Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wigley gives Hafod Landfill the thumbs down

Dafydd Wigley joined the picket at Hafod this morning. The former Plaid Cymru leader is standing on the North Wales regional list for the Assembly and came down to show his support for the protest. Some media coverage despite the rain.

Carwyn the hypocrite (no, we haven't forgotten about him)

The Western Mail has exposed Carwyn Jones's environmental hypocrisy - this time allowing opencast mining within 500m of homes in Merthyr while opposing the same thing in his own constituency.

ENVIRONMENT Minister Carwyn Jones has been accused of hypocrisy after welcoming the withdrawal of a plan for an opencast mine in his own constituency while supporting another.

Reacting to the news that Celtic Energy has withdrawn proposals for an opencast mine at Pyle in his Bridgend constituency, Mr Jones, pictured, said, "The opencast would have had a hugely detrimental impact on people in the Pyle and Margam areas.

"I have been working closely with local residents and campaign groups to ensure that their quality of life was not adversely affected by the proposal."

Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly leader Mike German sought to contrast Mr Jones's position on the Pyle scheme with his support for opencast at Merthyr Tydfil.

He said, "As Minister for Planning, Carwyn Jones has the opportunity to protect all communities in Wales from the 'detrimental impact' of opencast by introducing a 500m buffer-zone between opencast sites and people's homes. So far he has not done this.

"The people of Merthyr Tydfil deserve just as much protection from what Carwyn Jones himself describes as the 'adverse affects' of opencast mining as the people of Bridgend." Mr Jones replied "It is not open to me to impose a buffer zone in Merthyr because the issue was decided by a committee nearly two years ago."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ask Rhodri Morgan!

What's all this about landfill, Rhodri?

Rhodri Morgan will be in Colwyn Bay tomorrow Thursday 23rd November from 6pm at an "Ask Rhodri!" session chaired by the editor of the Daily Post. Hafod protesters will be asking questions about the landfill. Your support is needed, so come along with your banners and voices.

Where? Ysgol Bod Alaw, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7ST.

For more information: E Mail: or phone Graham 844343 / 07747 634975 or Howard 07817 479957.

Rhodri Morgan opened the Recyclo recycling plant on Deeside, where he said: "Reuse, recycle and compost is the way forward." Right Rhodri. So why has the Assembly allowed this huge landfill project to go ahead when it meets neither the terms on which permission was originally given nor the current policy, guidance and regulation?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hafod campaign opens up European front

A petition aimed at closing Hafod quarry has been presented to the European Parliament. Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has handed a petition to the Chair of the European Parliament's Petitions Committee, Marcin Libicki. She has presented this on behalf of the Hafod Environmental Group campaigners.

Jill Evans said: "Putting a petition to the European Parliament can be a way of getting action taken when others have let you down. In this case both the local authority and the Welsh Assembly Government have badly let down the people who have to live with this landfill site. My own petition dealing with a similar case at the Nantygwyddon landfill site in the Rhondda some years ago certainly helped in closing it down and I hope that this petition will have equal success.

"It is crazy that in the 21st century we are still transporting waste for miles and dumping it in holes in the ground when we know that it will affect people's health and the environment. I am working in the European Parliament to get stronger laws on reducing waste, increasing recycling and phasing out landfill. In line with all their declared environmental and sustainability policies the Labour government in the Assembly should be doing the same.

"It is a disgrace that once again we see a community having to take action themselves because no-one else will stand up for their interests."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Mersey Waste evade protesters' questions

A dozen Hafod campaigners went to the Mersey Waste Disposal Authority's special meeting in Liverpool this afternoon. Rarely has such a boring meeting been conducted in such a hot room!

The main item for debate was whether to press ahead with a waste recovery centre in Liverpool and whether this should be one that took separated glass and paper - an appalling level of complacency and ignorance from a body that's meant to be leading the way on waste disposal.

The Hafod campaigners asked six questions and got answers to just one - confirmation that the site does not have a holding bay as required by its licence.

Other questions were answered with waffle and bluster amid growing frustration from the campigners.

The final question from Barrie Price of Ruabon got the same response and he then explained how much the Hafod landfill was costing Merseyside taxpayers - £1,000 per lorry or £240,000 a week to tip their rubbish while the MWDA debated whether to start separating glass from paper (apparently it's not "cost effective").

The chairman was just about to kick that into the long grass when one of the other councillors showed signs of life - the staggering figures were of interest to him and other board members. Maybe if they can't be swayed by the environmental and health arguments, they might be swayed by the thought of saving some money by recycling and re-using.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

10,000 hits

We've only been going for six weeks but already this blog has generated more than 10,000 hits, which shows how interested people are in this issue.
Everybody who visits the blog has come through word of mouth. We've had no publicity yet we've grown because of the grassroots network of campaigners locally and throughout Wales and beyond. Thanks.
Your comments also show how passionate many people feel about the ongoing scandal of landfill at the Hafod. It's been great to have so much feedback so quickly. We know that those in power read this blog and that they have been shaken to the core by the message you've put over so relentlessly. It's been a shock to these complacent politicians (locally, in Cardiff and on Merseyside) to see their actions - or inaction - put under the spotlight. Long may it continue!
We'll continue to highlight the campaign and expose those responsible for this sorry mess until Hafod is closed down.

Hafod across the Mersey

This Friday (17th Nov) the campaign sets its sights on Liverpool.

Murky Waste Holdings is having an Extraordinary General Meeting on that day. By happy coincidence the people who are dumping 300,000 tonnes of rubbish a year in Johnstown are discussing future plans for landfill.

Some group members have asked questions in advance and will be able to put supplementaries to them in person. We look forward to their answers.

The group is looking to catch the 12:00 train from Ruabon (12:07 in Wrexham) to go via Chester to Liverpool. The meeting starts at 2pm in Liverpool at the Authority's premises at North House, North John Street, Liverpool. Click here for more details.

We will be looking to come home soon after the meeting but can't confirm exact train times at this moment.

Come along and make sure your voice is heard across the Mersey.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

From tonight's Evening Leader:

Karen Sinclair, AM for Clwyd South, said: “I am furious at the Minister’s decision not to quash the planning permission on the Hafod site and bitterly disappointed he has let the decision of the local authority stand.”

Could it be that Karen is furious because this will cost her a place on the Cardiff Bay gravy train next May? Martyn Jones seems less bothered. He says he will use his "contacts" to stop Merseyside... something he was talking about three months ago. What exactly have you done, Martyn?

Martyn Jones, MP for Clwyd South said: “Obviously this is very disappointing news. I hoped the Assembly Minister would have overturned the council’s decision.

“The fact remains, however, that the actual culprits in all of this are Merseyside local authorities and their virtually complete dependence on landfilling their waste.

“I will be working to put as much pressure as I possibly can on those local authorities, and, via my contacts with DEFRA ministers, to ensure that all those authorities on Merseyside recycle considerably more of their waste, and end the plight of people in Johnstown.”

Carwyn didn't visit - Mersey Waste

According to this letter from Mersey Waste, Carwyn Jones did not - as he has claimed - visit the site. Mersey Waste makes it clear that they would have stopped him.
Now this means that either

1. Carwyn Jones is lying about entering the site (as opposed to wandering about the perimeter) and hasn't done his job properly

2. Mersey Waste missed the minister's visited. That would suggest the company has inadequate security and anything could be dumped at the site without them knowing.

Either way, somebody's telling porkies.

MWH Associates Limited
2nd Floor
Port of Liverpool Building
Pier Head

Dear Ms Ryder

15th November 2006


Further to your enquiry I can confirm as follows.

There is no record of the Minister, Carwyn Jones AM entering the site on the 12th October.

This does not preclude his having attended the area and walked around the external perimeter which would have enabled him to "inspect it from a number of aspects".

No one would have been allowed to walk within the site on an unsupervised basis. Visitors who make themselves known to us are required to sign in, undergo a health and safety induction and be provided with the appropriate protective clothing and equipment, where necessary.

It is highly unlikely that an unaccompanied person would not have been seen and challenged by site staff.

At all times of operation the entrance is viewed in the weighbridge office on a CCTV monitor.

The site is an 'open' area where an "unauthorised" visitor would have been clearly visible.

As stated according to all our records no visit was made but we will of course be pleased to welcome him in an official capacity should he choose to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

R.L. Allan

Did Carwyn really visit the Hafod?

Carwyn Jones is claiming that he visited Hafod Quarry privately on Thursday, 12 October 2006. This is the day after he received a delegation from Johnstown at the Assembly.

It seems he was on Assembly business in North Wales and visited the quarry. He has told Janet Ryder AM in an e-mail that his visit was not official:

“I entered the site and observed it at various points at the perimeter. I did not have an escort, save for my driver and Assistant Private Secretary nor indeed did I meet anyone on site. I had no contact with anybody while there. Nobody was aware of my visit.” (Carwyn Jones, 7 November 2006)

This raises a number of questions.

Firstly, the site owners Mersey Waste should have been informed on grounds of courtesy and health and safety. One wonders what Carwyn would have seen without an escort who knew the site. Was he able to see the Special Area of Conservation, for example?

When Geoffrey Hill, the Assembly planning inspector, went on the site in 2004 in a similarly sensitive situation regarding the planning appeal, he went through the proper channels and spent 2-3 hours on site.

Carwyn Jones, by his own admission, has trespassed on private property and disregarded warnings regarding health and safety. All visitors are required to report to security, where they are issued with safety helmets, high-visibility jackets and boots. The Minister appears to have ignored all these requirements and his actions seem bizarre at the very least.

If we are to believe his account explaining how he evaded security, it raises serious questions about Mersey Waste’s ability to prevent fly tipping or other illegal activities on the site. If they can’t stop three men wandering into the site unnoticed and unchallenged, who’s to stop a wagon containing toxic waste?

To add to the confusion, Mersey Waste's managing director Rob Allen has said that Carwyn has not been on the site.

So did Carwyn bother to go on site and examine the issues carefully? Or is this another case of Labour politicians attempting to hoodwink the public?

If he’s lied about his visit to Hafod, he should resign.

Carwyn decides not to revoke - full statement

This is Carwyn Jones's statement on the Hafod. More comment to follow:

Lawrence Isted
Chief Planning Officer
Wrexham County Borough
Lambpit Street
P O Box 1290
LL11 1WL
Adran yr Amgylchedd, Cynllunio a Chefn Gwlad
Department for Environment, Planning and Countryside

Eich cyf . Your ref:
Ein cyf . Our ref: A PP116 25 001
Dyddiad . Date: 15 November 2006

Dear Mr Isted


1. The Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside has asked me to refer to several letters in which the National Assembly for Wales has been asked to revoke or discontinue the above planning permission.

2. The National Assembly’s power to make orders under Sections 100 and 104 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 has been delegated to the First Minister, who in turn delegated it to the Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside and who has further delegated it to officials. Notwithstanding the delegation to officials, the Minister remains authorised to determine these requests by section 63(4) of the Government of Wales Act 1998.

Planning history

3. Planning application 6/18883 for the infilling of Hafod Quarry, Johnstown, Wrexham with domestic, commercial and industrial refuse was refused by Clwyd County Council but, after an inquiry, planning permission was granted by the Secretary of State for Wales, on appeal on 10 July 1995. In 1998 an application to extend the time period for the submission of reserved matters was approved. Part of the southwestern corner of the site was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in July 2001 and then as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in December 2004.

4. The owners submitted an application to limit landfill to the areas not covered by those conservation designations and to revise the phasing and restoration of the site. The application was granted in August 2004 following an appeal to the National Assembly but that appeal decision was quashed in the High Court on the basis that the original application had not been valid.

5. The site operator began landfill operations on 23 August 2006. Your authority considered requests to revoke the permission granted in 1995 but decided, in September 2006, that while it would not revoke the permission it would – subject to confirmation by the National Assembly - modify it so that no infilling would be carried out in that area of the site subject to the conservation designations referred to in paragraph 3 above.

Revocation and discontinuance

6. Section 100 (read together with Section 97) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides that, if it appears to the National Assembly that it is expedient to revoke or modify any permission to develop land granted on an application made to a local planning authority or to the Assembly or granted by the Assembly on appeal, it may by order revoke or modify the permission to such extent as it considers expedient.

7. Section 104 (read together with Section 102) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides that if, having regard to the development plan and any other material considerations, it appears to the National Assembly that it is expedient in the interests of the proper planning of an area (including the interests of amenity)

(a) that any use of land should be discontinued or that any conditions should be imposed on the continuance of a use of land; or

(b) that any buildings or works should be altered or removed

it may, by order require the discontinuance of the use, or impose such conditions as may be specified in the order on the continuance of the use, or require such steps as may be so specified to be taken for the alteration or removal of the buildings or works, as the case may be. An order can also grant planning permission, subject to such conditions as are appropriate, for development of the land in question (thus allowing an appropriate alternative development to take place).

8. A planning permission may, in general, only be revoked or modified before it has been implemented. Where the permission is for building or other operations, it may be revoked or modified if it has been partially exercised, but revocation and modification orders cannot affect any development which has already been completed and cannot be made at all once the permitted operations are complete. Where the permission is for a change of use, an order cannot be made once that change has taken place. A discontinuance order would have to be made if it is thought appropriate for development to cease. It should be noted that whilst a discontinuance order can require the removal or alteration of buildings or works, there must be doubt as to whether the deposit of waste has constituted such operations and thus whether an order would be able to require the removal of waste already deposited. However, this question is subsidiary to the principal issue of whether it is appropriate to require the deposit to cease and thus arises only if the principal issue is determined in the affirmative. As the Assembly has been requested to make both revocation and discontinuance orders, it is appropriate now for it to consider both powers and whether it should exercise them.

Assembly’s policy on revocation and discontinuance

9. Judgement of planning proposals is primarily the responsibility of the local planning authority. The Minister notes that both the revocation and discontinuance powers are, in the 1990 Act, conferred initially on the local planning authority and supplemented by equivalent powers conferred on the Assembly. Moreover, an important principle of the planning system is that, in general, a permission, once granted, will enure permanently for the benefit of the land. The Welsh Assembly Government’s policy (set out at Planning Policy Wales paragraph 4.10) is that a revocation or discontinuance order will only be made if the planning permission (the original decision) is judged to be grossly wrong, so that damage would be done to the wider public interest. It is not considered an appropriate use of the power to make a revocation or discontinuance order on the basis that a different decision to the one made originally would result if the application were made today.

10. In considering the application of this policy to the planning consent in this case, examples of damage to the wider public interest which might justify the making of a revocation or discontinuance order include circumstances where:

• The development poses a very significant threat to an important wider planning objective, such as the protection of designated countryside or landscape, coastline, national heritage, or European or international obligations; or

 Issues of wider public safety or national security are at stake.

11. Where the development for which permission was granted complies with one or more policies in the development plan (and does not contravene any other development plan policies) it will be necessary to consider whether “other material considerations” support the case for revocation or discontinuance.

Basis of requests for revocation and/or discontinuance of the planning permission

12. The principal reasons, set out in correspondence, for requesting revocation of the 1995 permission are that landfill is now an unsustainable method of disposing of rubbish; that it was wrong to permit a landfill site so close to residential properties because of, for instance, smells and pollution; that the tip should not be used to take waste from as far away as Liverpool; and that the site is important in terms of environmental conservation.

Consideration of the requests

13. In considering the requests for revocation/discontinuance the Minister has had regard to all matters raised in the requests and the following advice and information:

The development plan

14. The Assembly’s Planning Division has indicated that the local planning authority’s Unitary Development Plan was adopted in February 2005 and supersedes all previous plans. The Wrexham UDP Proposals Map Plan 6 covers the Hafod Quarry site. Part of the site is also designated as an SAC. Policy EC6 says that

“Development either within or close to sites of biodiversity interest will only be permitted where it can be clearly demonstrated that the need for the development outweighs the need to safeguard the intrinsic nature conservation value of the site. Where such development is permitted damage should be kept to a minimum and compensatory measures should be provided. Measures to improve the biodiversity value of sites and enhance their natural conservation interest and landscape quality including the establishment of local nature reserves will be supported.”

15. There is also a waste management policy in the plan but no designation at Hafod. Policy MW12 indicates waste management facilities will be located having regard to a set of specified principles. Policy MW13 covering disposal allows disposal through landfilling of controlled wastes at sites with existing planning permission.

16. Your authority’s view about the development plan is that Policy MW13 allows landfilling at sites with planning permission but resists new proposals unless there is exceptional or specific need related to waste arising from within the County Borough. The Regional Waste Plan adopted by the Assembly (and supported by the Council) requires that 1.3 landfill sites be made available in the County Borough to aid regional sustainability in dealing with residual waste. In his report to your authority’s Planning Committee which met on 4 September 2006 the Planning Officer, Mr R Dewey concluded that “within a short time there will be no other active sites in the County Borough.”

The local authority’s consideration of the matter

17. Section 4.10 of Planning Policy Wales (PPW) indicates that the National Assembly has default powers in respect of making revocation and discontinuance orders. This means that the National Assembly can not only make an order on its own initiative but can also consider making an order when the local authority has been requested to do so and has either refused to consider the request or has considered the request but refused to make an order.

18. On 4 September 2006 your authority reviewed the existing 1995 planning permission for landfill at the quarry to consider modifying or revoking the permission. The operator, Mersey Waste Holdings Ltd (MWH), had made it clear that, although it did not intend to landfill on the part of the site which is now designated as an SAC, it would not voluntarily give up that part of the permission. The company suggested that the permission should be modified to prevent tipping there and to amend the phasing and restoration scheme. Your authority concluded that the making of a revocation order would present substantial difficulties but that there were no planning reasons to oppose the development of the site outside of the SAC. Your authority also concluded that a modification order (which would need to be confirmed by the Assembly before it could take effect) could modify the grant of permission to exclude the SAC and to impose a revised phasing and restoration scheme. The Minister is not here considering the merits of a modification order, but has noted in the context of his current determination the local planning authority’s view that a revocation or discontinuance order would not be necessary to deal satisfactorily with the matters of concern it had identified.


19. The Assembly’s Environment Protection and Quality Division (EPQD) has advised that there is no justification for the planning permission to be revoked or discontinued. Although Article 5(2) of the Waste Framework Directive requires that:

"The network [of waste disposal installations] must also enable waste to be disposed of in one of the nearest appropriate installations..."

(this is known as the "Proximity Principle"), stopping a landfill site in Wales taking waste from a nearby English authority would be inappropriate and would be a decision which could be subject to successful judicial review. There are many examples of wastes being transported for landfill across local authority, regional and National (UK) boundaries. Material flow studies show that more waste leaves NW Wales for disposal in England than the other way round, albeit largely commercial and industrial wastes rather than household waste. There is a lack of hazardous waste landfill sites in Wales, and the vast majority of that type of waste is exported.

20. EPQD have advised that the Hafod Quarry landfill site is a licensed, permitted landfill. MWH is complying with all relevant legislation and the proximity principle.


21. The Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) has already advised your authority that there are three options to consider in respect of identifying potential adverse effects arising from the landfill permission at Hafod. The advice given to your authority may be summarised as follows:-

22. The first option involves landfill within the SAC. CCW considers that landfill within the SAC would have a permanent adverse effect on the SAC site’s integrity. The population of great-crested newts would be adversely affected, by destruction of terrestrial and aquatic habitats that are used by the newts and are essential to maintaining population levels.

23. The second option involves allowing landfill operations to continue outside the SAC. The CCW advised your authority that, with appropriate conditions, as detailed in the Council’s proposed permission modification and the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations licence (PPC), the activities and associated effects of landfill outside the SAC would not have an adverse effect on the SAC site’s integrity and populations of great-crested newts within it. CCW based these conclusions on the assessments completed by the Environment Agency when they considered the PPC licence. Their appropriate assessment for the Johnstown Newt Sites addressed the potential indirect effects of the proposed landfill and concluded there would be no adverse effects on the SAC or great-crested newt population.

24. The third option involves no landfill. This would be the consequence of making revocation and/or discontinuance orders. The CCW advise that not proceeding with landfill within or adjacent to the SAC would mean there were no adverse effects on the SAC site’s integrity or great-crested newts within it.

25. The CCW’s advice on the three options was expressed to your authority and was used to inform your decision making process. The CCW has also confirmed to the Assembly Government that they advised on and concurred with the conclusions of their Appropriate Assessments in respect of landfill. Furthermore, the recently received great-crested newt monitoring report completed by North East Wales Wildlife for MWH as part of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive consent has been considered by CCW, who confirm that they concur with the findings of the report.

26. In conclusion, the CCW’s advice is that your authority’s proposed modification order overcomes all outstanding conservation objections. The appropriateness of any proposed modification order is not a matter for consideration by the Assembly Government at this time: however, the Minister notes in the present context that CCW do not consider that a revocation or discontinuance order is necessary to address their concerns.

27. The Assembly’s Deputy Environmental Science Adviser (DESA) has assessed the request for revocation and discontinuance against environmental considerations and has reached the same conclusion as the CCW. DESA advises that a key consideration is whether the continuance of the permission would impact on the designated site. Continuation of the current landfill permission would result in an estimated loss of 4.3 ha of designated habitat, which would place the Assembly Government in potential infraction of the EC Habitats Directive.

28. Revocation and/or discontinuance of the landfill permission would prevent significant adverse effects within the SAC. However, the data suggests that a modification to the planning permission to exclude activity from the designated area, coupled with planning conditions (i.e. restoration proposals and location of bunds), would be sufficient to prevent significant adverse effects and might be advantageous to the population of great crested newts.

29. On this basis, DESA not only agrees with your authority’s decision to issue a modification order but does not support the making of a revocation or discontinuance order by the Assembly. In the context of the current determination, the Assembly Government is not considering whether a modification order would be appropriate, but it has taken into account DESA’s view that a revocation or discontinuance order is not necessary.

Waste planning

30. The Assembly Government’s Planning Division considers that there are two main issues to be considered in relation to the requests for revocation/discontinuance of the landfill consent.

31. Firstly, Planning Policy Wales (PPW) and Technical Advice Note 21 “Waste” [TAN 21] provide guidance on waste planning. PPW states that local planning authorities are obliged by the EC Waste Directives to make provision for establishing an integrated and adequate network of waste disposal facilities and that sufficient facilities need to be provided to treat, manage or dispose of all the waste produced. The Regional Waste Plans have been developed in line with these principles. TAN 21 states that:

‘it is acknowledged that landfill will continue to be a disposal option for some time until alternative facilities are established’.

Disposal of waste to landfill will therefore need to continue for some years albeit at reducing volumes as recycling rates continue to increase.

32. Secondly, waste streams have always moved across boundaries. It would only be in exceptional circumstances that planning conditions would control the origin of the waste stream in determining planning permission for waste facilities. The origin of the waste is not normally therefore an issue for waste planning to control.


33. The Assembly's Planning Division has indicated that when planning consent was given for the development in 1995, the Inspector considered the effect of the landfill on local amenity. This included the effect of noise, dust, litter, birds and vermin. The Inspector concluded that the development would have an impact but that the impact would not be unacceptable. There are no obvious changes in circumstances to lead the Division to conclude that a determination of the application now would lead to a different conclusion. Furthermore, the day to day monitoring, control and enforcement of landfill operations by the Environment Agency are controlled more stringently than hitherto.

Minister’s conclusions

34. The Minister is aware, from the large number of requests he has received seeking revocation or discontinuance of the 1995 planning permission and the campaign mounted by action groups, of the strength of feeling against the infilling of Hafod Quarry with domestic, commercial and industrial refuse. However, no evidence has been put before him to lead him to the conclusion that the planning permission granted in 1995 was grossly wrong, resulting in damage to the wider public interest which would justify the making of a revocation or discontinuance order.

35. The Minister has carefully considered the reasons forwarded for revocation and discontinuance orders being made, including those identified in paragraph 12 above, and weighed them against the advice and information provided above. He acknowledges the concerns of opponents to the infilling of Hafod Quarry with refuse but takes the view that they are not such as to outweigh the reasons provided in that advice and information for not making a revocation or discontinuance order.

36. In making his determination the Minister has considered only whether it is appropriate to make a revocation or discontinuance order in relation to the 1995 permission. He notes that your authority has indicated their intention to make an order modifying the 1995 permission so as to protect that part of the Quarry designated as an SSSI and SAC. Such an order will require confirmation by the National Assembly. If, however, your authority does not make such an order, the Minister would intend to consider in due course whether it would be appropriate for the National Assembly to make one.

Formal decision

37. For the reasons given above, and in exercise of the powers referred to in paragraph 2 above, the Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside has decided to refuse the requests for him to make revocation and discontinuance orders in respect of the planning permission granted by the Secretary of State for Wales on 10 July 1995 and referred to in paragraph 3 above.

38. Copies of this decision letter have been sent to Karen Sinclair AM, Janet Ryder AM, John Marek AM, Nicholas Bourne AM, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, Mark Isherwood AM, Eleanor Burnham AM, Martyn Jones MP, and certain other interested parties.

Yours sincerely

Head of Planning 1 Branch

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How long do we have to wait, Carwyn?

Carwyn Jones received a petition from protesters back on 11 October. A decision would be made before the end of the month, we were told.
He then said there were complex issues to decide and that it would be early November.
Today is the 15th of November.
For a barrister, he has an elastic concept of time.

How much longer, Carwyn?

Zero Waste - a realistic option

"Zero Waste is a goal that is both pragmatic and visionary, to guide people to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that may be a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health" - Zero Waste International Alliance

New Zealand has signed up to this and hits recycling figures of 70% and more in many of its boroughs. Doncaster City Council has signed up to the principle as has Blaenau Gwent here in Wales. Why don't we invite Liverpool to follow suit?

To quote Eifion Williams, of recycling group CYLCH: "This isn't just a form of words, it's a new mind-set that leads to practical action and the steady improvement of figures year on year. Villages in Monmouthshire, with their Zero Waste Village scheme are achieving 50% this year. In the website below is the good news on recycling achievements in Newport. Our Social Enterprise model there creates 54 jobs from recycling in the county and now achieves 27% landfill to recycling diversion there. They'll be we'll be over the 30% next year, it's still early days and the figure is still rising.

"It's time to remind taxpayers in Liverpool that these alternatives exist, they're being ripped off. Liverpool City Council by choosing landfilling at the Hafod are committing taxpayers to £11 per ton transport costs and £35-40 per ton gate fees. The 20-ton trucks they're bringing to the Hafod will be costing at least £1,000 for Liverpool's council. Forty trucks a day = £40,000 times six working days = £240,000. It's big business, the landfill companies make a packet and the councils who opt for these old-fashioned systems rip their taxpayers off for thousands.

"Check out the Newport Wastesavers website below. Their system costs the council in Newport nothing beyond the set up costs. The Wastesavers business model has been externally audited, so it's not just recyclers saying this. It works as follows: We would make £380 profit from recycling the contents of a 20-ton truck and it would cost £380 to employ new people and deploy the systems to collect. COST NEUTRAL, JOB CREATING & GREEN.

"In a nutshell, Newports taxpayers are being given the intelligent, cost-free system whereas Liverpool taxpayers are being massively short changed.

"If the Hafod Action group would like to formally invite Liverpool councilors to see and witness for themselves our 'Cleanstream Resource Centre' in Newport, please feel free and we at Cylch will be very happy to arrange."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Carwyn exploring "complex issues"

Confirmation from the horse's mouth that Carwyn Jones has visited the site. It's unclear whether he went on the site.

From: Carwyn Jones
Sent: 03 November 2006 13:50
To: Ryder, Janet (AM)

Dear Janet

I announced in committee last week that the decision would now be announced in early November.There are a number of complex issues to explore and I want to make sure that we have gone through them all thoroughly.

I visited the site on the 12th of October.I also examined the perimeter of the site from all angles. I should also say that I did not meet with anybody while I was there.

I trust this clarifies the situation.



From: Janet Ryder AM
To: Carwyn Jones AM
Sent: 03 November 2006 10:41

Dear Carwyn,

You have made it very clear that you will be announcing your decision regarding the Hafod Landfill site before the end of the month. That was in October. We are now in November and to date a number of people still do not know that decision. Could you tell me please what your final decision is on the future of the Hafod site and how this was announced?

You have also announced that you would be visiting the site before that decision was made could you tell me when that visit took place and what was the nature of the visit.

I look forward to your response.
Janet Ryder

Thursday, November 02, 2006

These people run Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority

There are nine members of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority's board. They're all councillors from five different Mersey councils, which own MWDA. In turn, MWDA wholly owns Mersey Waste Disposal. It is, therefore, in their power to stop dumping their waste in Hafod.

We have already heard from Liberal Democrat Cllr Berni Turner, of Liverpool, who has criticised the decision to dump in Johnstown. She says that the four Labour councillors and sole Tory councillor are promoting the landfill dumping in Wales while the four Liberal Democrats are opposed.

If you wish to contact these people, please be polite. Some may be opposed to the dumping, others will simply not be aware of it (some were only co-opted onto the board in the past six months). If they do not respond, then we will have to make sure our message reaches them more directly.

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Councillor Bob Swann (Deputy Chairman) (Lab)
Tel: 0151 487 8974

Liverpool City Council

Councillor Paula Keaveney (Lib Dem)
Tel: 0151 494 0341

Councillor Nick Small (Lab)
Tel: 0151 225 2366

Councillor Berni Turner (Lib Dem)
Tel: 0151 225 2352

St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
Councillor Dave Crowther (Lib Dem - no picture)
Tel: 01925 290 232

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
Councillor D Tattersall (Lib Dem - no picture)
Tel: 01704 225877

Councillor K Cluskey (Chairman) (Lab - no picture)
Tel: 0151 920 3704

Metropolitan Borough of Wirral

Councillor J Salter (Lab)
Tel: 0151 638 1364

Councillor S Moseley (Cons)
Tel: 07785 182536

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Councillors continue to monitor Hafod dumping

Picture of councillors George James, Dave Bithell and Paul Pemberton who visited the protest yesterday and, as the previous post explains, witnessed a lorry breaking the conditions of the landfilling.