Campaigners from Herts Without Waste lodge waste plant article complaint to Hertfordshire County Council

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A campaign group opposed to the building of a rubbish fuelled power station have blasted Hertfordshire County Council for making “misleading, inaccurate” and “patently untrue” claims about the project.

Herts Without Waste, which is campaigning against the scheme – planned for one of two sites near Radlett or Hatfield – has lodged a formal complaint against an explanatory article published in the council’s Horizons magazine.

The taxpayer-funded publication, sent to homes across the county, claimed incineration is “one of the cleanest forms of energy generation” and would help to boost recycling rates.

But Herts Without Waste, in conjunction with Hatfield Against Incineration and the St Albans Green Party, has complained to the Department for Communities and Local Government about the allegedly “subjective and misleading” article.

Group spokesman David Ashton said: “The council seems to be more interested in publishing subjective and misleading information than in properly informing people about what’s happening. Ratepayers are paying for this magazine, so they deserve to be told the truth.”

Campaigners, who suggest the article contravened the Government’s 1988 Code of Practice for local authorities, objected to a “misleading” diagram showing the emission of “clean flue gasses” and recyclable ash – a substance they claim to be hazardous.

They also complained against a suggestion that incineration is a “clean” way to produce energy.

Two bidders, Eon Energy and Veolia Environmental Services, have asked the council for permission to build an “energy from waste plant,” with Eon favouring a site in Harper Lane, Radlett, and Veolia supporting a former school site south of Hatfield.

The council claims such a plant would save millions of pounds a year, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and help the environment.

A decision on which site to develop is expected to be made later in the year.

Simon Grover, of the St Albans District Green Party, is one of many protestors who claim the idea should be abandoned completely.

He added: “The Council has been swayed by lobbying from incinerator-builders, and now they seem to think there is no other alternative to landfill. They are wrong, and they risk emptying our pockets and polluting our lungs. They must stop printing nonsense about this issue, and start listening to the arguments.”

Hertfordshire County Council confirmed this afternoon that it had received the complaints and said it would respond, in detail, in due course.

Spokeswoman Jo Brown said the authority could not comment any further at this stage.

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