Saturday, March 25, 2006


Conspiracy against Rugby residents?

The plot thickens! First in 1995 they try to get a Permit to operate a cement works, and then they try to plan it and build it in 1998, all without Joe Public's knowledge or interference. How come Rugby residents were not consulted? Who done it? Was it Rugby Cement, the Council officers, the Agency officers, the Member of Parliament, Mickey Mouse, the Government, or the Councillors? WHO kept Rugby residents in the dark?

RBC 3.3.06 were asked to reply to the : "considerable number of irregularities that have gone on in relation to the permitting (both in terms of planning and pollution control permitting) of the Rugby works over the years."

It was pointed out that the grant of the original IPC authorisation was flawed, not least because there has been no public consultation, nor consultation of RBC, on the application - contrary to legal requirements. (1) clarify whether or not RBC were consulted in relation to Rugby Limited's IPC application: if so (2) provide a copy of the consultation documents/ and RBC's responses (3) if no such response/s exist/s, explain why; (4) let us know what, if anything, RBC did to ensure that the public were consulted in relation to the IPC application. (Stage 1 was submitted 24.1.95; stage 2 submitted 19.7.95, stage submitted 3 2.1.96 and the authorisation eventually granted 8.9.99. The Public Register contains nothing relating to the information we are requesting.)

RBC 10.3.06: "I am not aware of irregularities in relation to permissions for the Rugby cement works. I have passed your letter to the Head of Legal and Administration, who will respond to our questions direct." (Only a mushroom can be unaware of irregularities in Rugby?)

Environment Agency 3.3.06 were asked:
"We have asked on two previous occasions for a copy of the press advertisement/s placed by Rugby Limited in the application of IPC authorisation, but we still have not received them. If it is the case that the Agency does not hold a copy of such a press advertisement, and in any event, please provide us with a copy of whatever evidence the Agency relied on in concluding that there had been a fulfilment of the Public and Local Authority consultation requirements under the IPC regime in relation to Rugby Ltd's IPC application."

Agency 8.3.06 reply : "I am now in a position to clarify matters, and I trust this response, notwithstanding the unfortunate delay, provides the information you are seeking. It appears that the Agency does not hold a copy of the press advertisement of the Rugby Limited application for IPC authorisation."

Agency 23.3.06 (thinking again perhaps?): "Please note that the Rugby IPC application was received and deemed duly made by the Agency in January 1995. At that time the statutory requirements for consultation on such applications were as follows.

* First the applicant (Rugby Ltd) has to place an advertisement in at least one local newspaper (regulation 5 of SI 1991 No 507).

* Second, the regulator (in 1995 HMIP but ultimately the EA) had to consult the persons prescribed in regulation 4 (l).

* Third, the regulator had to consider any representations made to it, within the period allowed, in determining the application. This would "obviously" include any representations made by members of the public.

It was not until April 1996 that SI 1991 No 507 was amended by SI 1996 No 667. This amendment had (in particular) the effect of requiring the applicant's advertisement to be placed on the Public Register, However, this requirement applied only in relation to applications made after that date.

There was therefore no requirement for he Agency either to hold, or to have placed on its Public Register, a copy of the newspaper advertisement, responsibility for the placing of which lay SOLELY with Rugby Ltd.

The Agency did, as you have seen from the documentation already provided to you, consult statutory consultees. I am not aware of any representations on the application having been received from members of the public. (Comment: I wonder why not???? The mind boggles - even Gareth did not say anything at all?)

To ensure that you have no complaint about the Agency's response on this subject, following your letter I arranged for a further review of Agency files to be carried out, including not just public Register material - which is seemed reasonable to assume would contain all the information you were seeking - but all other files relating to the regulation of the Rugby works.

This further search has in fact revealed some additional material. As you will see there is further correspondence between the Agency and the statutory consultees which "for some reason" was not on the Public Register file at this point. There is also information relating to the "Public Liaison Committee". This supports the conclusion that the Agency fulfilled its statutory consultation duties.
I trust this clarifies matters."

Rugby Limited 23.3.06 were then asked for the copy of the advertisement that the Agency say they MUST have placed in te newspapers in Rugby........

Watch this space for next week's exciting instalment on why Rugby is THE very best place to grow mushrooms!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


"Pass the parcel" continues as blame for the unlawful cement plant floats between the EA, WCC and RBC.

But blood out of a stone comes to mind, as we strive persistently for a full and truthful answer.
Rugby in Plume have been asking these and similar questions for FOUR years now.

1. The evidence supplied by WCC would appear to show that the plant had no lawful planning permission.

2. The evidence from WCC definitely shows that there was no Environmental Impact Assessment. RBC Leader of the Council's statement to the contrary, made in the Chamber, would appear to be "misinformed" written as it was by an RBC officer, who certainly knows better than to have "persuaded" him make such a false claim.

3. We have the Environment Agency's complete failure to provide any evidence of the full and proper mandatory IPC consultation procedure which confirms the RBC files : that no proper IPC procedure was carried out.

4. We have RBC's continued "memory loss" by the officer in charge of the Environmental health Office who was responsible for the failure of the IPC consultation in Rugby, and for the failure of the subsequent IPPC consultation in Rugby.

* The IPC consultation never happened at all - simply no councillors, residents, or public health authorities were consulted, as the mandatory consultation was bypassed by the EA and RBC "working better together".

* The IPPC consultation was passed off by officers as a "Tyre Burning Consultation" and the public, and other organisations and health authorities were mislead by the EA and RBC, and the Cement Company, which only gave out information on "tyre burning". The EA had promised to inform the local Parish Councils but these were not even informed of the IPPC application.

We will update you further when more information is received, as under the Freedom of Information Act the relevant authorities have to answer for what they have done.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Air Quality = Death Rate ???

Does Air Quality hold the key to Rugby death rate for the elderly?

West Midlands health experts claim the cold in Rugby kills our elderly residents,
but many leading world renowned scientists, who do not have a vested interest,
would appear to think small particles are to blame.

Particle pollution is of serious concern in Rugby.
With the emissions of smaller particles set to increase, both from the cement plant, and from the extra heavy traffic due to a complete lack of any planning by Warwickshire County Council can we expect even more deaths in Rugby?

Fine Particle Air Pollution Associated With Respiratory And Cardiovascular Diseases

Main Category: Asthma/Respiratory News
Article Date: 13 Mar 2006 - 0:00am (UK)

Being exposed to fine particle matter air pollution increases a person's risk for hospital admission for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, according to a study in the March 8 issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

Numerous studies have shown associations of chronic exposure to airborne particles and increased health risks. Recent evidence on adverse effects of particulate air pollution on public health has motivated the development of more stringent standards for levels of particulate matter in outdoor air in the United States and in other countries, according to background information in the article. In 1997, the standard for airborne particulate matter was revised, maintaining the previous indicator of particulate matter of less than or equal to 10 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and creating a new indicator for fine particulate matter of less than or equal to 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5). Particles in this size range have a much greater probability of reaching the small airways and the alveoli (air sacs) of the lung than do larger particles. Evidence is limited on the health risks of this size range of particulate matter.

Francesca Dominici, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a study to estimate the risk for cardiac and respiratory diseases from exposure to fine particulate air pollution. The researchers analyzed data from a national database for 1999 through 2002 on hospital admission rates (constructed from the Medicare National Claims History Files) for cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes and injuries for 11.5 million Medicare enrollees (aged 65 years or older) who lived in 204 U.S. urban counties (population greater than 200,000). The individuals lived an average of 5.9 miles from a PM2.5 monitor.

The researchers found there was a short-term increase in hospital admission rates associated with exposure to PM2.5 for all of the health outcomes except injuries. The largest association was for heart failure, which had a 1.28 percent increase in risk per 10-µg/m3 increase in same-day PM2.5. Cardiovascular risks tended to be higher in counties located in the Eastern region of the United States, which included the Northeast, the Southeast, the Midwest, and the South.

“In the lung, particulate matter may promote inflammation and thereby exacerbate underlying lung disease and reduce the efficacy of lung-defense mechanisms. Cardiovascular effects may reflect neurogenic [arising in or stimulated by nerve tissues] and inflammatory processes,” the authors write.

“Our findings indicate an ongoing threat to the health of the elderly population from airborne particles and provide a rationale for setting a PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard that is as protective of their health as possible,” the researchers write. “The sources of particles contributing to the observed risks need to be identified so that control strategies can be targeted efficiently.” (JAMA. 2006;295:1127-1134.)

Editor's Note: For funding/support information, please see the JAMA article.

American Medical Association (AMA)
515 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
United States

Thursday, March 16, 2006


It's not just Rugby in Plume and other campaign groups, but also FOE who strongly criticise the Environment Agency: accusing them of :

* devaluing community influence
* weakening consultation
* making a cheap and easy worst-case route for disposal of hazardous wastes
* conflicting with the proximity principal
* failing to ensure access to information from the waste-burning trials
* allowing lower standards at cement kilns than incinerators (more emissions)

We have recently published a briefing for local campaign groups working on the burning of waste in kilns - please see the following link:

Burning waste in cement and lime kilns

We have also published a report looking at the siting of incinerators in area of deprivation:

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Angry Expert

This is an actual letter emailed to me:


In reply to your repeated questions about where the dust comes from if, as the Environment Agency insist, it is NOT from the Rugby Cement plant.

I am staggered that after all this time you still don't understand, or worse, refuse to understand, the way that solar winds that are heavily laden with moon dust focus on Rugby.

It's all to do with the gradual shifting of the poles - basically, the Bermuda Triangle has moved to deepest Warwickshire. Hope that's cleared it up for you as I will be billing you £15,984,800.67 for the time taken to reply to this email.

A Postcard From Rugby town

With the death rate of Rugby OAP's so unexplainably high at the moment, will the young and strong soon be taking financial matters into their own hands?

P.Y.I. (Protect Your Inheritance) are recommending people send their old folks over to Rugby for the winter if they want a quick and easy remedy for long lingering deaths...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Answers to comments...

In answer to this comment:

"Interesting question...

But are we to think you have got bored questioning the usefulness of a cement plant in Rugby in favour of old age mortality rate?

Or are you now going to tell us it may be connected?"

Thank you for your comment: not easy to answer briefly - you may be sorry you asked as this is not a joking matter.

Not only the cold, but also AIR POLLUTION is a contributing factor in the public health, (and deaths) particularly in the winter. "The West Midlands has the largest excess winter death rates of any government region." It is no secret that the highest rate of winter deaths, occur in industrial areas within the vicinity of smoke stacks. Is this mere co-incidence?

Cement plants can never be boring, and this one for example has so many moving parts and has so many thousand tonnes of materials going through it every day that always there will be "the unexpected" happening, and these incidents will lead to pollution of the various types over and above those quantities "permitted". Also you cannot possibly fail to have noticed how low over the houses/on the houses the plume is in the winter, being cooled and falling much more obviously than during the summer.

I am not saying that the cement plant is responsible for the deaths of the elderly, but they have not all gone down with hypothermia - frozen to death. In cold weather the elderly (and cold) are more likely to succumb to heart attacks and particularly to respiratory diseases, which kill them.

They also fall over on icy roads or fall over more indoors if the house gets cold and this also can lead to death. But as the report points out the West Midlands has the largest excess winter deaths of any region, but the information available in the report is far too general to draw firm conclusions. We need access to hospital and medical records, which we can relate to where these people live and the air quality and social factors which affect them. This is very difficult to do, and may be for this reason this huge glossy report has just generalised, and has not mentioned air quality as a factor at all. Also the industries are located in "deprived wards" - such a New Bilton and Newbold. At the moment they try to "re-generate" New Bilton by various means, but at all the discussions the participants were told that they could not mention the cement plant nor the air quality and pollution! Painting shop fronts may make the area look more "pretty" and picking litter will "tidy", but the fundamental problem there, which can only be addressed by one means, is air quality!

Ask anyone who lives there.

There are 180 Air Quality Management Areas declared in the country, mainly for nitrogen dioxide and particulate exceedences of the standard, and also some 13 for sulphur dioxide. Rugby has declared an AQMA for nitrogen dioxide over all of Rugby and Lawford, and although they managed (by various means) NOT to declare for particulate, especially round the cement plant, very high short-term PEAKS have been recorded. No account has been taken of these, and it is well-documented that not only are raised levels of pollution in the long term a concern, but also that raised levels of particulate for even a few hours can "cause death" for even up to 3 days later. In Rugby the toxic elements adsorbed onto the particulate are not measured, but for sure when the particulate level is raised so are the killer chemicals.

When we have more information, in a manageable form, we will post it, and we will also be considering why Rugby residents aged 65 , both men and women, have a lower life expectancy than most people in the West Midlands.

Click here for more info

Friday, March 10, 2006

Caring for the elderly? Home alone is best.

The front page of the Rugby Observer enticingly displays the new "Enjoy Rugby" guide - "Why not pay us a visit?"
But goes on to say that in a "cold weather mortality rate shock for the town" the "elderly face a cruel winter choice" with one of the highest winter death rates among its elderly population in the whole of the West Midlands.

In a soul searching question we ask "Should we really be inviting grannies and granddads to spend the Christmas holidays with the family in Rugby, or is it safer and kinder to leave them at home alone in Nuneaton?" The question has been asked of the Borough Council Tourism spokesman, and we will bring you up todate information on how to protect your elderly loved ones in Rugby.

Link for Full report on Public Health in the West Midlands
See Older People and Health Inequalities

other link

Thursday, March 09, 2006

"Tyre Burning improves air quality"

"Tyre Burning improves air quality"

..says Agency lawyer, and now, coming soon, at a CO-INCINERATOR near you......

More air quality improvements: You name it - they burn it!


WASTES: Chemical "fuel";dycal;sewage sludge pellets;profuel; plastics; meat and bone meal; Waste oils;packaging waste; medical waste;

"Dust; fall-out;pollution; toxic gases - what do you mean?"

Click the link to find out: "Why we do not prosecute" by the EA.

"Dust what dust!" Improve air quality - BURN WASTE!

Click here to read more

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"MAGIC" permitted cement plant in Rugby; air apparently not for residents:

RBC seems to be at a loss to explain the billowing dust and smog in New Street, as reported by residents today, Monday. Meanwhile in yet another classic case of "pass the parcel", so enjoyed by the EA, WCC and RBC, other complainants were told: "Do not tell us about it. Tell the Environment Agency. We can do nothing! We are not responsible for the air in Rugby."

Maybe their eyes are off the ball, because the officers are busy trying to explain away to the Full Council why it has cost them thousands of pounds in officers' time to answer simple questions submitted to RBC under the Environmental Regulations and Freedom of Information Act, concerning the environment, pollution and air quality in Rugby. After all this information, and much more that is now the subject of a solicitor's letters, should have been made freely available to all, and should not have to be "dug" out by long-suffering residents.

It must be hard, almost impossible, to answer simple questions when it seems that there have been a considerable number of irregularities that have gone on in relation to the permitting of the cement works over the years. The Public consultation appears to have been conveniently bypassed, which is why we are all wondering how the cement works came to get a Permit in the first place: by MAGIC?

We have had the mushroom syndrome. Now we have magic as well. Could an element of magic mushrooms explain away the crazy decisions?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Cement dust IS an issue... Not only tyre burning...

Cement works drops thick, gritty, sticky, smearing, dust...
(Rugby Observer Thur 2 March)

"I would like to bring your attention to Rugby Cement and the fallout of a thick dust over the weekend. It covered cars and property with a thick layer of dust in Wilson Close.

Trying to remove it has been very difficult as using a wet cloth turns the dust to a sticky glue-like substance leaving a film on the windscreen and gritty smears on the paintwork.

A representative of Rugby Cement came to take a sample of the dust for analysis: we await the outcome. Something MUST be done. The Council worry about burning tyres, but what about the pollution we are breathing in."

Pam Turbert
Wilson Close

Now you see it, now you don't!

It snows in Rugby winter and summer alike!

Fickle wind now dumps dust on other areas in Rugby. After receiving confirmation from Cemex that the wind had blown dust from the plant to the north, we now hear of yet another pollution episode in which cars were covered in dust on Sunday 26th, in Wilson Place, Frobisher Road and Cornwallace Road - to name but a few. But these are to the south, so in a surprise about face a vicious and fickle north easterly wind must have brought the dust there. Unless of course it is dust from the same incident with wind swinging violently from north to south?

Residents at first thought it was snow, but that came later in the week, and the dust it is still there long after the snow has been and gone.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hand of God? Wind blamed for polluting Rugby!

Official excuse for the "pollution incident" of 26th February, when the kiln stopped and yet again dumped "dust" over Rugby residents: and how the explanation is perceived by Long-Lawford long-sufferers: (wish to comment or join in the debate phone/ email marit.meyerbell)

Sent: 02 March 2006 23:26
To: 'Marit Meyer-Bell'

Thank you for your efficient reply to my question, whilst I should be relieved that my family was not exposed to your companies contamination of our town in a direct sense, one cannot help thinking that the poor souls who unfortunately live to the north west of your plant would not be quite so disposed to the lack of genuine concern you show in your reply to me, or indeed share your upset at the companies 'reliability and environmental performance' having slipped from your claim of an high standard.

The plant, for your information, has a long history of failures, and just as long an history of condescending cover up's when they frequently occur. I hope and pray that one day your company will do the honest thing and come clean over their performance and not hide behind a sympathetic EA whose own agenda for the 'cheap' removal of waste through the use of cement kilns with barely efficient filtration systems is exposed as the fraud that everybody knows it to be.

From: Marit Meyer-Bell []
Sent: 02 March 2006 17:44

I can confirm that due to a blockage of materials as they were about to enter the kiln, there was a small release of dust on Saturday 26 February. Under normal weather conditions, the dust would have been contained within the site, but due to high winds some dust unfortunately escaped and was dispersed to the North West of the plant and so should not have impacted on houses in your area. The incident is under investigation and has been reported to the Environment Agency, which regulates the cement industry. The incident is disappointing for us because the reliability and environmental performance of the plant over recent months have been of a very high standard.

The plant operates well within the limits set by the Environment Agency. However, if you have any further concerns, please make contact with environment manager, Brian Handcock, at the plant. He can be contacted on tel. 01788 553121. You are also welcome to come and see the works for yourself.

Regards Marit

Marit Meyer-Bell
UK media & communications manager
CEMEX UK Operations
Tel. +44(0)1932 583208
Mobile +44(0)786 765 3392

From: []
Sent: 01 March 2006 19:32

Dear Sir/Madam
I live in Long Lawford in full veiw of the Rugby cement plant and was informed that the plant had a major technical failure at the weekend, which caused a heavy discharge of chemicals over our homes,Could you please provide me with any information regarding this incident and how dangerous this could potentially be for our family which includes three small childern. I urgently need to be reassured that my family have not been placed in a position of unacceptable health risks and would welcome a speedy reply to my concerns.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Letter submission


Comes today from one of our many contributors and supporters,
(we residents have a common interest in living a full, healthy, long life,
which seems not to be "common" to the various authorities involved with
the protection of Public Health in Rugby!)

"On route to school with my grandson today (1st March) I noticed that we in
Hillmorton are on the hit list today with a prevailing north westerly wind
of 18 mph. We so admire your dedication towards this degenerating feature of

Regards and best Wishes.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Yet another pollution episode in Rugby

RBC and Environment Agency impotent as ever!

Following Cemex’s recent attempt at chemical warfare from their base , the cement works on Lawford Road, I thought I would trawl back through the dozens of press statements used in the past and provide a few heart felt statements they might find useful for their inevitable press release.

Perhaps they could start with the evergreen ‘this was a very rare occurrence’ followed by ‘due to human error a sequence of events occurred which was totally unexpected’. One that always gives me a laugh is the cement company mantra ‘valuable lessons have been learnt, and this situation will not happen again due to the new safeguards we have put in place’. Can I suggest we have an all our yesterday’s type of competition in the newspaper for the best, or most laughable excuse provided by this company, the first prize being a years supply of pure oxygen and a family size set of breathing masks. Then again this might make Cemex think that there is an opening for a chemical plant on their existing site, and of course you just know that our ever helpful local Councillor’s will be on hand to smooth the way for yet more pollution of our town!

(Letter submitted by 'Long-Lawford long-suffering Resident.')