Protest erupts at the North London Waste Authority re-election meeting

Protestors followed NLWA members to the lift where they continued singing. 

Protestors followed NLWA members to the lift where they continued singing. - Credit: Josh Mellor/LDRS

Singing protestors furious about plans to rebuild the Edmonton Incinerator shut down a meeting of the North London Waste Authority.

On Friday (June 24), the authority’s 14 members planned to re-elect a chair and vice chair, to discuss the past year and scrutinise waste reduction plans.

The North London Waste Plan plan sets out how the seven councils will deal with rubbish thrown out by households and businesses across north London to 2035.

Around 20 protestors refused to stop singing and chanting lyrics such as “burning waste is killing me”, forcing the meeting in Camden Council's offices to be held in private.

The protest began when it became clear that the authority’s 14 members – who represent Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest councils – intended to re-elect Waltham Forest’s deputy leader, Clyde Loakes, as chair for a 14th year.

Dorothea Hackman, of Extinction Rebellion Camden, urged NLWA members not to pick him again, and to not let the authority become “wedded” to past decisions and unable to listen to “legitimate and evidenced objections”.

She added: “The Edmonton incinerator might have seemed like a good idea in 2015, 2016 and possibly even 2017, but now in 2022 it is not a good idea and we need you to hear this."

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Singing protesters forced an adjournment and the meeting eventually resumed in private, where Cllr Loakes was elected chair and Islington’s Rowena Champion and Hackney’s Mete Coban were elected as deputy chairs.

Following the meeting an NLWA spokesperson said: “NLWA has always welcomed and encouraged residents to make deputations at our meetings, however shutting down a meeting and preventing democratic processes calls into question the real motives of protestors.”

Camden Recyling

There was 2.8m tonnes of waste collected in north London in 2016, - Credit: LDRS/Julia Gregory

On June 22, Camden's cabinet members backed the North London Waste Plan, which is a separate document, not managed by the NLWA, but is created by the same councils.

It will go before full council on July 4.

Hackney, Islington, Barnet and Waltham Forest have already signed off the plan, and it is due to be agreed by Enfield and Haringey in July.

It was examined by a government  planning inspector in 2018.

The plan identifies existing waste sites and capacity, Priority Areas for new waste management facilities and sets out policies for determining waste planning applications.