Teresa Pearce MP welcomes London Mayor’s opposition to the proposal to build a new waste incineration plant in Belvedere

 

Today the Mayor of London has made clear his opposition to the proposal from Cory Riverside Energy to build a second waste incineration plant on its site next to the River Thames in Belvedere. The proposed incinerator is called the Riverside Energy Park, because it includes proposals to generate electricity as part of the waste incineration process. The project is currently under consideration by an Examining Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate, who will make recommendations to the Government, who will then decide. This is because it is argued to be of national significance and therefore not processed through the usual planning processes run by London Borough of Bexley. Under the plans the project would start operating in 2024.

As your local MP I fully support the Mayor’s stance in opposing this development, and I have submitted written representations to the Examining Inspector detailing why the scheme should not go ahead.

Below is a summary of my representations and the Mayor’s Press Release here: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/stop-allowing-new-toxic-waste-incinerators

For details of the documents relating to the scheme and the processes relating to the Planning Inspectorate’s consideration of the proposal, you can visit:

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/london/riverside-energy-park/?ipcsection=docs

SUMMARY OF REPRESENTATIONS FROM TERESA PEARCE, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR ERITH AND THAMESMEAD

 

I seriously question whether there is a need for more of the same waste incineration to be located in south east London and this area in particular. I regret that the Applicant has stated that “consideration of alternative sites was not deemed necessary.”

 

As far as I can see, the Riverside Energy Park will do nothing to encourage recycling or to reduce waste. I do not believe that it will contribute to the circular economy and does not support achieving high recycling rates. In fact, once councils buy into this scheme it is likely to suppress recycling rates in the capital.

 

It is counter intuitive to be increasing incineration capacity just as public opinion is forcing manufacturers and supermarkets to drastically change the way they package goods and their waste policies.

 

After landfill, incineration is the least environmentally friendly form of waste disposal, and the question I keep asking myself is whether the energy said to be produced by this scheme justifies the negative impact it would have on the surrounding areas.

 

I am concerned about the additional emissions that the new plant would generate and the effect on air quality for my constituents and those across the River Thames to where the prevailing wind carries the toxins.

 

The expanded incineration plant would be surrounded by three significant Opportunity Areas, which will see substantial housing expansion in the years ahead. This will create a much larger number of human receptors than the current modelling shows.

 

The proposed plant will be immediately adjacent to the Crossness Nature Reserve, one of the last remaining grazing marshland areas in Greater London, and the construction and operation of the REP could have a lasting negative impact on the wildlife nurtured over the past twenty years.

 

I question whether the proposal is viable in respect of the connection to the electricity grid, with potential transport disruption and traffic delays, and associated air quality impacts, during the laying of underground pipes along a busy road corridor.

 

I am concerned about important gaps in the viability of the essential combined heat and power component of the scheme. It is not clear how the £14m pipe infrastructure and £3m reserve boiler will be funded and by whom. I also have doubts as to where the demand will come from, and I am not aware of any combined heat and power projects that have come forward from the existing plant.

 

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Teresa Pearce MP backs Women’s Institute and Friends of the Earth campaign to tackle plastic pollution

Teresa Pearce MP has lent her support to a campaign by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) and Friends of the Earth to dramatically reduce plastic pollution and the amount of plastic we use.

Teresa is supporting the Plastic Pollution Bill which calls for government to set targets to phase out non-essential single use plastics by 2025 and eradicate almost all plastic pollution by 2042.

Teresa Pearce MP said:

“People in Erith and Thamesmead have told me they want urgent action to tackle the plastic waste that is blighting our environment and harming our wildlife. With 12 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the sea each year, we simply cannot wait any longer to take action.

 

“That’s why I am backing the Plastic Pollution Bill to stem the plastic tide and help preserve our environment for future generations.”

Teresa Pearce MP, has also signed a letter to the Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove, calling for a Plastic Pollution Action Plan to be included as part of the Environment Bill.

For more information, please visit: thewi.org.uk/endplasticsoup

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Teresa Pearce MP pledges her support for Shelter’s #EndDSSDiscrimination

Teresa Pearce MP met with Shelter to lend her support to their #EndDSSDiscrimination campaign.

According to a YouGov survey of almost 4.000 private renters, one in three renters receiving housing benefit haven’t been able to rent a home due to discriminatory practices which exclude renters on housing benefit.

Under the Equality Act 2010, it’s unlawful to indirectly discriminate based on things like, gender, disability or race. ‘No DSS’ adverts and other exclusionary practices can breach the Act via indirect discrimination, as they disproportionately harm women and disabled people, who are more likely to receive housing benefit.

If like Teresa, you support Shelter’s campaign to End DSS Discrimination, you can sign the petition here: https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/campaigns/dss

 

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Teresa Pearce MP attends event on free personal care for older people

 

Independent Age host an interactive event to raise awareness of their free personal care campaign at Parliament on 24/04/19
Photography by DFphotography.co.uk / Danny Fitzpatrick

Teresa Pearce MP attended a drop-in event in Parliament this week to discuss the social care crisis with members of the public and to learn about the ground-breaking evidence from the older people’s charity Independent Age, on the benefits of introducing free personal care in England.

Free personal care is already available in Scotland. Introducing free personal care in England would be extremely popular. A recent YouGov poll found that 74% of adults in England aged 18-64 want free personal care for all older people, and 69% would be willing to contribute more to fund it.

Teresa Pearce MP said:

 “I was delighted to have the opportunity to discuss the social care system with older people and hear their stories, and ideas on how it can be improved.

 

“I was also impressed by the evidence presented by Independent Age on the economic and personal benefits of introducing free personal care. Average care costs in the London region are £727 a week, and there are 12,657 people over 65 in Erith and Thamesmead.

“Independent Age has made a powerful case on how free personal care could benefit my constituents, and ensure that some of the most vulnerable people don’t have to worry about the financial costs of their care in the future. This policy must be considered as part of the government’s consultation on adult social care.”

For more information on the work the Independent Age do, visit their website www.independentage.org.

 

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Teresa pressed the Secretary of State to continue funding the Troubled Families Programme

In the Chamber yesterday Teresa pressed the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, The RT Hon James Brokenshire MP, on the need to continue funding the Troubled Families Programme after its scheduled end date next year.  

The Secretary of State answered to say he was a huge champion of the programme and of the work that it does.

After the debate Teresa said

“ I was pleased with the Secretary of States response and I sincerely hope that we can count on him to ensure that the valuable work done by this programme will not end next year “  

The Troubled Families Programme aims to improve the lives of families with multiple needs. The programme has been incredibly successful with findings showing that the scheme has improved outcomes in a host of areas, with a particular reduction in the number of children being taken into care.

Through the programme, local authorities were given funding to support almost 400,000 families. The third annual report on the programme, ‘Building Resilient Families’ found that through the scheme, more and more families were getting access to the early, practical and coordinated support that they needed, in order to overcome their complex, interconnected problems such as anti-social behaviour, mental health issues or domestic violence.

You can see more of the exchange between Teresa Pearce MP and the Secretary of State in the clip below.

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Crossrail Report

Today the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has slammed the Department for Transport and Crossrail for their parts in the costly delay to complete the flagship Crossrail project.
A report by the respected committee has found that the fixation on December 2018 delivery deadline led to warning signs being missed or ignored, and that the Department for Transport and Crossrail have still not identified the root causes of delays and cost increases.
The Committee has also called for the Department for Transport to urgently set out what consequences senior officials have faced for programme failures.

Erith and Thamesmead MP, Teresa Pearce said:

“Frankly, I am dismayed by the Public Accounts Committee findings.

“Crossrail was due to open in December 2018 bringing in a vital new rail service through London for local people from Abbey Wood station.

“A revised opening in autumn 2019 had been advised, but in all honesty my confidence in that timetable – and whether the £2.8 billion loan will be sufficient – has been shattered.

“It is inconceivable to me that the Department for Transport and Crossrail were not able to identify the root causes of the delay to the Public Accounts Committee. This is mismanagement on an epic scale.”

 

The full report can be read here : https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news-parliament-2017/crossrail-progress-review-report-published-17-19/

 

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Teresa Pearce MP Raises the Plight of Children within the EU Settlement Scheme

 

Yesterday, during Home Office Questions, Teresa Pearce asked the Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Noakes MP, two questions. In the first instance, Teresa Pearce MP asked what steps the Home Secretary is taking to ensure that Local Authorities settle the status of the children of EU nationals in their care.

The second question highlighted the challenges within the settlement scheme for this particular group of vulnerable children. Teresa asked the Minister if she agreed with her that as corporate parents to these vulnerable children, we should be giving automatic settled status to them. She also asked if the Minister agreed that fees should be waived for the children eligible for citizenship, to avoid them becoming undocumented.

To view the exchange in full, please click here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/14b23cd1-9472-44ba-9742-dd2deec361d1?in=15:20:39

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MPs, Faith Leaders and Members from the Council come together to find solutions in the aftermath of Christchurch

It was a privilege to attend Greenwich Islamic Centre with Clive Efford MP this afternoon & speak to members of the Mosque, council leaders and community workers following the horrific events in New Zealand one week ago. We listened to their experiences and shared ours. Together in solidarity, we will work to eradicate the hate that is seeping through society and must be stopped.

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Erith and Thamesmead MP Becomes A Teal Hero In Support of Women With Ovarian Cancer

Teresa Pearce MP has shown her super-powered support for women with ovarian cancer across Erith and Thamesmead at a special event hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ovarian Cancer on 20 March.

MPs were given the chance to dress as ‘teal heroes’ to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer at an event organised for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Teal is the colour of ovarian cancer awareness, which is alarmingly low in the UK. Data from Target Ovarian Cancer, which provides the secretariat for the APPG, shows just one in five women can name bloating as one of the key symptoms of the disease. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • Persistent bloating- not bloating that comes and goes
  • Feeling full or loss of appetite
  • Tummy pain
  • Needing to wee more often or more urgently

Teresa Pearce MP said: 

“Too many women die of ovarian cancer.  We all must act to ensure that more women know the symptoms to look out for, are diagnosed sooner and get the treatment they need. That’s why I was delighted to take part in this year’s Teal Hero event to support women with ovarian cancer and their families. “

 

Ovarian cancer can be devastating. Every year 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK, and 4,100 women die from the disease. Target Ovarian Cancer works to raise the profile of ovarian cancer, spread the word about the symptoms, and train GPs in early diagnosis.

Visit targetovariancancer.org.uk to find out more.

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MORE LIFT MISERY AT ABBEY WOOD STATION

 

The new lifts at Abbey Wood station will be out of action for major repairs from Tuesday, 26 March, until mid-June 2019.
While rail services will run normally, step-free access will be affected in the following way:

• From 26 to 31 March, both lifts on Gayton Road will be closed. A step-free route along Wilton Road, Knee Hill and Harrow Manorway will be signposted to customers, who will be able to access the station through its main entrance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• From 2 April to mid-June, the access to both lifts on Felixstowe Road will be closed. A step-free route along Felixstowe Road and Harrow Manorway – leading to the main station entrance – will be signposted to customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am told that a member of staff will be by the lifts at all times, providing assistance to customers. These closures are needed while Network Rail undertakes major repairs to a leak in an underground duct; the London Borough of Bexley improve the footpaths and roads leading to the station; and repair works on the lifts is completed.

I am very disappointed that new lifts have to undergo major repairs and that long suffering Abbey Wood residents will have to contend with long pedestrian diversions – AGAIN!

I met with the Managing Director of Network Rail recently and made it very clear that this was unacceptable.

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