‘Rock The Incinerator’ fundraiser opposing Northampton gasification plant was a ‘resounding success’ say organisers

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A day of music, fun, food and fundraising was held on Saturday to finance the campaigning to fight the controversial St James incinerator.

Rock The Incinerator took place at the Thomas A Becket pub in St James Road, with organisers decribing it as a ‘resounding success’.

The event was organised by county Councillor, Gareth Eales (Lab, Dallington Spencer) and the St James Residents’ Association (SJRA), sponsored by the Communication Workers Union.

There was live bands, food, raffle prizes and more.

The incinerator the campaigners are opposing is a proposed gasification plant on part of the old Westbridge Depot which would use heat rather than flames to break down waste to generate energy.

The event took place despite someone complaining to Northamptonshire Police the day before about potential public safety concerns and suggesting the event was going to be a protest.

Hundreds of local people came through the doors over the course of the day & night - with a figure expected to be near £1,000 raised at the end, for the campaign.

Graham Croucher, St James Residents Association Chairman said: “Myself and the SJRA were delighted to support ‘Rock The Incinerator’ and were overwhelmed by the gestures of support from local people.

“It was a wonderful opportunity after all the good work that has gone into the campaign so far, for the community to come together, have a good time and raise much needed funding for potential future leaflet production, a community referendum and perhaps even legal proceedings, we cannot rule anything out.

“Even the farcical complaint to the police didn’t deter us and that shows that someone really doesn’t like the work we are doing in the community fighting this proposal – which campaigners take as a badge of pride, as we are clearly being effective!”

Cllr Gareth Eales said: “Things had gone relatively quiet, but recently we have had noises from the county council that they are no longer looking at the St James site, something they are now denying ever saying.

“At the same time the borough council and the developer are reviewing the situation, so its a bit fluid to say the least.

“It is incredibly damaging and foolish for people to peddle a message that this campaign is over, because it absolutely is not!

“The fact remains to date no planning application for the incinerator has been made, but that could change... so it’s still all to play for and fight for.

“I am confident that myself and the community are winning the argument and that the developers and the councils know there is legitimate and significant opposition to this proposition. However, there is no room for complacency, there is still, I feel, a long way to go and the Westbridge site could still be the site proposed to be used.”