Haringey Lib Dems to table motion on north London incinerator

An artist's impression of what the new energy recovery facility could look like

An artist's impression of what the new energy recovery facility could look like - Credit: Grimshaw Architects

A motion aiming to encourage a “unified position” on the Edmonton Incinerator is due to be tabled at Haringey’s extraordinary full council meeting next Monday (January 17). 

Initially tabled for a full council meeting in November, ahead of the appointment of a contractor for the job by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), the motion calls for the halt and review of the £1.2 redevelopment of the waste facility in Edmonton. 

The authority is made up of representatives from seven London councils, including Haringey, Camden and Barnet.

It was not heard at that meeting however, and due to the constitution of the council, it cannot be amended ahead of next Monday’s session. 

The contract for the new incinerator, which was awarded to Acciona, is due to be signed the day after the meeting, on January 18, meaning there is little time following the motion before the deal is finalised. 

While admitting that this means it is “somewhat outdated”, Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison, leader of the opposition (Lib Dems), believes it may still prove useful in unifying the council on the issue. 

He said: “What we want is for the council to have a position by virtue of agreeing a motion, and for that position to be that the project really should be reviewed to make sure that all of the new technology that has come out in the last few years since the project was given the initial green light is properly assessed and whether, for example, the incinerator needs to be as big as it is.”

Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison

Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison - Credit: Haringey Lib Dems

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Labour will be able to put forward amendments to the motion, though this will only occur on the day of the meeting. 

Cllr Luke said: “It’s going to be a case of waiting until that comes out before we can determine our exact position. 

“But our position remains that the project has scope in terms of time and capacity with everything, that we can still have the pause and review.” 

Cllr Scott Emery, the Lib Dems' environmental spokesperson and proposer of the motion, added: “Our motion is for Haringey Council to adopt a formal position as a local authority on the Edmonton Incinerator, where the council puts on record its concerns around the project and calls on the NLWA to pause and review before proceeding any further.  

“Haringey Labour's two representatives to the NLWA did not vote in favour of awarding the development contract, their reasoning was on technical grounds in respect to the procurement process and they continue to speak in favour of the incinerator project.” 

Cllr Peray Ahmet, leader of Haringey Council said: “We took a clear position on the Edmonton project when, in response to concerns from the community and from Labour colleagues, I wrote to the NLWA to request that they pause and review the project. Furthermore, due to reservations held by my Labour colleagues on the NLWA board, they did not vote in favour of awarding the contract for this project."   

Cllr Peray Ahmet, leader of Haringey Council

Cllr Peray Ahmet, leader of Haringey Council - Credit: Haringey Council

She continued: “There is no current good alternative to processing non-recyclable waste at these volumes, but it is essential that we hold this project and the NLWA to the highest possible environmental standards.

"It’s also this administration’s ambition to meet and beat the Mayor of London’s target of 50% local authority recycling rate by 2030 and to create a sustainable circular local economy – all my Labour colleagues are working hard on plans to ensure this happens. 

“The only way we will be able to achieve these ambitious goals is if our policies and initiatives are created in partnership with residents.

"We will continue to develop our partnership working with communities and businesses across Haringey to overcome the barriers to recycling."

For more information on the upcoming extraordinary full council meeting, see the agenda and other details here.