Johnstown residents have been campaigning for years via legal channels to stop this happening, but have been let down by their local council, by the government and by Europe. Local councillors in Wrexham have received notification this evening that the Environment Agency is approving landfill at the site to start this week. The EA is satisfied that filling an old quarry with Merseyside’s rubbish won’t have an undue adverse environmental impact. Yeah, right.
There is already one landfill site nearby, and residents are adamant that they will not accept another, with the associated traffic, noise, smell, pollution it will undoubtedly bring. The nearest houses are just 150 metres away. What’s more, part of the site is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), being home to great crested newts.
So why has Wales been chosen as the place to dump Merseyside’s waste? It’s only a year since an official apology was made to Wales for the flooding of Tryweryn in 1965 to provide water to the people of Merseyside. But Wales is just too convenient a dumping ground to pass up, especially now Westminster sets limits on waste tipping in England. A helpful loophole in this directive allows councils to export their landfill to Wales without fear of penalty. We have to stop this from happening. Another apology for Wales 40 years from now is simply not acceptable.
The Mersey Waste Disposal Authority web site, http://www.merseysidewda.gov.uk/, describes Mersey Waste Holdings Group like this: “The emphasis is very much on recycling and re-use and the group has established a ‘recycling fund’ which is used to the benefit of the local community – including sponsoring local environmental initiatives. Each year the group sponsors up to five students from Merseyside to study environmental related degrees at Liverpool John Moores University.” Perhaps one of these students might like to study the effect of landfill on a community of great crested newts.
If you’d like to contact Mersey Waste Holdings, their address is 2nd Floor, Port of Liverpool Building, Liverpool, L3 1BY. Tel: 0151 255 0044, Fax: 0151 255 0019 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While you’re at it, I’m sure that your elected representatives who sit on the MWDA board would like to hear your views about this. Here are their contact details:
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Councillor Bob Swann (Deputy Chairman)
Tel: 0151 487 8974
Liverpool City Council
Councillor Paula Keaveney
Tel: 0151 494 0341
Councillor Nick Small
Tel: 0151 225 2366
Councillor Berni Turner
Tel: 0151 225 2352
St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
Councillor Dave Crowther
Tel: 01925 290 232
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
Councillor D Tattersall
Tel: 01704 225877
Councillor K Cluskey (Chairman)
Tel: 0151 920 3704
Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
Councillor J Salter
Tel: 0151 638 1364
Councillor S Moseley
Tel: 07785 182536