Monday, 24 August 2009

A Tragi-Comedy in Several Parts

Scaremongering A La Mode….or “plus ca change”……

Characters: the usual suspects, Production : Croydon Advertiser, Feb and March 1995 (Public kept in dark over contaminated gasworks…and Gasworks row flares up…), Values: plenty on resale

Enter stage left:

Foe Croydon (Paul de Zylva):
“There is a toxic legacy from the days of town gas production, with all sorts of chemicals seeping into the subsoil. British Gas has a huge public liability to clear its sites up." ( Independent consultants had identified arsenic, mercury, chromium, nickel and cadmium…but no mention was made of the complex hydrocarbons and dioxins guaranteed to be there as well).

British Gas:
“We have nothing to hide over work on sites which might be contaminated. We only sell them to reputable buyers. The reason why detailed studies of pollution are not made available for public inspection is because soil analysis procedures are extremely complex for the non-specialist. General publication can lead to a misleading perception of the actual risk, and result in pressure to carry out remedial works which may not resolve the real problem." (!)

Foe Tandridge (Barbara Child):
"Local residents have a right to be kept informed of any potential contamination in their area, and should not be kept in the dark on a need to know basis." ( Godstone Road, Whyteleaf)

Sir Paul Beresford ( Central Croydon MP and junior environment minister):
“The friends of the earth campaign has been alarmist and irresponsible. It’s not fair on people living nearby and makes me really cross. Perhaps they are having a go at me because I am an environment minister. I insist that there are adequate safeguards to make sure that once-polluted sites pose no danger. The information is complex. If you go to a doctor he might give you a prescription, but he doesn’t explain the complicated details of the drug." (really? some doctor!)

The curtain falls...

Some years later…..time having passed by…..the greater understanding of particulates.....dioxins..... The Corby Judgement…..the 2007 graph of early neonatal deaths is published by Croydon PCT (see below)… developments around Factory Lane…new residues from new incinerators to deal with.

Part the Second:

“Parallel Processes”
….procurement and public consultation (they never meet)

the audience feels its going backwards to the future !?

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