Sunday, September 28, 2008



On Heritage Open Day!

INSULTATION PROCESS - OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS BUT ONCE as Cemex plans to double air quality and health impact on DOPEY RUGBY!!

While the Environment Council DIRECTS PUBLIC ATTENTION AWAY from MAJOR POLLUTION ISSUE using £25,000 from Rugby Council Tax Payers' Health Protection Budget, and PETTY cash from the Environment Agency and Cemex, as we ALL jointly try to find "a new way forward together". Look out for flying pigs, and what they drop! It seems there is an "IMMINENT desperate need" to re-organise the way Cemex and the Agency " liaise, communicate, and engage " with the Rugby community.

Stakeholder relations reached "an all time low", as the RCCF, was virtually destroyed and emasculated by RBC, EA, WCC and by Cemex in an ideal demonstration of "joint-working for the *good/BAD* of the community". Worse is yet to come as the "BIG FOUR" - a name coined for WCC, RBC, the EA and Cemex at the Workshop on 17th September - now collude and try even harder to dupe Rugby residents, by pretending to turn over a new leaf, while secretly planning more environmental disasters. See local press for stories and letters about the "Chameleons".

RUGBY STAKEHOLDERS have had enough of paying while being polluted, and under the polluter-MUST-pay principle need funding in order to obtain openness, honesty, joint fact finding, timely access to full validated data, a proper say in the activities in our environment, and a change in the status quo so that we are not only listened to, but also what we say has an impact on the outcomes. Call me a cynic, but these very spotty leopards are hardly prepared, willing or able to change their spots, and qualities such as these, (honesty?) have never ever been seen in Rugby. Just pass the sticks of Cemtex rock.

Two planning applications are on WCC web for Southam and Rugby's MALPASS proposed Parkfield Road waste plant, have already hit the buffers as the pre-application Scoping Assessment was for a plant 50% smaller than what is now being proposed. Warwickshire CC is firmly in the Waste Partnership with RBC and their BIG GAME PLAN is to "BURN IT ALL IN RUGBY" - to add in another 100% - 250,000 tonnes a year of REFUSE DERIVED FUEL. Meanwhile we can look forward to another 360 lorries or so on 20 kilometres of our local roads, which have many accidents involving 133 personal injury accidents in five years, of which 3 were fatalities and 37 serious. All this for a cement plant cum co-incinerator that never had an EIA, a lawful planning permission, a lawful operating permit and any meaningful public consultation of any kind. WCC is busying itself yet again with more retrospective planning permissions - this time to validate the unlawful fly tipping of 20,000+ tonnes a year of hazardous waste that has been going on at Southam under their watch for EIGHT years. With of course the blessing of that great protector of the environment - the Environment Agency.

THE ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL has taken Rugby residents eye of the ball, during this deliberately most untimely process, and is wondering how to build TRUST and CONFIDENCE in Rugby, doing its level best to improve relations, but Rugby people are sick of being treated as suckers, and would like to reclaim their town from the usurpers. After Monday's press release there is now to be a working party to try to put flesh on the bones of the skeleton future-engagement. But at the same time as we are paying for this, and engaging, Rugby is burning. Cemex was inviting a chosen few to the Southam open days 18-20 September, surprisingly and most disappointedly overlooking the obvious necessity of an invitation to the 60 delegates to see Cemex's plans for our futures! In yet another application to "enhance" our environment, air quality and health there is to be yet another 91 metre chimney to vent off the fumes and odours from the MBT/IHT plant and from the furnace required to tumble dry the Refuse Derived Fuel. They do not seem to have thought about the huge environmental impacts of the transport and processing - and even less about the impact of the increase in co-incineration at Rugby.

WCC/Cemex have submitted an April 2004 report, ( see chapter 12 WCC web held in secret between Laing, WCC and Rugby Cement), into the feasibility of the railway being re-opened ONLY for the 160 clay lorries daily. Certainly now there is a plan to more than double the total HGVs going between Southam and Rugby with clay, and climafuel lorries then a new report into the disused railway should be carried out, and submitted. Obviously it will be much more economic and affordable now they are planning such a huge increase in lorry journeys, and will save the public and roads from millions of lorry miles, which cost so much in terms of accidents, risk, air pollution and damage to the roads, and other road users vehicles, and to the infrastructure.

It appears the Inspector and public were kept in the dark about this secret LAING report, at the Public Inquiry into the route of the Western Relief Road, which resulted in farmers being forced out of their land as the road was routed through the green belt because it was claimed the rail route was required for the Cement plant operations. The WRR was placed in the green belt, at a huge and ever-increasing cost, (£40 million up from the original £11 million), when there was a secret report in which there was no intention of re-opening the railway.

WCC CONSIDERED INSISTING RAILWAY RE-OPENSas a planning condition in 2004, so now they have another golden window of opportunity?
The canals have been ruled out as too costly, too slow and too many locks, Let the narrow gauge train take the strain? Or will it be the repetitious cry: "Alternative rail transport has been considered but without significant external funding, none IS OF economic consideration."


"It is a GOOD thing that the RCCF MAY be recreated as a new body - the current version is unworkable and ineffective."
The RCCF needs an independent chair, access to data, and the public need more access to meetings, an independent venue, trust, access to data, and the Editor criticises the Agency for their non-attendance - the vital ingredient - and for their NON- PROVISION of vital information.

Saturday, September 13, 2008



WCC notes that “the previously jovial Southam Cement and lorry routing community liaison group has now become hostile” as WCC grants Cemex a new CLAY lorry route to and from Southam, causing COMPLAINTS and letters in the press from the village inhabitants. Residents of Marton , Princethorpe and Long Itchington suddenly awaken and realise their 3 villages will now endure all the (current) daily 140 Cemex clay HGVs , as the circular route limiting the number to just 35 is scrapped, and the 140 are now to be “in their back yards” on narrow dangerous roads they insist are “not fit for purpose”. They are not amused at having “just a taste” of what the Rugby New Bilton residents have suffered / had inflicted on them for years – over 70 lorries an hour at times, and an average of around 800 a day. Letters of congratulations and thanks can be sent to Warwickshire County Council planners and councillors, who have more tricks up their sleeves yet!

Temperatures have yet to reach fever pitch as locals in Southam and Rugby have still not realised the massive implications for them of the first of the two CEMEX WASTE/RECYCLING/CLIMAFUEL applications. The County Council and Cemex are trying to keep the two applications completely separate, and thus presumably to divide the community, to prey on the weakest and most vulnerable, to discourage any “joined up thinking”, and to avert any consideration of the BPEO - best practicable environmental option? Local people have just a month in which to voice their concerns about the first-proposed 360,000 tonne a year waste processing plant in the old cement plant at SOUTHAM.

At least Southam has a massive ever increasing landfill, as they excavate the clay, about 2,000 tonnes each day, in which they then dump the hazardous waste bypass dust. Residues from their new “processing” can easily be dumped without having to transport all that back to Southam from Rugby. It appears several operational landfills are available which can take hazardous and non-hazardous waste – even though there is still no IPPC Permit for the site, which it is believed makes the landfills unlawful, operating in contravention of EU and UK Law, without a PPC permit!

A smaller scale application (see WCC web site Reference “NW 08CM032”) made to the County Council in August by RMC/Rugby Cement for a 120,000 tonne a year waste processing plant at COLESHILL needs 100 HGVs a day – so can the Southam/village residents look forward to another 300 lorries a day on top of the 140 they are so upset about? Or will there be even more as the HGVs convoy back and forth – as virtual “lorry trains” between Southam and Rugby? Why do they, and the County Council, go on ignoring the disused railway line, the availability of which was claimed by Rugby Cement to be one of the main reasons for building the plant in an urban area in Rugby instead of at any of the other available more suitable rural sites. Rugby Cement in 2000 (see WCC and RBC committee meetings on web) “saved” the railway route for its own future use, as it “forced” the Western Relief Road into the green belt, delaying the construction by 8 years, and costing the public purse £40 million instead of the £11 million quoted in 2000, and also polluting and poisoning Rugby residents, contributing to the high levels of particulate in the “hot spot lorry routes” and to the AQMA for Nitrogen dioxide, which affects health.

Will the more powerful Southam residents and coalition of county councillors try to force the new waste plant, along with all the extra pollution from lorries and plant pollution into the RUGBY SMOKE LESS ZONE AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT AREA, on to long-suffering down-town Rugby residents? After all it will ONLY be a grand total of 1100 juggernauts daily for New Bilton residents? What can it matter as in this area lives and the environment are already obscenely blighted by the CO-INCINERATOR – its emissions - uncontrolled/controlled - and fugitive pollution, “nuisance dust”, hovering, menacing plume/s, and low level point sources which remain unregulated and unmonitored. What does it matter if this already disadvantaged area gets more muck heaped on it? They are used to it.

Where is the Sheriff when you need him? Questions and reasonable applications for access to environmental data, and even Freedom of Information requests, remain unanswered as the “outlaws”, the notorious Environment Agency, are “above the law.” The public and Rugby Cement Community Forum are refused access to environmental data by both the Environment Agency and Cemex, as they work together to “slip in all the applications between the meetings of the Forum” – so that no proper response is ever made. In this atmosphere of concealment and refusal to co-operate, how can community relations improve?

Trials and “waste burning” experiments go on and on, year in year out, as the trials are extended without the public’s or RCCF’s knowledge, and presumably outside of the PPC Permit and its conditions. There are endless variations and secret negotiations going as the back-slapping “back room boys” meet at the OK Corral. Any person who asks pertinent questions, and who understands the issues, is slapped down, labelled as a trouble maker, ejected from meetings, and threatened with ASBOs, and worse. Now the search is on by Cemex, the EA, WCC, and RBC for a “new” malleable Community Forum, to be peopled by “no brainers!”

On 17 September the experienced ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL will attempt to facilitate an evening of “cordial discussion” and of “shaping the future for the community engagement process around the cement works in Rugby.” You can find the report under discussion on their web site. We nervously wish them well, as under their auspices Cemex, the Environment Agency, WCC and RBC will meet with about 40 delegates in a battle for pole position, as the “warring factions” (see Rugby Times articles) have their heads banged together.

“CONTINUED EXPOSURE TO A DUSTY ENVIRONMENT will generally result in receptors becoming less sensitive to dusty impacts and an acceptance of a certain level of dust deposition.” So there we have it, in a nutshell, dump more dust on folk and they will give up complaining? The WCC/Coleshill application NW 08CM032 is full of such little gems, and it also contains RMC’s own May 2003 assessment of how “nuisance dust”, that they NEVER acknowledged existed in the Rugby Cement application for IPPC, is a very difficult issue. So why was there never ANY dust assessment for the Rugby Cement plant – considering all its Low Level Point Sources and fugitive emissions? Because they did not want anyone to know!

LITTLE GEMS ON MINERAL DUST FROM RUGBY CEMENT/RMC 2003 that somehow “slipped their mind to tell Rugby residents in their application?”

“Road traffic can be a significant source of dust in urban areas.” – especially from 1,000 lorries each day! “Dust is defined as particulate matter in the size range 1-75 microns.” “Accurate and reliable quantitative prediction of dust impacts is accepted to be very difficult principally because dust emissions depend on a wide range of factors many of which are site specific and vary from day to day.” “Deposition of particles causes soiling on windows and cars and is considered a nuisance. In addition occasional clouds of dust can cause a visual and sensory nuisance.” “Attitude surveys undertaken by the department of the Environment have indicated that in terms of nuisance to nearby residents continual or severe concerns about dust are most likely to be experienced near to dust sources.” “Nuisance dust in the community is normally perceived as an accumulated deposit, however the point at which an individual makes a complaint is highly subjective.” “Wind direction from the South West occurs most of the time and will cover areas to the North and East.” “Particles greater than 30 microns will deposit within approximately 100 metres of the source, while 10-30 microns will travel 200-500 metres and small particles less than 10 microns can travel up to 1 kilometre” into Rugby town centre?

“LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE” was a County Councillor’s response to the question as to whether Rugby residents should be informed of the massive increase in size of the Rugby cement plant. While the Environment Agency said they only got away with it in Rugby because there had been “no intelligent opposition!” Is it now a case of one bitten twice shy – or will they dump it on RUGBY once again?