Waste Incineration Facilities — [Sir Roger Gale in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health) 9:30 am, 11th February 2020

That is an important point. I will come on to someone without whom I and most of the campaigners would not have been able to launch such a strong and informed appeal against this decision, making a world of difference.

I am so proud to represent and work with people who show such determination and community spirit. Like them, I oppose the planning application and will be speaking at the appeal process, which begins next week. I also thank the United Kingdom Without Incineration Network and Shlomo Dowen, in particular, for his work and support on this campaign. We could not have got this far without his expertise—a point Alun Cairns touched on.

As the shadow Minister for public health, it would be remiss of me not to point out the public health implications of gasification and incineration, which need to be taken into account. In the planning application in my constituency, we still do not know what technology will be used, even though the application has reached this stage. We know that the technology has never been used in the UK before, although we are told that it has been used in Japan, a country with very different safety standards and regulations from the UK.

The lack of information and transparency from the planning applicant does little to allay the fears of my constituents and me. On Saturday, constituents told me that young families were moving away from the area because of the fear of carcinogenics, diseases and birth defects. My constituents should not have to live in fear of being test subjects for something such as that.