Mersey waste dumped on Wrexham - report on today's protest

Wrexham dump protest 1
Wrexham dump protest 2

24.08.2006

Mersey Waste Holdings faced determined opposition this morning when the first lorry carrying waste arrived at Hafod Quarry, Johnstown, near Wrexham. Anxious to get the lorry into the site with the minimum of delay, the Police used heavy-handed tactics to drag protesters out of the way with scant regard for health and safety. Welsh media were in attendance but didn't manage to film the blockaders being dragged away.

Protests will continue every day from 7am (except Sun & bank hol). Big protest on Saturday. The site is just off the A483. Leave at the Bangor-on-Dee/Johnstown turn-off. The quarry is on the left, on the B5426 heading towards Johnstown.

Report and picture here: http://seren.blogspirit.com.

More support is needed for this campaign, both at the Quarry and at the offices and waste transfer sites of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority & Mersey Waste Holdings Ltd. Pressure needs also to be brought on the councillors of Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helen's who sit on the board of the company.

Councillor Berni Turner (Lib Dem) of Liverpool, who is a member of the board, has expressed her outrage at the goings-on and says she knew nothing about Mersey waste being tipped in Wrexham until protesters contacted her yesterday. Are the rest of the board in the dark too? If you live in Merseyside, please encourage Berni or a councillor from your area to do something about this, like call an emergency meeting.

Contact details:
If you’d like to contact Mersey Waste Holdings, their address is 2nd Floor, Port of Liverpool Building, Liverpool, L3 1BY. Tel: 0151 255 0044, Fax: 0151 255 0019 Email: enquiries@merseywaste.co.uk.

Here are all the contact details for the councillors:

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Councillor Bob Swann (Deputy Chairman)
Tel: 0151 487 8974
Email: bob.swann@knowsley.gov.uk

Liverpool City Council
Councillor Paula Keaveney
Tel: 0151 494 0341
Email: paula.keaveney@liverpool.gov.uk
Councillor Nick Small
Tel: 0151 225 2366
Email: nick.small@liverpool.gov.uk
Councillor Berni Turner
Tel: 0151 225 2352
Email: berni.turner@liverpool.gov.uk

St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
Councillor Dave Crowther
Tel: 01925 290 232
Email: CllrDCrowther@sthelens.gov.uk

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
Councillor D Tattersall
Tel: 01704 225877
Email: david@tattersall95.freeserve.co.uk
Councillor K Cluskey (Chairman)
Tel: 0151 920 3704
Email: kevin.cluskey@sefton.gov.uk

Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
Councillor J Salter
Tel: 0151 638 1364
Email: johnsalter@wirral.gov.uk
Councillor S Moseley
Tel: 07785 182536
Email: suzannemoseley@wirral.gov.uk

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Background info -

Waste from five Merseyside authority areas: Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helen's, Sefton and Wirral is to be dumped at a Wrexham landfill site, part of which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and home to great crested newts. Local residents have been campaigning for years against the plans, but dumping looks set to go ahead from Wednesday. Solidarity actions needed.

If you live in Liverpool City, Knowsley, St Helen’s, Sefton or Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council areas, you might like to contact your council representative on Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, whose “arms length� company Mersey Waste Holdings is just about to dump YOUR rubbish in Hafod Quarry, Johnstown, near Wrexham. The dumping looks set to start on Wednesday this week. Useful councillor contact details below. For anyone who’d like to pop over to Wales and see for themselves what’s going on, then the nearest station is Ruabon on the Chester to Shrewsbury line. Actions in solidarity with the unlucky people who live near the quarry would be much appreciated.

Johnstown residents have been campaigning for years via legal channels to stop this happening, but have been let down by their local council, by the government and by Europe. Local councillors in Wrexham have received notification this evening that the Environment Agency is approving landfill at the site to start this week. The EA is satisfied that filling an old quarry with Merseyside’s rubbish won’t have an undue adverse environmental impact. Yeah, right.

There is already one landfill site nearby, and residents are adamant that they will not accept another, with the associated traffic, noise, smell, pollution it will undoubtedly bring. The nearest houses are just 150 metres away. What’s more, part of the site is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), being home to great crested newts.

So why has Wales been chosen as the place to dump Merseyside’s waste? It’s only a year since an official apology was made to Wales for the flooding of Tryweryn in 1965 to provide water to the people of Merseyside. But Wales is just too convenient a dumping ground to pass up, especially now Westminster sets limits on waste tipping in England. A helpful loophole in this directive allows councils to export their landfill to Wales without fear of penalty. We have to stop this from happening. Another apology for Wales 40 years from now is simply not acceptable.

The Mersey Waste Disposal Authority web site, http://www.merseysidewda.gov.uk/, describes Mersey Waste Holdings Group like this: “The emphasis is very much on recycling and re-use and the group has established a ‘recycling fund’ which is used to the benefit of the local community – including sponsoring local environmental initiatives. Each year the group sponsors up to five students from Merseyside to study environmental related degrees at Liverpool John Moores University.� Perhaps one of these students might like to study the effect of landfill on a community of great