Tuesday's letters including 'Waste ‘savings’ don’t stack up'
SIR – Your article showing a photo of the huge incinerator in Worcestershire raises a number of points that should not go unchallenged.
Cllr Blagg claims that the incinerator will “considerably reduce… Landfill Tax”. What he neglects to mention is that any gain made through reduced Landfill Tax will then be lost because of the equivalent charge for incinerating that waste. According to the county’s figures for 2017 they will be paying £125 for every tonne of waste they burn. Yet the cost in 2017 to landfill the same waste would be £112 for every tonne, including the tax. On the face of it – the promised cost savings just don’t stack up!
The article claims that the county will make “massive savings” by choosing to incinerate and not landfill the waste. It states that by continuing to landfill waste the total cost of waste treatment by 2042 would be £2.1 billion, but by incinerating it instead the total cost will be £1.6 billion. Worcestershire however has redacted so much information from the supporting documents that no-one has a clue how these two global totals have been worked out. Would the “experts” referred to in the article care to tell the community how these figures were arrived at?
Cllr Blagg also claims that “over recent years fantastic progress has been made” on minimising waste, and increasing recycling. Unfortunately, he has not noticed that the amount of waste in the county has been increasing at four times the national average over the last two years, despite his waste minimisation programmes.
Nor has Cllr Blagg noticed that recycling has stagnated in Worcestershire during the last five years. With the waste recycling rate of 40.8 per cent for the county in 2015, it is now worse than it was in 2010. Two of the local councils are currently still ‘stuck’ around a recycling rate of 30 per cent.
A report produced by Wychavon has shown how much better other councils have done and that the highest recycling councils have some of the lowest costs.
With better advice and more thought there could have been a far better outcome than the scheme we are now saddled with.
Rob Wilden (HWAG)
The Europe alternative
SIR – When I voted for the first time as an 18-year-old for Britain to stay in ‘Europe’ it was within a common market, and to have a veto on laws which were against our national interest. Now bit by bit we find ourselves in a European Union which is mainly a political project.
Can we find an alternative that, concentrated on trade – as David Cameron and George Osborne said they wanted? It already exists: the European Economic Area (EEA) to which Norway belongs.
Norway pays less than half our contribution to the EU Budget and much of that it contributes voluntarily. It signs up to only 21 per cent of EU regulations – many of these are unimportant ones relating to things like having the same packaging labelling. It is consulted by the EU on new regulations and is not forced to agree with them as we are. It then has a second bit of the cherry as a member of the World Trade Organisation, which nowadays actually sets many trade rules and is making the EU increasingly irrelevant.
Crucially, countries in the EEA are also in the Single Market. There is no question of Britain being isolated and our trade suffering. So there is a safe way out of the EU contrary to what the scaremongering Remainers say.
Focus efforts on local issues
SIR – Cllr Squires’ criticism of the government, in accepting refugees in numbers only from legitimate established camps in the Middle East, is patently wrong, as the arrangements currently in place provide a process to reject economic migrants and hopefully the few Islamic extremists committed to causing death and indiscriminate injury to law-abiding citizens and serious damage to property. Interestingly, a Scandinavian country recently established that an admitted unvetted “teenage alone refugee” was in fact 29 years old.
Furthermore, there are no Calais-style “jungle camps” in Jordan and Lebanon and neither is an oil rich sheikhdom. Both countries could easily be destabilised without international help to relieve their refugee numbers and the financial aid provided by Western countries.
I know the Middle East quite well; having lived in Arab countries for a good number of years; including eight years under Sharia.
Local councillors should address and resolve local issues, of which there are many that still need attention in Worcester and not try to score cheap political points against the establishment at the Palace of Westminster.
EU rule insults war heroes
SIR – Germany has never got over being beaten in 1945, and has been trying to rule us by the back door ever since.
They mainly want us in for our money. When the Queen was crowned she promised to defend our shores and uphold our laws. How can she when we are being ruled by Brussels? It is an insult to all the people who fought and suffered in two world wars to be members of the EU. The sooner we get out and start to rule ourselves the better the future for all.