Message from Care4Cary to those who care ...
We are writing to update you on the status of the Somerset Waste Board’s proposal to use Dimmer as a waste transfer station for half of Somerset, causing serious and avoidable traffic problems and building in 25 years of excessive transport costs which will fall on South Somerset and Mendip ratepayers. Care4Cary encourages anyone who is able to do so to make the trip to Taunton this Friday (see details below) to support our objections. This is likely to be the last chance to do so.
Care4Cary is supportive of the County’s move away from putting household waste into landfill and enabling people to recycle more. But, we are adamantly opposed to Viridor operating a waste transfer station at Dimmer, which would take all Mendip and South Somerset household rubbish collections and then despatch the bulked up waste in huge trucks through Clanville and on to Avonmouth.
Care4Cary together with representatives of Castle Cary Town Council and Ansford, Carymoor and Lydford parish councils will be attending Somerset Waste Board’s meeting in Taunton on Friday 16 December and are intending to speak on behalf of our local communities. We expect broadcast and print media to be there too. Our sole focus is on delaying the final decision on the waste transfer station at Dimmer - we will not comment on any other element of the waste treatment facility contract between the Somerset Waste Partnership/Somerset Waste Board and Viridor (Pennon Group).
The meeting will be held in the Luttrell Room of County Hall, Somerset County Council Offices, Taunton, TA1 4DY and will start at 10 am. Members of the public and the press are able to attend and we would love as many people as possible to come along. There is very limited opportunity to speak, but just by being there you will make an impact.
Click on the following link for full information on meeting procedure.
In October, Care4Cary attended a special meeting of the Somerset Waste Board where the Board unanimously agreed in principle to enter into a new waste treatment facility contract with Viridor. We were astonished to see that South Somerset District’s two representatives on the board - Jo Roundell Greene and Clare Aparicio Paul - both voted for this despite no consultation whatsoever having taken place with our local communities.
The contract, which involves Pennon Group (parent company of Viridor) building and operating a new waste to energy facility at Avonmouth, is to run for 25 years, with no break clause. While we don’t like it, we can understand that Pennon Group need certainty of waste supply to enable them to finance construction of the mega-million pound Avonmouth facility. What is total nonsense is to give Viridor a 25 year contract with no break clause to handle Mendip and South Somerset’s household waste at Dimmer.
Unless there is some flexibility to review the site of the waste transfer station during that 25 year period or there is a break clause specifically in relation to the waste transfer station, South Somerset will be locked into a costly household rubbish collection system that precludes making any further savings beyond the three weekly collection saving delivered by Recycle More for the next 25 years. At a time when cutting costs is so important and difficult decisions are having to be made at South Somerset District Council how anyone - let alone two of our own councillors - can think this is a good idea beggars belief. As a result of this contract, savings may well be made at County level, they certainly won’t be at District level (which pays for the household rubbish collection) - so we the ratepayers in South Somerset will suffer - and not just in terms of rates.
As two Planning Inspectors’ have noted previously the B3153 is overloaded with HGVs and is in places barely more than a country lane. Trucking all Mendip and South Somerset household waste from towns such as Frome and Yeovil to Dimmer to be bulked up and then trucked out again to Avonmouth is clearly nonsense. Residents and users of the B3153 - particularly those in Clanville through which all the bulked up waste will be taken - deserve to be treated better than this.
Care4Cary encourages everyone to make the trip to Taunton this coming Friday as this could very well be our last chance to stop this nonsense before the contract ‘heads of terms’ are signed.