Deputy Le Pelley’s speech to the States of Deliberation on Deputy Lowe’s amendment to Deputy Kuttelwascher’s Requete

March 18th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Deputy Tom Le Pelley arrives for the States of Deliberation meeting on 24 Feburary 2010

Thank you sir.

I did not think originally that we would be having a debate about the debate but the amendment has changed all that.  We have come directly to the crunch, and it does really concentrate your thoughts.  Several days ago I prepared a speech – four whole pages.  It is probably more than I have ever intended to deliver in this Assembly but when I reread it to myself, I could see quite clearly that I had put the PSD’s point of view balanced by my own feelings about certain things throughout the four pages.  And what I would have delivered would have been a neutral speech, which didn’t add anything to this debate.

I had to do a lot of thinking, Sir.  I couldn’t simply run up and down on a seesaw.  It was basically a conflict of head over heart.  Was it right that I should support a democracy – the democratic decision taken in July that we would go ahead with the Suez plant?  End of story.  Must work towards the best solution or should I on the other hand go back to my starting point some years ago when I began to support Deputy Ogier’s with his requete in 2004 and look very hard and long at the possibilities, and I must admit, Sir, that having led a Sursis some almost two years with Deputy De Lisle, and several others.  That was placed just before we were to go out to tender.  It was a time when the People’s Panel had came up with their report and it hadn’t been fully debated.  It was a time when Jersey were coming to a decision about their own waste management and that would have been an ideal time to have a second look at the alternatives and the possibilities.  That was defeated by one vote Sir.  In July of last year a Sursis led by Deputy David Jones failed by a wider margin, and I was disappointed that several people who had voted against the Sursis that I had led then said to me your sursis was what I should have supported but I didn’t at the time.  And I would like to urge people to seize the day because there might not be another one.

There is possibly if the requete succeeds a chance for another requete or an opportunity to debate this one more time but I really think that we have come to the crunch today and we should really seize that.  Another incident that caused me to reflect was at the Deputy’s Surgery at the Castel Douzaine room on Saturday.  A very polite but persistent lady came into talk to the deputies and she asked to speak to somebody who knew most about the Suez plant and what was involved in that and I was volunteered by the rest of the members, and I did my best to address her concerns about the current Suez proposals.  And I had asked several quite searching questions of the workshop that we had with the law officers and others just a couple of days before.  The main assurances were on the waste arisings and how they might be directed to the plant.  What might happen if recycling took too many tons away from that operation.  I was also concerned about the vocal promise that Suez could deal with our bottom ash, and our fly ash, and I would like to know that far more clearly and possibly in the post-tender negotiations, and confirm the validity of that verbal assurance, and I too was concerned about the cost of the entire project.  So sir, that lady at the Castel Douzaine rooms when she had finished asking me about Suez, and I did try to rationally argue the case in their favour, she said but if you put aside Suez what is left for us to do.  What can we actually positively do without that, and I thought back to my original belief that we could well have an autoclave, which would not only process the black bag waste but it can actually do more than that provided the stream fed into it is properly minimised in order to allow the steam to get a grip to all the particles within it.  That actually could have done the job that kerbside collection would have been very difficult to do, and that is, sort out at least the glass and the tin from the black bag waste, except that you wouldn’t recover any paper from that process.  It would go through the autoclave and come out as a fibre.

Part 1 of Deputy Le Pelley’s speech in the States of Deliberation supporting Deputy Lowe’s amendment to Deputy Kuttlewascher’s Requete

And I did say to the two people who offered autoclave suggestions that in my opinion we would still need some sort of incinerator, and I would go back to the People’s Panel and their suggestion of a micro-incinerator or a dedicated wood burning incinerator to deal with the wood that is contaminated by lead paint or impregnated with preservatives.  And another point that influenced me Sir was the plea by some very weighty business people, that we should reject the Suez plant and seek alternatives.  And that business group, I feel, could sponsor a brainstorming session in which we could actually come together with such people as the Guernsey consortium  that put in a suggestion in 2006 of running a MRF – a Materials Recovery Facility – and a civic amenity Site with composting as a follow-on from that.  Composting following-on from anaerobic digestion was also possible and  in fact in that 2006 review of technologies, TEG was an in-vessel composting business that actually scored more than any other type of technology, even greater than any of the mass-burn incinerators, pyrolysis or gasification plants that have been looked at in past years.  And  I have an association with the past Managing Director of TEG who has taken a great interest in Guernsey waste management.  He actually came over one time two or three years ago to put forward a suggestion that on the site we have at Longue Hougue we could put in a solid waste treatment plant, liquid waste treatment plant side-by-side, and combine those two to work efficiently together, and I think that people such as he and this business group that clearly came to us and said  we can support alternatives but we can’t support Suez.  And I think there is a real core of expertise and possibly funding that we could draw on.  Sir, I have great respect for such people as Advocate Langlois, who was a skeptic when he was in the house, and who felt that probably incineration was the best way forward, but having chaired or facilitated the People’s Panel has been a convert and is clearly opposed to the Suez solution.  We have such eminent people such as Dr. Nick Day, Barrie Mealing who was part of the People’s Panel, and has a lifetime’s experience of waste management.  These people should really be given a little more credibility, and I ask everybody here to vote for the amendment and allow a core of these people with their quality and their business acumen to assist us  brain storming function that we made out of that a home grown plan that might be a whole combination of small businesses working together creating a jigsaw to give us a full picture of what the public are calling for.  I admit, Sir, if that was to happen the layout on the proposed site would not be a pretty green hill.  It would be far more functional.  It would be more like an industrial estate with inter-mingled, co-mingled, modular solutions all contributing to a package which could do at least the same job, but for that to even to happen we, as members in the States, should ask that the Environment Department could perhaps fast track some changes in the planning procedure to enable things to get off the ground a little more quickly than sometimes happens and we would need to call on the legal experts in the island to perhaps change some of the laws that have been holding up progress in so many ways in regard to black bags, which in themselves are illegal we’ve been told, and the payment of collecting black bags.  All these things could be streamlined through the bag and tag, the polluter would pay rather than a flat rate tax system, which doesn’t reward and doesn’t penalise.  Sir, this amendment by Deputy Lowe almost a Deja Vu because I remember some years ago when we were in the thick of debate about incineration and Deputy Flouquet stood up and moved an amendment, which said let us throw out incineration full stop, and that was a missed opportunity for most of us, being an equal opportunities sort of person I actually voted against that proposal because I felt that all technologies should be considered and everything should be given a fair chance to solve our problems.  But on this occasion I say Carpe Diem, sieze the day.  Support this amendment.  Throw out the Suez proposal and let’s go forward with a home grown, local business supported island solution.  Thank you Sir.

Part 2 Deputy Le Pelley calls for a home grown solid waste treatment solution instead of the Suez energy from waste incinerator

1 Response to “Deputy Le Pelley’s speech to the States of Deliberation on Deputy Lowe’s amendment to Deputy Kuttelwascher’s Requete”

  1. Alex

    Let’s hope the other deputies will have the same change in senitment for the forthcoming requete

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