Election 2015 England

Stroud election candidates row over waste incinerator plans

Javelin Park - site of the proposed incinerator page
Image caption In January a decision to reject the incinerator was overruled by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles

The approval of a £500m waste incinerator near Gloucester should have led to the resignation of the area's MP, according to an election rival.

Plans for the facility were rejected by councillors but central government overruled their decision in January.

Labour's David Drew has accused Neil Carmichael - Conservative MP at the time - of not standing up for his constituents in Stroud.

Mr Carmichael rejected the claims, saying Labour began the plans in 2004.

Complex issue

The pair clashed during an election debate in Stroud, hosted by BBC Radio Gloucestershire, which also featured candidates from the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

Mr Drew said his rival had sat on the fence for too long and asked: "Why didn't you stand up for the people of Stroud and say 'I will not accept this in any way at all' and threaten to resign?"

The response from Mr Carmichael was that he had stood up for his former constituents but the matter was more complex than "just a question of whether or not we want an incinerator at Javelin Park".

Liberal Democrat candidate Adrian Walker-Smith said the whole project was "unsatisfactory" whereas Sarah Lunnon, for the Green Party, levelled blame at the Labour party as well.

"The fact is there's a whole swathe of incinerators currently being built and operational thanks to the Labour government and their PFI financing of the facilities.

"It's all very well of David to sit here and oppose our incinerator when [Labour] were actually in favour of the technology and the process."

Stroud has three other election candidates who did not take part in the debate - David Michael for the Free Public Transport Party, Caroline Stephens for UKIP and Independent candidate Richard Wilson.

The candidates for the constituency are:

Neil Carmichael, Conservative

David Drew, Labour

Sarah Lunnon, Green

David Michael, Free Public Transport Party

Caroline Stephens, UKIP

Adrian Walker-Smith, Liberal Democrat

Rich Wilson, Independent

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