Protesters rally against Edmonton incinerator to Haringey Council
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Hopes of halting plans to rebuild the Edmonton waste incinerator were dashed on Monday, after a call to pause the controversial project was pushed back.
Protesters gathered outside Tottenham Green Leisure Centre before a motion was set to be tabled inside by Haringey’s opposition at a meeting of the council.
Activists from organisations including Extinction Rebellion (XR), led by drummers and holding aloft banners, backed the opposition’s motion to change Haringey Council’s position to “pause and reconsider” the incinerator rebuild.
However, due to the council meeting on November 22 over-running the motion was not heard and a deputation in support of it was cut off early, which the opposition described as “filibustering” and “shameful”.
The meeting was the final opportunity for the chamber to debate the plan before a vote on December 16 by the North London Waste Authority.
The Liberal Democrats are now calling for the Labour council to recall an “extraordinary meeting” of full council, so the motion can be heard before the vote.
Opposition leader Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison said: “I hope that, when our emergency motion is presented, there are no further delaying tricks from Labour, and that there are enough decent administration backbenchers left to join with the Liberal Democrats and consign this project to history.”
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Dr Rembrandt Koppelaar, a waste expert from EcoWise, said: “XR Zero Waste calls upon Haringey Council to instruct these councillors to vote against signing the contract, until Haringey Council has conducted due diligence on whether the Edmonton incinerator represents value for money, and is compatible with the climate emergency.”
Haringey leader Cllr Peray Ahmet said the local authority “understands the strength of feeling” and concerns of local residents. She said a forum would be set up with other London boroughs to discuss these concerns.
Arguing that the alternatives to the incinerator rebuild would be “significantly worse” for the environment, Cllr Ahmet added: “I myself didn't fully understand the need for a new incinerator at one point but it is important that we're not just knee-jerk and we don't just oppose, and that we do understand the issue.”
The incinerator expansion is planned by the North London Waste Authority – the public body which arranges waste disposal for Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.
It is part of the estimated £1.2bn north London heat and power project, with 80% set to be spent on the incinerator.