out wit us".

# "The Environment Agency has advised they do not facilitate any such group anywhere else in the country and would consider it inappropriate as the Regulator to do so. Therefore this only leaves CEMEX as a credible future facilitator. This is entirely appropriate for a variety or reasons:

1. This is the normal industry model across the country.
2. It reinforces the principal of the "polluter pays" and,
3. It is in the company's interests to ensure that they have an open and honest relationship with local communities." Oh really? In their interests? Well we have just been through years of consultation with them and it appears that even the Councillors were able to understand that it was NOT in the company's interests to have ANY open and honest dialogue at all, and that is why they have REFUSED point blank to have any "open honest relationship with local communities" - backed up by the Agency who also refuse to have any open and honest dialogue.

# "Initial discussions with CEMEX have confirmed that they would be prepared to take over the role of facilitator of a "refreshed" RCCF at their own expense." Oh really?
How very big, and generous, and thoughtful, and kind, and caring, and compassionate of them. They are even going to contribute towards a £15,000 "stakeholder analysis" report, to be commissioned by a "specialist company" that would go out and carefully choose the new members, so that the whole thing runs smoothly!


Anyone know anyone who is wet behind the ears, and green, and enjoys being ripped off, having their time wasted, being dictated to, fooled, and bullied?

Please forward their names on a postcard for the new liaison committee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why are more people not not going crazy over this. Shouting in the streets and all that. It does affect all of us after all.