In a recent press article, (South Holland District Council planning committee chairman) Roger Gammba-Jones suggests how important it is for local politicians to listen to the electorate.
Such remarks, transparently self -interested, are frequently wheeled out during election campaigns, and are just as frequently forgotten once a seat is secured.
In the forthcoming planning meeting to reconsider the incinerator, we hope Mr Gammba-Jones does a better job of listening than he did at the first meeting.
There, in his frequently overbearing and impatient manner, he had the audacity to state that if the people of Sutton Bridge did not want an incinerator, they should have said so when Wingland was identified for industrial development.
Wingland was designated such a site 20 years ago, and long before anyone had any idea of the new incinerator technology. And certainly no idea of its potential hazards. Fine though the good people of Sutton Bridge may be, they cannot see into the future. Twenty years ago, the general view was that Wingland would support light industry, and provide jobs for locals.
We got a monstrosity of a power station with broken promises of jobs and cheap electricity. And now the prospect, together with similar bribes, of an incinerator that the people of Sutton Bridge have claimed unambiguously that they do not want.
A petition of 1,000 and a public vote, restricted to four hours on a cold dark December night where 94 per cent said NO.
Nor did Mr Gammba-Jones listen to councillors on the committee such as Councillor Rudkin, who raised some of the genuine fears for this risky technology.
It was clear that Mr Gammba-Jones and his officers were not only not prepared to listen to the Sutton Bridge residents, they clearly had not read or listened to the wealth of empirical evidence placed before them prior to the planning meeting, that drew attention to the health and environmental hazards of biomass incineration.