Gloucestershire

'Lady Godiva' in naked protest at incinerator plans

Anna Dart as Lady Godiva on Dougie Image copyright Jojo Mehta
Image caption Protester Anna Dart claims carcinogens could enter the food chain if the plant goes into operation

A protester has bared all to show her objections to plans for an incinerator in Gloucestershire.

Anna Dart invoked the legendary Lady Godiva by mounting her white horse, dressed only in body paint, to call for a halt on the Javelin Park scheme.

She claims carcinogenic compounds could enter the food chain should the plant go into operation.

Gloucestershire County Council said the facility would save taxpayers over £100m.

The incinerator project attracted strong opposition and was only approved following a public inquiry.

'Completely irresponsible'

Ms Dart, from Minchinhampton, began her ride, with her face disguised as a Mexican "Day of the Dead" character, as part of a "Toxin Free" rally at the Cross in Gloucester.

She said: "I was terrified the night before, but it went well and there were about 100 people there.

"I wasn't too uncomfortable thankfully, although it was quite cold.

"I feel strongly about this because it's completely irresponsible and burning waste, especially plastics, creates dioxins and furans, two of the most toxic and carcinogenic compounds known to man.

"Incinerator filters regularly fail, and some of these particles cannot be filtered at all so they are breathed in and also passed from grazing animals into the food chain."

'Value from waste'

Sarah Lunnon, who is stepping down from her role as Green county councillor for Stroud on Thursday, said the scheme was a waste of taxpayers' money.

She said: "It will reduce recycling locally and is a really dirty way of producing electricity."

Nigel Riglar, commissioning director for communities and infrastructure at the county council, said: "The new facility saves taxpayers over £100 million, makes enough clean electricity to power 25,000 homes and reduces carbon emissions by 40,000 tonnes.

"UBB has made good progress on construction and the facility will be operational in 2019."

Contractor Urbaser Balfour Beatty said: "The Gloucestershire Energy from Waste Facility has been granted an environment permit to operate, by the Environment Agency.

"In common with over 30 similar plants operating in the UK, the Gloucestershire facility has to adhere to strict emission limits set under the Industrial Emissions Directive."

Barry Kirby, deputy leader of the Labour group on the county council, said: "The incinerator has been pushed through without common democracy.

"It's been 10 years in procurement and technology has moved on, we should not be closed to new options that use the best technology available."

Conservative councillor for Hardwicke, Tony Blackburn, who is standing down from his post, said there was a lot of feeling against the incinerator locally and he had tried to fight it from within the group.

He said: "It's the wrong process and the wrong scheme."

The Liberal Democrats have been asked to comment.


Other candidates standing in the Hardwicke and Severn ward are:

  • Liz Ashton, (Labour)
  • Stephen Frank Davies, (Conservative)
  • Sue Hartley (Green)
  • Michael Robert Stayte (Liberal Democrat)

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