The SNP have today unveiled their manifesto which included a commitment to review incineration in Scotland. The manifesto says the party “must concentrate our efforts on reducing, recycling and reusing resourses” as part of building Scotland’s circular economy and achieving the Scottish Government’s world leading climate targets.
Local SNP candidates Christina McKelvie, standing for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, and Mairi McAllan, standing for Clydesdale, have welcomed the inclusion of a review on incineration in the party manifesto. Both candidates have called for consideration of a moratorium on the building of new incinerators in Scotland.
This comes following the announcement of a moratorium on incinerator facilities with a capacity of more than 10MW in Wales. Welsh Ministers have refused to grant applications for proposals under 10MW capacity unless “applicants can show there is a need for such facilities in the regions in which they are planned.”
The news will be seen as a major victory against Viridor’s plans for a new incinerator on Overwood Farm near Stonehouse which has prompted a strong reaction from local activists who opposed a previous incineration plan nearby. Both SNP candidates have themselves come out strongly against the Overwood planning application.
Commenting, Christina said:
“The SNP has an enviable record on tackling the climate emergency that threatens our entire species. Since 1990 we have managed to halve our emissions here in Scotland. In terms of emissions reduction across Europe, Scotland is second only to Sweden. Our emission reduction targets are world-leading.
“There is a real potential however that additional incinerators, like the one proposed for Overwood Farm, may put this progress at risk. We need to make sure our zero waste, climate change, emissions and planning policy all come together to take Scotland forward. That’s why I am delighted to see a commitment to review our national policy on incineration in the SNP Manifesto.
“I am strongly against the proposed incinerator in Overwood – an incinerator the local community have made clear they neither want nor need.
“To ensure Scotland’s environment is protected for future generations make it Both Votes SNP on May 6th.”
Christina McKelvie has welcomed the SNPs commitment to the creation of liveable, accessible places, with thriving local economies, where people can meet their daily needs within a 20-minute walk.
As part of the election campaign Nicola Sturgeon has announced:
- 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation sectors this year, with an investment of £719m.
- £275m over the life of the parliament to support community-led regeneration and town centre revitalisation.
- Steps to support the development of 20-minute neighbourhoods.
- A £10m “Scotland Loves Local” fund - to encourage people to shop locally when they can, helping keep wealth within their community.
Christina McKelvie, who is currently seeking re-election as the SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse has been a strong advocate for town centre regeneration across the constituency.
In 2016 Christina joined with Angela Crawley – MP for Lanark and Hamilton East to launch the “Our Town, Your Voice” town centre consultation which received almost 2,000 responses which have helped to inform the councils work on regenerating Hamilton’s High Street.
The new SNP administration elected a year later, standing on a platform of town centre regeneration brought forward a 24 point plan to take forward. As part of this work derelict buildings have already been brought in to use or, as in the case of the derelict Vogue Cinema site, in the process of being brought in to use.
“We’ll never be able to thank businesses and their employees enough for the sacrifices they have made to help get the virus under control over the last twelve months. Revitalising our town centres and communities is an absolute priority for myself and the SNP in South Lanarkshire. Strong town centres are now more essential than ever to make sure that our recovery from COVID is built on solid foundations.
“The SNP Scottish Government has already gone further than the UK Government by extending 100% rates relief for the hardest-hit sectors for a full twelve months.
“If re-elected we will take forward plans to spend £275m over the life of the parliament to support community-led regeneration and town centre revitalisation - as well as supporting the development of 20-minute neighbourhoods. This builds on the already £50m worth of investment through the Town Centre Fund announced in 2019, which brought £2.5m to South Lanarkshire.
“On top of this significant government investment, all of us can help our communities, and protect and create local jobs, by spending locally when we can.
“We’ll build on our 'Scotland Loves Local' campaign to highlight the many benefits of doing so.
“If re-elected as your MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, I will be totally committed to continuing to work with communities across the constituency - like the fantastic volunteers who created the Larkhall Community Plan - to ensure that our town centres are firmly at the heart of Scotland’s recovery.”
Christina McKelvie has written to the Scottish Government calling for a national moratorium on new incinerators across Scotland.
In the letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Christina hailed the world leading climate change legislation brought in by the Scottish Government. The legislation commits the country to achieving net-zero emissions by 2045 and becoming carbon neutral by 2040. The legislation also sets legally mandated targets to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 and 90% by 2040.
Christina is concerned that planned incinerators, such as the controversial Overwood Farm application submitted by Viridor, could put achieving these targets at risk.
The Welsh Government has announced a moratorium on incinerator facilitates with a capacity of more than 10MW. Welsh Ministers will refuse to grant applications for proposals under 10MW capacity unless “applicants can show there is a need for such facilities in the regions in which they are planned.”
Commenting, Christina said:
“Scotland is at the forefront of tackling the climate emergency. Since 1990 we have managed to halve our emissions here in Scotland, second only to Sweden in Europe.
“I am concerned that incinerators, like the one proposed for Overwood Farm, will put this progress at risk. We need to make sure our zero waste, climate change, emissions and planning policy all come together to take Scotland forward.
“I am strongly against the proposed incinerator in Overwood – an incinerator the local community have made clear they neither want nor need. However, I also believe we should look at our incineration policy nationally to ensure it ties in with our planning policy and environmental targets. More important than anything else is ensuring we protect Scotland’s environment for future generations.”