TWO labour county councillors are calling for Citizens Panels to be set up in areas of Cheshire where plans may be submitted for plants to create waste-derived fuel and incineration plants.
Ken Edwards and George Mainwaring have put down a motion which will go before council tomorrow (Thursday).
The county council has developed a waste management strategy that aims to reduce the harmful effects of excessive landfill through increased recycling and obtaining energy from waste.
As part of the Cheshire Waste Local Plan potential sites have been identified, including Ellesmere Port, where waste could be sorted and then treated mechanically and biologically to create waste derived fuel.
This fuel can then be burned in a furnace to produce electricity or steam.
“I accept that there is a need to modernise our waste disposal system in order to reduce landfill,” said Cllr Edwards.
“However, we must also recognise the deep public concern over the use of incineration as part of waste disposal in Cheshire.
“Incineration is very controversial. The technology for making waste derived fuel is not well established in the UK.
“That is why we need Citizen Panels to consult and inform local people and organisations. Like wise the need for such plants can be explained.”
He added: “Over the next 25 years the county council will be spending over a billion pounds on waste disposal
“How much of that waste is incinerated is an important question because the more complex the waste procedure is, the more expensive it will be.
“The bottom line is that we have to strike a proper balance to protect the environment while taking into account the costs for the people of Cheshire.”
Cllr Mainwaring said: “This is an issue which we as county councillors receive e-mails every day as well as phone calls and letters from residents.
“I believe that Citizens Panels made up, among others, of parish and town councils and residents’ groups are the right way forward.
“It is important that we listen to what people say.”