Anti-tip demo at St Helens Hall

Rainford Waste Site Demo. 'St Helens Town Hall Square (6.7.11)'Nick ffrench Photography (07774 253040)'Job No:21853
Rainford Waste Site Demo. 'St Helens Town Hall Square (6.7.11)'Nick ffrench Photography (07774 253040)'Job No:21853

SPIRITED anti-tip protestors have accused St Helens Council of “hypocrisy of the highest order”.

Dozens of Rainford Waste Action Group campaigners chanted slogans and displayed banners on Victoria Square last Wednesday afternoon (July 6) as councillors strolled into the Town Hall for a meeting.

The high-profile demonstration showcased the level of opposition to a proposed sub regional waste facility just 450 metres from Rainford Village.

Despite the protest, councillors voted against a motion to withdraw the plans on the grounds of public opposition.

The Rainford location was only picked as the preferred site for a multi-purpose waste facility after a groundswell of public outrage forced the council to veto its first-choice site in Sutton.

Action group spokesman Andrew Rigby subsequently told how thousands more questionnaires and petition signatures had been collected from Rainford residents - compared to those living near the Sutton site.

He said: “It is hypocrisy of the highest order. It is our belief that the impact on the businesses on the estate will be extremely detrimental and will stifle their future growth, resulting in a potential loss of jobs.

“Many have already indicated that they will relocate, should this plan proceed.”

Following the council vote, Rainford councillor David Monk added: “There is now division along party lines and it should be above politics. While this is currently only a proposal, should this be put forward and ratified it would blight this site for the next 25 years.”

But Councillor Andy Bowden said: “We are not considering a planning application here. Should it get to that stage then every issue raised would be properly considered.

“I recognise people will not be happy with my position, but we cannot take the easy option when it means we will have to reconsider and consult again on sites less suitable or closer to homes or resign ourselves to no waste plan.

“It doesn’t mean we have not listened. Consultation responses are still being considered.”