ASHFIELD councillor vows: ‘we will not become a dumping ground’

.Gail Turner  at the Ashfield  local elections
.Gail Turner at the Ashfield local elections
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A LEADING Ashfield councillor has pledged to do everything she can to stop the district becoming a dumping ground for the rest of the county as a consultation into the future of waste management is launched.

Independent councillor Gail Turner, who represents Selston as an Ashfield district and Nottinghamshire county councillor, has raised concerns that a strategy to deal with Nottinghamshire’s waste could lead to an energy recovery facility (ERF) or incinerator being built in Ashfield, with the district taking an unfair proportion of the county’s rubbish.

She said: “If we were to take our share and it was shared out a bit more evenly across the county, I might work with them. But I will not work with this and I will actively campaign against such a plan.”

Outlining her objections, Coun Turner said that incinerators should not be built close to where people live.

She says: “We would be regarded as the waste capital of Nottinghamshire and I don’t think it would do our reputation any good.”

Instead, Coun Turner is suggesting that an ERF could be built at an existing power station because it would have the necessary infrastructure and crucially, power stations are not usually close to where people live.

She added: “We have power stations in Nottinghamshire that are out of the way and they have infrastructure including railways, motorways and water. And if they produce electricity, we would need cable infrastructure. Everything is there and it is away from people.”

A public consultation into the Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Waste Core Strategy is set to be launched later this month, with residents from both the county and city being asked to give their views on how waste should be managed.

In a cabinet report, which was approved on 8th June, officials at the authority said that a ‘do nothing approach’ is not possible because the county is running out of landfill space and tax on it is rising.

And while the council hopes to raise recycling rates further, the report also states that the Waste Core Strategy ‘should promote further energy recovery where this would help to divert waste from landfill’.

The document goes on to list ‘broad locations’ where these facilities could be built - and it includes Sutton, Kirkby, Hucknall, Mansfield and Nottingham.

On Monday, Coun Richard Butler, County Council cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “Both the county council and Nottingham City Council are looking for feedback from residents when the Waste Core Strategy goes out to consultation later this month.

“The consultation is taking a strategic view to look at which areas of the county will need more waste management capacity but it is not about specific site locations at this stage.

“No possible sites have yet been earmarked and proposals for actual site locations will follow once the broad approach of the strategy has been agreed.

“They, too, will go through the same rigorous consultation process.”