Wednesday, July 02, 2008



Southam and Rugby parallel applications due in any day. Focus is now on the "delicate negotiations" no doubt going on in the back room between Cemex and the County Council. What SECTION 106 payment will be offered in order to make "WHAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE UNACCEPTABLE, ACCEPTABLE"?

So far, unsurprisingly, the County and Borough councils have refused to answer any questions about this current "negotiating process", and have failed to make it transparent. What price will be put on our heads, and who will decide what is acceptable, and who gets to keep the Section 106 cash? Rugby residents are still smarting, (and will until the cement plant is demolished), from the last County "sell out", when Rugby's environment, amenity, air quality and health, was compromised and traded by the County Council in the 1996 deal, that breached Community Law - had no Environmental Impact Assessment, or public consultation. All for a paltry £500,000 as a "contribution" towards Rugby Cement's Western Relief Road. (Later things were made worse when the relevant air quality impact and other related data was concealed by the Agency, County and Borough Council as they jointly turned the cement works into a co-incinerator without following the due IPC and IPPC and EIA process.) This pittance, (as that was what it was even at that time!) as all recall, was then put in the bank at WCC and the annual interest paid to Rugby Cement, as they argued over the route, putting it in the green belt to "conserve" the route for Rugby Cement, until the "sell by date" expired, and the pittance was due to be returned, unspent, in February 2006. Council officials are tight-lipped about the location of this illicit fund. Did they pay it back or not?

And even more tight lipped about how the County has devalued the whole of Rugby, causing it to become a sink town, where people are afraid to speak up, some for fear of persecution by the authorities and others for fear of damaging the marketability of their property. Thousands now have to live next to a massive unlawfully built co-incinerator, which emits about one million cubic metres of polluting gas each hour from the main stack, and many hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of polluted particulate-laden air from the unmonitored Low Level Point Sources, with no fail-safe mechanisms, (even the much-heralded bag filters do not work 100% of the time, are not on the emissions from all the sources fed into the main stack for dispersion, and they are bypassed,) getting on for 1,000 juggernauts a day, and a massive polluting plume highly visible all winter. No wonder the powers-that-be want to keep this all "under wraps!"

The delay in construction caused by the interminable discussion about whether the Southam Rugby railway should be re-opened to connect the two Cemex sites of Southam and Rugby has cost the public, so far, £26,000,000 in EXTRA construction costs alone. And untold other costs in terms of traffic jams and dangerous pollution, social services, and NHS costs in terms of the health impact in the poor air quality in Rugby. Now they want to increase pollution in an area that is already DEPRIVED, over-polluted, and with pockets of ill health and social and health inequalities. Meanwhile Cemex and the County both make the hilarious suggestion of using the canals to transport the 2,000 tonnes a day of clay to Rugby, but the Waterways Board says this is impossible, a non-starter, with all the locks, and have pointed out that "err! the canals do not even go to the cement works - err!" So that brings us back to the railway again - that has been conserved by WCC and Rugby Cement specifically in order to transport the clay - and now the waste from the Waste Processing plant shortly to be constructed at Southam?


The Rugby Advertiser 26 June reports that the chattering classes are at it again with their "whispering campaign" to gag me, to shut me up! They are determined to allow no discussion, and to keep other people from hearing my all too pertinent, awkward, revealing questions, which cause them such pain! Long Lawford Parish Council joins RBC and WCC (and the EA) and will not allow the public, (even their own parishioners), and those who they are supposed to serve, to ask any questions about Cemex, its plans and its operations. They all jump on the banning-band-wagon, and shout "Shoot the messenger!" A vain attempt to silence me!

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