Saturday, August 25, 2007


(click to enlarge print and wear!)

Speaking of Rugby residents a reliable source informed "They have been duped yet again. It is easy when you know how. We do it all the time. Making monkeys is us!"

The new-Labour Environment Agency promised much - "better regulation; open transparent governance; access to information; public participation; adequate effective meaningful consultation; environmental protection; air quality and health improvements; stricter controls on industry...."
The EA already had the Cemex Application to increase tyre burning by 100% was by 12th July, but "somehow" it was omitted from the July 18th RCCF meeting, and now we are being scrambled to consider it on 29th August, with only five days notice. No time to inform the public either! Typical.

RBC ON EXTRA TYRE BURNING * "While it is accepted that the statutory period for consultation is 28 days it is not considered appropriate for the voluntary sector, which have valid reasons to consider this application. Under the Warwickshire Compact Agreement 12 weeks is normally provided for consultation, in line with Government recommendations. "
* "Only 2 weeks is proposed for the trials. This is considered very short especially as new bag filters have been fitted and the proposal is a SIGNIFICANT increase in tyres as a substitute fuel. (100%.)"
* "The previous tyre burning trials had shown an increase in respirable particulates. The area has elevated levels of particulate. The Council requests the impact of the trials on particulate emissions be closely monitored and carefully considered."

The Cemex Rugby Cement Plant Community Matters newsletter has dropped on the mat of the lucky few thousand houses in the areas CV21 and CV23 nearest the works. Funny it is not delivered in the town centre, nor of course in the nearby Rugby School conservation area, where residents seemingly do not need to know, and do not breath the same air? The latest charitable donations, £125,000 to Church Lawford Village Hall, and unspecified sums to RBC for the Rugby in Bloom competition are proudly announced. Never let it be said that these "timely select donations" are not specifically designed to buy-off, divide up, or compensate sections of the Community.

As the World Business Council for Sustainable Development admitted, the cement industry is not sustainable in the long term. It advised the cement industry to target decision makers, divide up the politicians, and to deal with protesters by isolating them or by engaging them in things the cement industry wants them to do, to keep them busy, and to keep the population happy by telling them plausible stories for the future.


Cemex say: "In a recent report to RBC Sean Lawson, Head of Environmental Health Services set out the options for the future of the Rugby Cement Community Forum or RCCF.
The RCCF was set up over five years ago to provide a means for the community and the company to meet, exchange information and examine any issues concerning the plant's operation. It was, he states, a short term measure which should now be reviewed. A number of options were presented and these included carrying on in its present form, disbanding it completely, or passing the responsibility (and the expense) to the company.
He believed that the Forum had become 'adversarial in nature' and this had contributed to it not achieving its objectives.

It is certainly more common practice for such liaison to be facilitated and financed by the company involved and it was this option that was accepted. However a final decision has been put off until later in the year. If the original decision is upheld, independent research would be carried out to establish the make-up and organisation of a new liaison group and how this can best serve the needs of the community."

This "Option" has been "called in" by some environmentally aware Councillors. The Tory Cabinet have had their knuckles wrapped over their hasty and non-constitutional decision to disband the RCCF. A scrutiny exercise is being conducted into this apparent abuse of process, and into the aims and objectives of those who started this action.

As for Sean Lawson's Report to RBC Cabinet Rugby in Plume say how will handing over control to Cemex improve things? And if the RCCF has been ineffectual it is because:
* The so-called exchange of information is incomplete, stilted, censored, often misleading, and has to be dragged out, like pulling teeth.
* Neither the EA nor Cemex (nor hapless RBC) are capable of answering a basic straight question with a straight answer.
* Their objective appears to get away with telling us as little as possible.
* They do not tell us about incidents at the works, malfunctions,emission limit exceedences, and vital Public Register information is never presented.
Forum members have to dig it out.
* They hide data for months and even years.
* The Agency takes months and years to investigate pollution incidents and in the meantime tells the RCCF they may not discuss them.
* The consultations appear targeted at holiday periods, presumably in the hope the public eye is "off the ball!" and the RCCF numbers are down.
* The "consultations" fit neatly in between the four annual RCCF meetings, the dates of which are planned over year in advance, so that in effect the Forum as a body never ever discusses the variations and applications.
* The RCCF was never said to be only a "short-term measure".
* The RCCF declined the offer of reverting to the previous model where RMC would not permit the public, controlled the agenda, the venue, and minutes.
* The RCCF suggested Cemex should fund the RCCF as it is now - in line with the Polluter Should Pay principal - in an open and publicly accessible venue.
* The RCCF asked RBC how much the Community, (only trying to protect itself), has had to pay to subsidise Cemex, and its ever ongoing new applications for variations, planning permissions, changes to equipment, storage, waste raw materials, waste "fuels", increased emission limits. extra HGVs etc? How do these compare with the industry hand-outs?


The track record of the Rugby Cement, the Environment Agency and RBC shows that they resort to setting up a new committee when they are discretely trying to slip in something unpalatable.

They had a Rugby Cement Liaison Group controlled by the works, and in June 1999 they tried to get away without following the LAWFUL PROCESS, and to evade the IPC Consultation for the new plant. So they formed a new committee involving many uninformed Councillors. Karen Stone, (Sean Lawson's predecessor), was then Director of Environmental Health, along with a Mr Cudlip who was in declining health. Dianne Colley was the Chief Executive and is now living comfortably on a pension after taking early retirement on ill-health grounds when it had all become too much for her! And for us!! Karen Stone was involved in secret meetings with the Agency about why this IPC application is "different", and "special", and why it is not following the "standard procedure."
* IPC was "mentioned" once in passing at an early 1999 Liaison meeting, but the RBC and EA officers did not bring the consultation to the attention of the members, and Councillors. * They all now refuse to answer questions about why this deceit took place... and who decided they should do it.
* The Agency refused to provide copies of the IPC application being "duly made", and refused to give any copies of the "fees" that should have been paid for the IPC application.
* Neither RMC nor the Agency have any copy of the essential IPC advertisement, and the Agency admits to having no responses from the public because, as we now know, the public and the "gullible" Liaison Group had been bypassed completely, and kept in ignorance.
* RBC finally admitted that some officer/s at the Council had decided to completely ignore the IPC application they had received in June 1999 for the one month consultation. They have no records, no minutes, and no memory of who made that decision nor by what procedure this decision to "do nothing" had been arrived at.
* Whoever decided to act in this way wilfully committed the Rugby residents to many more years of unnecessary excess pollution, and deliberately damaged the environment, and air quality for Rugby people. What motivated them to get a lesser protection and a much lower standard than should have been enforced at that time?
* RBC and the Agency bypassed the lawful process. The Agency claims that Rugby Cement was responsible for the failure to advertise the mandatory consultation, for the IPC application which was completed on 16 June 1999. But surely this demonstrates the Agency's failure to regulate?

The Liaison Group bumbled along, controlled, ineffective, secretive, minutes unavailable, until the time the public were in revolt as they had been told there was a "tyre burning application". Straight after its construction the cement plant was suddenly to become a co-incinerator. The growing public awareness was that they had been duped by: Warwickshire County Council planning office; by Rugby Borough Council planning and environmental health; by the Environment Agency's failings; and by Rugby Cement.

Even the Liaison group was not told there was an IPPC application - and were given copies of a tyre burning summary, and colour sheets about the joys of alternative fuels. The full IPPC application was deemed duly made on 31 August 2001, but the public were not informed. The "Tyre Burning meetings" were being held and for a year the Agency, unbeknown to the Liaison Group and the public, was collecting extra information from RMC, in correspondence dated 21 December 2001; 1 March 2002; 5 March 2002; 28 March; 3 May; 31 May and finally 5 June when the Agency advised RMC to revise the whole site plan for the application. So you see the level of ignorance even included not knowing exactly what the site included, and what the public and Council were actually supposed to be being consulted on.

The June 2002 Liaison Group meeting was cancelled without warning, and a new committee was set up seven months later in October 2002. Initially this was run by a Public Relations Company, Green Issues, hired by RMC. These carried out the first two meetings "in order to get the Critical Success Factors through" before new members understood the significance of them. Only the few hand-selected councilors were permitted to vote, and the voluntary sector community group members were treated as second class citizens. The January and April 2003 RCCF meetings saw the Agency evade all questions until after the IPPC Decision had been made - August 2003.

"Rugby Cement plant's new £6.5 million bag filter is performing well beyond expectations by achieving 80% reduction in dust emissions, despite having operated well inside the dust emission level allowed by its Environment Agency Permit." "The bag filter is replacing the kiln ESP, which collects dust, mainly chalk, to recycle back into the process". One wonders to which permit they are referring? Meanwhile the gases from the clinker cooler ESP and bypass ESP emit from the main stack, without passing through the bag filter.

Cemex confirm that "at present adequate supplies of material of a consistent quality are limited in the UK, due to the slow progress in the development of mechanical biological treatment plants to process waste and meet the industry's rigorous specifications for a quality fuel, and Cemex is already HAVING to import waste (Climafuel) from Holland for burning at South Ferriby and possibly Barrington." Spare a thought for them "having" to import household waste!

The newsletter contained a Liaison Group Questionnaire for residents to complete. "It is important to us to be aware of your views"....fill in and post, or download from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Find the "weakest link".

With so many minions at Warwickshire County Council, Rugby Borough Council, the Environment Agency and Rugby Cement "in the know" about what has gone on, have you tried identifying ex-employees who may be prepared to come clean on what has gone on, and give evidence?

There must be someone out there who can identify the ringleaders in this epic tale of wrongdoing and maladministration.