Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Original council tax striker against incinerator summoned to court

She is due to appear before court on Valentine's Day

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Sarah has since inspired 26 other Londoners to join her strike (credit: XR)
By Victoria Munro 09 February 2022

The local woman who kicked off a council tax strike against plans to rebuild the Edmonton Incinerator is being taken to court.The local woman who kicked off a council tax strike against plans to rebuild the Edmonton Incinerator is being taken to court.

Since September, Sarah Eastwood has been withholding £10 of her council tax each month in an attempt “to force a proper public debate”.Since September, Sarah Eastwood has been withholding £10 of her council tax each month in an attempt “to force a proper public debate”.

The aging incinerator is run by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), chaired by Waltham Forest Council deputy leader Clyde Loakes, and will cost an estimated £960million to rebuild.The aging incinerator is run by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), chaired by Waltham Forest Council deputy leader Clyde Loakes, and will cost an estimated £960million to rebuild.

Sarah - who has inspired 26 Londoners, including four other boroughs residents, to join her strike - is due to appear in court for not paying her council tax on 14th February.Sarah - who has inspired 26 Londoners, including four other boroughs residents, to join her strike - is due to appear in court for not paying her council tax on 14th February.

Fellow striker Janine Eagling (credit: XR)Fellow striker Janine Eagling (credit: XR)

In a statement to the Echo, she wrote: “Globally we have only four or five years to make serious progress on turning this climate and ecological emergency around. In a statement to the Echo, she wrote: “Globally we have only four or five years to make serious progress on turning this climate and ecological emergency around. 

“We must slam the brakes now on every ecologically destructive thing we’re doing… [the NLWA] is accelerating its destructive activities instead by pushing through a £1bn vanity project.“We must slam the brakes now on every ecologically destructive thing we’re doing… [the NLWA] is accelerating its destructive activities instead by pushing through a £1bn vanity project.

“This totally unnecessary incinerator will destroy our childrens’ brains and lungs with its pollution and destroy our climate with its CO2.“This totally unnecessary incinerator will destroy our childrens’ brains and lungs with its pollution and destroy our climate with its CO2.

“Waltham Forest Council is taking me to court but it’s they who should be in court for plotting ecocide and environmental racism.”“Waltham Forest Council is taking me to court but it’s they who should be in court for plotting ecocide and environmental racism.”

The current incinerator dates back to 1969 (credit: James Cracknell)The current incinerator dates back to 1969 (credit: James Cracknell)

Sarah’s supporters plan to protest outside Waltham Forest town hall on 14th February while her case is heard by Thames Magistrates’ Court.Sarah’s supporters plan to protest outside Waltham Forest town hall on 14th February while her case is heard by Thames Magistrates’ Court.

The NLWA has previously stated that the height of the proposed chimney and inclusion of advanced filtering technology will mean the expanded incinerator does not markedly increase pollution.The NLWA has previously stated that the height of the proposed chimney and inclusion of advanced filtering technology will mean the expanded incinerator does not markedly increase pollution.

Responding to concerned speakers at a NLWA meeting in December, chair Clyde Loakes said: "We have made this plant [built in 1969] last as long as it possibly can, there is no other in Europe that's as old as the one we have.Responding to concerned speakers at a NLWA meeting in December, chair Clyde Loakes said: "We have made this plant [built in 1969] last as long as it possibly can, there is no other in Europe that's as old as the one we have.

"Our residents still do not do the right thing [by recycling] so we have a duty to ensure we provide facilities to deal with the residual waste in the best possible way.""Our residents still do not do the right thing [by recycling] so we have a duty to ensure we provide facilities to deal with the residual waste in the best possible way."

The NLWA also states the old incinerator cannot cope with all the waste produced by north London, meaning some is currently sent elsewhere or to landfill, while the new incinerator will be able to scale down its operation if its capacity exceeds demand.The NLWA also states the old incinerator cannot cope with all the waste produced by north London, meaning some is currently sent elsewhere or to landfill, while the new incinerator will be able to scale down its operation if its capacity exceeds demand.