Keighley will be the dustbin of Britain when a waste incinerator is built – claim protestors.
More than 600 locals marched from East Morton to Church Green to demonstrate against the massive trash burner to be constructed at Marley.
And local MP Kris Hopkins was vilified for backing the scheme which will allegedly bring air, noise and traffic pollution to the town.
Demonstrators from Aire Valley Against Incineration – wearing yellow T-shirts, chanting, beating drums and waving placards – gathered on a sunny early Spring day to hear that the children of Keighley face a future of health problems if the waste burning plant is built.
Organiser Rachel Shimbles, speaking on Church Green, told the crowd:”Thousands of people still have no idea this monstrosity is to be built on their doorsteps.”
Rachel said that a tiny group of Bradford Met councillors had given the green light for developers Endless Energy to build the £135m waste-to-energy plant, which promises 500 jobs, but in reality will deliver a fraction of that figure to locals.
She said 300 or those jobs will be temporary roles in building the incinerator, and the idea that all those posts will go to locals is ‘ridiculous’.
A further 100 jobs on Kris Hopkins’ ‘Magic 500’ will not be filled by the unemployed, but be filled by employed people relocating to the incinerator plant.
And, moreover, the remaining 100 jobs have been rounded up from 79 – the number of highly skilled incinerator engineers needed. But few, if any, live in the Keighley area, argued Rachel.
She told the crowd that 70 HGVs will bring waste from across Britain on a daily basis to the plant.
“It will make Keighley the dustbin of the UK,” said Rachel.
“The developers, Endless Energy, only care about profit and Bradford Council is putting profit before people.
“But we have right on our side, they are only for profit, but we are fighting for our valley and our air quality.
“We will stick together and stay defiant and keep telling Endless Energy that our clean air is not for sale.”
Nobody on Keighley Town Council supports the building of the incinerator.
Coun Andrea Walker (Riddlesden and Stockbridge) told the demo:”We don’t want this incinerator in the valley for health reasons.”
Urging Keighley folk to keep fighting, she outlined the threats of breathing in the toxic emissions.
Many children joined in the demonstration and a prize was awarded for the best placard, which was won by Sienna Pugh, eight, a pupil at Hothfield Junior School, Silsden.