Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Barnet council meeting, 12 April - Pinkham Way Alliance vs. Cllr Gordon, Blue 9 vs. MetPro

Returned rather tired from (a couple of drinks in the pub after) the Barnet council meeting on Tuesday 12 April.

There was a large crowd of 200 or so protesters against the Pinkham Way development. Read more here on the website of the Pinkham Way Alliance.

They say:
One of the largest Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) waste processing sites in Europe is coming to North London and it's much closer than you think. The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) wants to build an industrial site in our community to process waste from seven London boroughs. They plan to do this on land that is currently serving as a mature wildlife habitat and as a green buffer from the North Circular. It will also increase traffic congestion in an already congested area and will affect the health of nearby residents.
They kept up chanting throughout much of the council meeting, outside, their voices reaching those lucky enough to get into the public gallery. The main item on Pinkham Way, however, was at the very end of the meeting so, naturally, many of the families who had come to express their concern had had to leave by then.

A question raised by the Labour group about the need for wider consultation on the issue only got the response: we don't need to do that, the community have been consulted (those in the gallery heckled that they hadn't), and it was for Haringey council to decide what happens at Pinkham Way.

Councillor Brian Gordon (Conservative) distinguished himself with the crassest remark of the evening calling the residents (from Haringey but also from Barnet) "rabble" - twice.

The main event of the evening from a Barnet blogger's point of view was Labour's attempt to move an emergency motion on the relationship between the MetPro companies and Barnet council. Of course - yes, of course - the Tories voted it down, saying the internal audit would answer any questions that needed answering.

Blue 9 security, replacing MetPro (thanks to the work of Barnet bloggers, not through any effort by the council) distinguished themselves by their politeness, low-key dress - grey suits - and prominently displayed Security Industry Authority badges. Now, that wasn't difficult, was it?

Notable absentees from the council chamber were the council leader Lynne Hillan and Mark Shooter, who challenged her for the leadership not so long ago.

You can enjoy some more pictures of the Pinkham Way and other demonstrators on my Flickr site here.

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