Saturday, April 29, 2006


This Email was posted today...

Sent: Saturday, April 29, 2006
To: 'Andrew Gabbitas'; ''; ''
Cc: 'All Councillors'; ''

Dear Mr Gabbitas, Mr Humphrey and Mr Wright,


You variously continue to ignore my requests for information, refuse to meet with me, and continue to intimidate and bully me, and to try to silence me. You write that I am wrong, and that RBC have done nothing unlawful. You refuse to investigate the cause of my long-standing, oft-repeated, clearly stated, and very serious complaint. At least you will not ever be able to claim in your defence, when all this comes out into the Public domain, that "we did not know. No one told us!" You cannot possibly claim you do not know what is going on. The Cabinet and officers of RBC are directing this, along with the officers of the Environment Agency. Warwickshire County Council must also be aware, if not actually involved, and similarly other authorities. The MP also has had many meetings with and about the cement works.


At the Rugby Cement Community Forum on Monday night 24th April the Agency were insisting that this plant can burn up to nearly 1,000 tonnes of petcoke each day in the Rugby Cement plant, and also in combination with tyres. Everyone knows about the very real danger of burning the petcoke, due to the increase in toxic emissions which are adsorbed onto the increased number of smaller particles emitted, for which there is NO SAFE LEVEL, and which are known to cause health damage and death.

This is, as the Agency officer admitted, a very serious issue. The IPC Permit which allowed this burning of petcoke (not tyres) which the Agency are saying was granted on September 13th 1999 was, and remains, UNLAWFUL. RBC officers were involved with the Agency in hiding the Application and the Consultation. The Agency has never shown the original IPC APPLICATION to operate the plant to anyone, and repeatedly refuses to do so. It is not EVEN on the Public Register which it is required to be. RBC made me pay £80 for a supposedly "full copy" of the full Public Register that supposedly contained the IPC Application, and related items on it - which I had requested. But it was NOT on there, nor on the EA Public Registers at Kidderminster and Tewkesbury. RBC and the EA are holding SECRET files. The EA wrote telling RBC to "hide it" and NOT to place it on the PR or to divulge it to anyone. Councillor Mrs Pat Wyatt tried, at the RCCF meeting, to read out a copy of this unlawful Agency letter PROHIBITING ANY DISCLOSURE, but Chair of the RCCF, Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Mrs C Robbins, shouted her down and tried to stop her reading it out. The Chair said the Council has many SECRET documents and reports that they do not wish the public to see. This is all UNLAWFUL, and the process is flawed. The plant has no lawful operating permit! By Law (see attached) it was MANDATORY for it to be advertised and consulted on. This is the ONLY OPPORTUNITY the public had to be consulted on:

WHETHER it is appropriate for the plant to be burning 8,000 tonnes a day of material, including up to 1,000 tonnes of petcoke, in the middle of the town. On WHETHER the emissions, frequent dust outpourings, and up to 1,000 lorries each day, etc are acceptable to the environment and health of Rugby people. THE EA AND RBC HAVE BYPASSED THIS MANDATORY PROCEDURE!!!

Also there were certain charges that RMC should have paid to the EA's public purse, but they have apparently, according to the Public register, paid NOTHING for this unlawful IPC Permit. In effect the people of Rugby have paid to poison and pollute themselves, thanks to the collusion between RBC and the EA! The people go on PAYING and PAYING : now a million pounds for air quality monitoring, hundreds of thousands of pounds for the RCCF, and public meetings and reports into tyre burning (only), and "pretend" Consultations, such as the Air Quality Assessment, and the Variation to permits at Rugby Cement, and the Tyre Burning Review, etc etc. The people of Rugby might think that the Councillors and officers of RBC should be protecting them, but they are NOT and the truth is the opposite. RBC is squandering large sums of public money all in a furtive attempt to HIDE the truth!


Then RBC went on to try deliberately to hide this IPPC Application by calling for "Tyre Burning" meetings to discuss the "Rugby Cement Tyre Burning Application" and the public were told they could not comment on the operation of the plant - THE OLD UNLAWFUL PERMIT WHICH ALLOWED THE BURNING OF 8,000 TONNES OF RAW MATERIAL AND COAL/PETCOKE IN THE TOWN CENTRE, but the Public could ONLY comment on the addition of tyres as a fuel. For further information see the Minutes of the 13th September meeting held in RBC offices, and the transcript and video of the 20th September 2001 Edward Street meeting.

The current 2003 IPPC Operating Permit was based on the UNLAWFUL IPC operating Permit that the EA and RBC hid from the people of Rugby. Now the people of Rugby are to suffer more and more as the production, emissions, type of emissions, and increased use of waste materials, and the so-called alternative fuels increases. This is far worse for Rugby residents than the old plant with no LIMITS set at all until it gets to 200 tonnes and hour.

The old plant only ever made 50 tonnes an hour! The old plant made at most 300,000 tones of clinker each year. This one is designed to make, according to RMC 1,850,000 tonnes.

Bearing in mind that there is NO SAFE LEVEL of particulate, and that we are subjected to constant fallout and toxic pollution, much of which is uncontrolled and unmonitored and unmeasured, what are RBC recommending to the people as a daily dose of TOXINS to the IMPROVE HEALTH of Rugby residents from this UNLAWFUL CO-INCINERATOR, which is operating under an UNLAWFUL PERMIT, that the EA and RBC have both been involved in? The EA, after FIVE years of constant complaint from the public, are NOW very belatedly prosecuting the cement Company through the Magistrate's Courts, but the people of Rugby should prosecute the EA and RBC through the highest courts.

Is this what you wish, and are you still determined to ignore the facts of my complaint?

Thank you.

Lilian Pallikaropoulos

This letter is going into the Public domain, and is being widely copied, including to all the Public who witnessed the events of the last RCCF meeting.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Council Seek Legal Advice

RUGBY BOROUGH COUNCIL Seek legal advice on dealing with Campaign Groups:

They try to defend their POLICY decision to refuse to answer any FOI and EIR requests, except via a FAQ (frequently asked questions) site, to be made up in Conjunction with other Agencies:

"Exempt information" is defined in the Council's Constitution and the Local Government Act 1972. These set out 15 categories of information which are exempt. One of those categories is :

"Any instructions to counsel or any opinion of counsel,(whether or not in connection with any proceedings), and any advice received, information obtained or action taken in connection with:

(a) any legal proceedings by or against the authority; or
(b) the determination of any matter affecting the authority; whether, in either case, proceedings have been commenced or are in contemplation."

The report on Information Requests from Campaign Groups concerned an opinion from counsel in connection with this subject. The report, therefore, contained exempt information as defined by the Constitution and the 1972 Act.


  • I think RBC will find it is in breach of the FOI/EIR Act/Regulations, for which RBC has already been taken to task on at least one occasion.
  • Surely a mere local authority Cabinet cannot ignore the Law of the Land, and make a "silly little decision" not to answer any requests for information under the FOI and EIR, " unless we have agreed them with other Agencies", and put on a web site at their own pace.
  • FOI and EIR are not about the "opinions" (interesting and amazing though they may be) of RBC and other bodies, but are requests for ACTUAL COPIES of documents and it is these that they appear so afraid to reveal.
  • Now we have this situation and it is documents relating to these issues that we have requested:

1) The EA have left off the Public Register the monthly monitoring emissions data for the Rugby plant since July 2005.

2) The EA are claiming Cemex can burn the "poisonous" petcoke as they got a (secret)IPC permit in conjunction with RBC.

3) The EA then also gave a subsequent IPPC permit to burn waste by telling "half truths in conjunction with RBC" - and they mislead the public, calling the IPPC Application a "Tyre Burning Application", and calling many meetings and getting reports all written on "Tyre Burning", in order to to cover up the IPC failings of the EA and RBC. This was done so that no one would know that the Rugby plant had no lawful IPC Permit, and that any subsequent IPPC Application was based on an unlawful IPC Permit.

4) RBC refuse to answer all FOI requests, and the Cabinet have made a POLICY decision to hide all the information, and also deliberately "mislead and misinformed" the public and other councillors at full council meetings, in answer to specific questions about the Environmental Impact Assessment fo the Rugby cement plant.

5) Then RBC blame me for the "costs" of providing "all this information", and "for answering my questions", while the truth is that RBC is spending a fortune trying to hide and cover up what they have done.

If RBC just answered truthfully and provided photo copies it would cost a minimal amount. In fact I have already paid them a substantial sum of money for photocopies.
The truth is cheap, and is in fact FREE, it is the deceit and cover up that is costing Rugby Council tax payers so much money!
And say this:

Cabinet on 9th January 2006 resolved that:-

(1) A scheme of Frequently asked Questions be developed and published that covers air quality and other issues associated with Cemex's local activities.
(2) That any further information requests on these issues be not individually responded to, but published on a FAQ list and
(3) any request that is potentially abusive, defamatory or other wise likely to cause offence be not responded to.

The Council is dealing with numerous requests for information from you and these requests will be dealt with as Frequently Asked Questions as resources permit in accordance with the cabinet's Decision.

The information in this current request is extensive and relates to issues dealt with 5 years ago. The Council's stance on the issue of tyre burning reflected public concern at the time and was a considered and balanced approach to the issue.


Sent: Monday, January 16, 2006
To: 'Karen Stone'; ''
Cc: '';
Subject: IPPC application 2001 and IPC 1999

Dear Mrs Stone and Mr Humphies,

It seems that this Council and the public have been totally mislead, whether deliberately or not, by RBC officers and the EA. I think the people of Rugby deserve some answers. I would like to know the following please:

1. Why did you present the 2001 IPPC application as being "only a Tyre Burning application"?

2. Why did you commission an AEAT report into "tyre burning only"?

3. Why did the PCT commission an HIA into tyre burning only? "Is it better for the people of Rugby to breathe coal dust or tyre fumes?" Cook and Kemm.

4. Why did you totally misinform the public and all the Rugby Councillors about the nature of IPPC consultations, and what needed to be considered, and that the "whole IPPC permit was open to question and scrutiny?"

5. Why did you not tell the public that the information given out was incomplete, and that that information being given out was related to the "tyre burning" aspect only: see Rugby Group Limited, Rugby Works, Application under IPPC to allow burning of tyres. Incidentally that application did not include any mention of particulates at all though it listed pages of all the other main emissions from the plant, and the public consistently expressed concern about particulates and dust from the plant as a whole. The Councillors and public were not aware that the whole application was on the Public Register, and that the whole operation of the plant was to be taken into account?

6. At the Indian Club 2001 Roger Wade (Environment Agency) said, at the opening of the meeting, that "this application is like IPC, and is now called IPPC, and so there is no difference. It has IPC, so let's get on with the tyre burning." What was the RBC response to the IPC application in 1999, and the public response to it? What public meetings did RBC call in 1999 to discuss the IPC application? Where is the Public Register containing this IPC information?

7. How did you brief councillors, such as the Environment panel, and also the Community Leadership Panel, that lead to the March 2002 "marathon meeting"? What was the objective of such a meeting?

8. What guidance did you use to advise you, on what the roll of RBC was at statutory consultee, and what guidance did you use also on how to advise the councillors and the public?

9. Why are the Minutes, Agendas and attachments, of the RCCF and the Rugby Cement Liaison meeting not available to councillors and the public at RBC offices?

10. What action is RBC prepared to take against the Environment Agency for its part in this deceit?

11. Please send an email copy of the Minutes of the meeting RBC held with the EA on 13th September 2001 as a pre-meeting in preparation for the Indian Club meeting of September 20th 2001.

12. What was the role of the Rugby Cement Liaison Committee in all this? What was the RBC's role in that Committee? Why were no Rugby Cement Liaison Committee meetings held from March 2002 until 23rd October 2002, during the crucial part of the IPPC application, until when it "evolved" into the RCCF?

13. What is the RBC role in the RCCF? (Rugby Cement Community Forum)

14. What is the RBC role in the TBRG? (Tyre Burning Review Group)

Thank you.


Thursday, April 27, 2006


Local Government Ombudsman to investigate

By Parliamentary Ombudsman

(along with Warwickshire county Council):

JEREMY WRIGHT MP has been asked to meet, Further to previous meetings about the maladministration: "We urgently need to see you about the behaviour of this Rugby Borough Council/Cabinet, and also the behaviour of the Environment Agency. We believe we have the evidence to prove they are both guilty of maladministration, and must be investigated. We are now ready to take them respectively to the Local Government Ombudsman and the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Please give us an urgent appointment."

SSSSHHHHHH! "hear no truth, speak no truth, see no truth". We will act in SECRET!

In the meantime: a letter has gone to acting RBC Chief Executive, who has tried to silence the growing protest, is considering secret reports from secret persons at secret Cabinet meetings, and REFUSES the public access to the Public information.

Dear Mr Gabbitas
Re : Cabinet 9th January 2006 Item 283 Environment Portfolio (page 12 of 13).

I believe this Council is guilty of maladministration. I will ask the Ombudsman to visit the related documents and judge for himself if these are "properly exempt matters".

The purpose of "confidentiality" in Committee proceedings is NOT, and must NEVER, be solely to HIDE the errors, omissions, or failures of Councils, Councillors or officers in relation to their Statutory Duties. Where confidentiality is claimed the reasons in sensible terms need to be provided; it is NOT proper that the only response should be that X or Y subject IS confidential, or exempt.

All that the RBC has stated is that, in their opinion, this is exempt, and that Cabinet have considered a "private report" of the Environment Portfolio Holder. This has NEVER gone before any Environment, or any other committee, and is merely one person's private view, and Report, (by co-incidence the Chair of the Rugby Cement Community Forum?) and recommendation to Cabinet. How have you justified this?

What reasons could this Council POSSIBLY HAVE for considering, in secret, the private report of THIS person?

Hiding Information Again!!!

Speak no truth......
See no truth......


By LAW the Environment Agency is required to place the "Monthly Returns of Emissions" from the Cement works on the Public Register, otherwise the plant is IN BREACH of its IPPC Operating Permit.


Since the Agency gave the plant permission to:
  • increase five/eight fold the permitted emissions for VOC (volatile organics);
  • and to burn tyres;
  • and to burn petcoke (a killer waste product from the oil industry);
MYSTERIOUSLY the requisite data has been absent from the Agency's Public Register held at Rugby Borough Council FOR THE CEMENT WORKS. The last Monitoring Report is for June 2005.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cement TV

Click the link to see the cement works on TV once again..

..and click Coventry and Warks..

or click HERE

Hear no.. Speak no.. See no..

After five years of persistent and increasing complaints the Environment Agency has now faced reality and belatedly decided to prosecute Cemex Cement over last October's dust storm, just one of a long series of pollution incidents. It has also, incredibly, just spent public money conducting a Survey asking 500 people what they think about the Rugby Cement. The people of Rugby had this to say about the cement plant:

"Unnecessary pollution, cars covered in dust, frequent outbursts of unhealthy dust, should not be burning tyres near the town, there is black smoke, washing gets dirty, dust comes in to the house and when it rains there is a grey film everywhere, it affects us in our old age, children's health, people with breathing problems, air pollution, dust particles, general ill health in the area of they works, cough, continual dust, dust all over trees, long term effects unknown, eyesore, bad for the environment, they get away with murder, and no meetings or appeals have any effect."

There are many more unprintable comments, and also the hard unpalatable facts that Warwickshire County Council in collusion with the AGENCY, have granted an unlawful planning permission, and the Environment Agency, in collusion with Rugby Borough Council, have granted an unlawful IPC operating permit, followed by another unlawful IPPC permit. The question is what is the point of merely "slapping the wrists of the industry", that no doubt earns about a million pounds a week profit? Apart from embarrassing them what actual IMPROVEMENT will there be for Rugby residents?

The reality is a stark choice - either:

  • the plant shuts down
  • or the TOTAL BURDEN increases and things get much worse.
They cannot control the world's largest piece of moving machinery - a semi-wet process cement kiln that was ill thought out, a botch-up construction, and wrongly located in a town with no raw materials, with no road or rail connection, and with 90,000 terrified people huddled underneath it. Now Cemex are burning the awful poisonous petcoke, and are set to increase production, waste burning, lorries and POLLUTION!

Readers will, I am sure, be relieved and delighted to hear how much the Agency cares about Rugby Residents:

The agency have this to say about their concerns:
"We have listened to what people are telling us and we take their concerns very seriously. We will use the results of this survey to COMMUNICATE BETTER with people about our regulation of Rugby Cement."

How jolly spiffing!

This after FIVE YEARS of public meetings, cement forum meetings, letters, communications, complaints, EA Board meetings, court cases, and innumerable times where the EA have blamed "a few disgruntled local campaigners" for "bringing the truth to the attention of the public".

The people of Rugby are not sitting ducks, nor mushrooms, nor pawns in the games the Government is playing with us. There is only one answer, stop playing the games and tinkering round the edges, and SHUT DOWN this unlawful plant.


Saturday, April 22, 2006


Is it better to breathe in tyre fumes, or coal dust? Petcoke, or sand and clay?

In Rugby we have no choice - it is all compulsory!

And now we present: let's pretend air quality monitoring. RBC are to spend another £500,000, not apparently to monitor air, but to merely to "reassure local residents". "It was generally felt that any reduction in the Council's air quality monitoring programme would be criticised by sections of the community, and especially by specific campaigners. This would be likely to increase the concerns of local residents about air quality issues."

Well thank you RBC, but we do criticize, and Rugby residents are NOT convinced by your propaganda. It is not necessary for the "specific campaigners" to explain to the populace how they are being polluted - they can see it easily for themselves, everywhere they look. Seen a plume anywhere? Noticed a thick layer of dust? Smell anything? Seen a convoy of polluting orange lorries?

While RBC sniffs the air, Buffs can click here to find out more about particulate matter, and why RBC is misdirected to be shutting down all the PM2.5 monitors for the health-damaging smaller particles.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Town Hall Meeting

If you attend the Rugby Cement Community Forum you can see for yourselves the falsehoods, deviousness, and lengths "they" will go to in order to avoid telling the TRUTH! They were actually overheard in the High Court blatently discussing how they manipulate the Forum, and control the Chairwoman, and all questions. Quarterly they have to "jump through the hoop" of two hours of this "public exposure" in order to "claim" that the public have been consulted. Some consultation! RBC Officers and Councillors conspire, collude and endeavour to ensure that anyone with any knowledge gets NO CHANCE to speak, or to ask any "killer questions". They fill up all the time with presentations, pontifications, self-congratulations, meaningless statistics, and whitewash, in fact any old rubbish in order to fritter away every minute, so they can say, as always, "Pity, No time for questions!"

They have even written a Code of Conduct that says "you must not aks searching questions, or repeat questions, even if you get no answer the first time, or even if the answer is a blatant lie. You must not hurt and upset Cemex and the Environment Agency by asking questions they do not like. You must not ask for the truth. You must not ask about pollution, exceedence of emission limits, the environment, health impacts, total burden, plant malfunctions, shoddy working practises, the 1,000 lorries a day, etc etc - in short NO MEANINGFUL QUESTIONS WILL BE PERMITTED!

Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy this public exhibition of meaninglessness, worthy of Pinter. The Public can air its grievances at the beginning of the meeting.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

How do We Change Council Policy?

Rugby Borough Council was rated as inadequate in many areas in a Government report in 2004. Among other things, the Comprehensive Performance Assessment report (CPA) said the council lacked vision, and had an inconsistent approach on involving local people.

The council now intends to destroy the ability of anyone to stop and shop in Rugby unless they come in on a penny farthing bicycle, in order to claim "we protect the environment."

They proceed with this lunatic car-parking scheme because "we have gone down this road so we better carry on and just ignore the public and shopkeepers." In another Council meeting I clearly heard this criticism of the Council, and person driving this through: "They are wasting public money deliberately. What is wrong with him? Is it stubbornness or something? Where is his common sense?"

Meanwhile Cemex Cement gives an unwanted Easter gift of a gritty coating of dust over sleeping Lawford. The inappropriately named Environmental Health Office refuses to do anything.

And now there are all the glossy election leaflets full of false promises, and misinformation about what the Council has done for Rugby residents, and what they will do. Some blue leaflets, in a giant leap of the imagination, refer to the ill-fated Western Relief Road as the Rugby By-pass, but how very odd that the route is far longer than necessary, going in a great circle through Newbold for no apparent reason. And, just by chance, Rugby people will now pay a fortune to Cemex to compulsory purchase land from them, and also to build a new tunnel to the disused Parkfield Road quarry. Access to these costs have naturally been denied.

What does it take to change this Council's Policy of secrecy, misinformation, and squandering of public money?

In todays paper..

for those that don't buy the Rugby Advertiser:
Cement dust shower prompts action call
A COUNCILLOR has called for action after dozens of Long Lawford homes were showered with dust due to another accidental release from the Rugby Cement works.
Large areas of the village were believed to have been affected by the emission from the Lawford Road factory, which occurred at about 5.30am on Saturday.

Cllr. Pat Wyatt (Ind, Lawford and Kings Newnham) said she spent hours talking to concerned residents on Saturday morning after hearing about the fall-out - and wants a crackdown on the company.

Cllr. Wyatt, a long-time opponent of the works, said: "How many times are we going to be showered like this?

"It's the same every time, but what is an apology?"

The fall-out, which is believed to have lasted up to 15 minutes, was thought to have been caused by a fault with a clinker cooler at the Lawford Road works.

The clinker cools down material which has gone through the factory's kilns, before it is turned into cement.

The kiln was immediately shut down and the fault reported to the Environment Agency.

A spokesman for the Agency confirmed the incident and said that as the emission was made up of sand and clay, it does not count as a 'harmful emission.'

He said: "From our point of view, we are investigating the cause of this problem and we will be taking appropriate action if it is proved there has been a breach of permit."

There have been reported cases in the past of emissions in the past from the factory, which is owned by Cemex.

Cllr. Wyatt said she had received complaints from residents across the village and demanded the Agency take stricter action against the factory.

She said: "It really depends just which way the wind is blowing as to how many people are affected by these emissions.

"I want more stringent measures applied to the works and more meaningful restrictions to be put on Cemex and the plant.

"I'm going to keep on and on about this."

Cemex spokesperson Marit Meyer-Bell said: "We can confirm there was a dust release from the clinker cooler.

"The incident has been reported to the Environment Agency and is being investigated.

"We regret the nuisance this will have caused for some of our neighbours and we are working with them to resolve any issues they may have."
20 April 2006

Saturday, April 15, 2006

EASTER PRESENT - From Rugby Cement.

Long Lawford residents awoke this morning to find a liberal coating of dust all over their cars and properties. The Environment Agency were inundated with complaints and several residents drove their cars to the works, including one irate owner of a brand new car, demanding compensation.Interviews with residents, and Councillor Pat Wyatt, had many asking what was the impact on their lungs of the dust that we cannot see. Others asked what is in the dust - from the petcoke and tyres they are burning. The air seemed thick and there was a low visibility that was not recorded in the town itself.The Environment Agency have not commented yet and are waiting for the Cemex works to say what is wrong with the plant and what has happened NOW, yet again, to remind people that whether visible or invisible we are being covered in pollutants 24/7.

It was interesting to see that the BBC had also picked up on the news. If you pressed your 'RED BUTTON' on BBC1 digital this evening you were taken to the headline 'DUST FALLOUT LEAVES HOMES COVERED'.

Perhaps the cement works should have their own 'Red Button'.... marked 'Self Destruct'...

Sunday, April 09, 2006


100% waste burning cement plant: Coming soon at a cement plant in a small town near you?

40% "cemfuel" (mixed industrial waste)

40% Meat and Bone Meal (some fallen stock?)

20% Tyres

Saturday, April 08, 2006

£1,000,000 DOWN THE DRAIN!

Paid out by Rugby residents!

Apparently, according to RBC, in trying to protect themselves from being polluted, by Cemex cement plant!

How much does Cemex cost us as a TOTAL BURDEN?

£1,000,000 on Air Quality Monitoring in Rugby:
Paid for by the long-suffering residents to monitor "potential pollution impact from the Cemex Cement plant".

RBC recommend spending another £500,000 of our Council Taxes merely to "REASSURE the public"! An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for nitrogen dioxide (NOX) has been declared Borough and Dunchurch wide. RBC say "the likely exceedence of a national air quality objective is caused by traffic pollution" and "the main pollutant is traffic linked". "Any action plan would require the whole traffic system round Rugby to be reviewed."

Cemex Cement emit many thousands of tonnes of nitrogen dioxide each year, but this has not been accounted for, nor has its up to 1,000 HGVs as planned for by WCC, when it issued the "unlawful" planning permission.

Below is an extract of the Report to RBC Cabinet Agenda item 14 on 10th April 2006.

It was "generally felt" that any reduction in the Council's air quality monitoring programme would be criticised by some "sections of the community" and especially by "specific campaigners". This would be "likely to INCREASE THE CONCERNS of local residents about air quality issues".

The vicinity of the cement plant has been subject to particular focus and detailed assessment. However there is currently no evidence to indicate an exceedence for particulate matter (PM10) anywhere in the Borough.

The Group has only considered the monitoring of ambient air quality as the monitoring of emissions from the cement plant STACK is regulated and controlled by the Environment Agency through the plants permit. The Council's duty towards ambient air quality monitoring is limited to those pollutants that the Government has established Air Quality Objectives for. Whilst there are many other pollutants in the environment they are USUALLY at such low concentrations that effective monitoring is not practicable, and even if it were there would be little or no action that could be taken as there are no Air Quality Objectives for these pollutants.

Rugby has one of the most comprehensive air quality monitoring schemes in the Country for its size and population, with only some major cities and metropolitan areas having levels of equipment approaching ours. The VAST MAJORITY of our current equipment is deployed to MONITOR POTENTIAL POLLUTION IMPACT from the CEMEX CEMENT plant. The Councils monitoring results are frequently criticised by some groups.


Part of the Group's discussion at all of its meetings had focussed on the issue of what health benefit was obtained from the investment in air quality monitoring. It was agreed that there was NO ACTUAL HEALTH benefit from the programme as it only sought to IDENTIFY POLLUTION issues. The Air quality Objectives that have been established by the government are based on the statistical probability of foreseeable health impact IF the standards are exceeded. As there is only 1 Property in the town centre area where an actual exceedence is predicted (from nitrogen dioxide) and 12 others that are potentially at risk of a marginal exceedence due to traffic pollution, it was therefore agreed that to continue to invest significant Council
resources in this issue would be predominantly for the PURPOSE of PUBLIC REASSURANCE.

The Director of Public Health from Rugby Primary Care Trust outlined a wide range of alternative activities that would have major positive health impact in the community. These ranged from funding smoking cessation schemes, health eating schemes, tackling obesity, exercise programmes, fuel poverty and other schemes that would have direct long and short term health benefits.

For the purposes of achieving positive health outcomes then these intervention schemes present significantly better opportunities for improving the general health of the people of Rugby than ever could be achieved through air quality monitoring. It is understood that a report will be going to Partnership and Community Engagement covering these issues and Public Heath following the merger of the local Primary Care Trusts.

* The public and campaign groups have been totally excluded from the Air Quality Monitoring programme.
* The data has been with held, or provided after many months.
* We have also criticised the incorrect use of the equipment; the random locating of equipment; the calibrating of the equipment; the failure to have a QC/QA process; the failure to have source apportionment; the fact the air quality meetings have been held in secret and no minutes have been made available; the failure to note and investigate the health-damaging PEAKS particularly of PM10; the incorrect data on emissions from the cement plant used by the Council's consultant, and subsequent incorrect dispersion model; the deliberate exclusion of the public, and exclusion of those of us who possess knowledge on air quality issues, industrial pollution and plume dispersion; the failure by RBC and by Defra to answer questions about the way the Turnkey monitoring has been carried out, which is NOT in accordance with the manufacturer's and NETCEN's stated APPROVED method.

Defra basically have admitted that the monitoring can be manipulated by the persons who "set up" the monitors, and it seem they are reading at least ONE THIRD lower than they should be - presumably so the results "look better for the Council", and to avoid investigation into the source of these high readings of PM10 Particulate, for which there is NO SAFE LEVEL! (particulate from the cement plant stack, and various sources, will have toxic pollutants adsorbed onto the particulate).

CEMEX: 14th March 2006 have written to RBC about the Air Quality Report sent to Defra:

1. Asking them to remove "frequent shutdowns" as "this is not correct". In 2004, the last year for which we have data, there were 458 start-up/shutdowns - how frequent is frequent - surely about 10 off/ons a week is frequent?

2. To remove "in significant quantities" from the phrase "NOX is only emitted from the main stack in significant quantities".
3. Saying that the following quote is misleading: "The impact of emissions from the CEMEX site can clearly be seen on the plots". Cemex state that "The predicted impact from the site is NO GREATER than that modelled for traffic."
4. Saying that the "major increases in cement production from 1.4 to 1.8 million tonnes cannot occur without major modifications as indeed we have explained on many occasions." (31/01/06)

RUGBY BOROUGH COUNCIL: in a reply to Cemex 15th March 2006:
1. The Report covers both nitrogen dioxide and PM10 as the two major pollutants in the Borough.... NOX for the AQMA, and PM10 because of local concerns about particulates.
2. The definition of "frequent" is debateable. The modelling includes the stack and 18 low level point sources.
3. The results have been published (on RBC web site) to allow readers to make their own determinations, but the results do seem to suggest elevated levels of particulates around the cement plant, and in areas with high traffic flows.

Have requested that the Council considers active health improvement as a corporate priority, rather than monitoring and reporting back alone.

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY: in an attempt to convince Rugby Residents that the cement plant causes no problems, and that local residents are NOT AT ALL concerned about air quality and health related issues caused by pollution (especially from the products of complete an incomplete combustion), have just recently carried out a PUBLIC RELATIONS exercise. They have conducted a door to door survey of 500 "specially picked persons" from the wards "around the works" to ask them a few questions about how they feel... This survey will be published on our site along with the official results. OUR own survey results will also be published.

RUGBY PUBLIC: Have your say. Write in with your comments please.

"To read in full Rugby Borough Council Further Air Quality Assessment 2005"

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Cement delivery drivers to be:
Rugby residents not reassured.

Further snippets from July 21st 1999 Rugby Cement Liaison Committee Minutes:

"Rugby Cement is very aware of local concern with regard to transport, and members of the committee were informed of the driver LICENSING scheme, under which all cement delivery drivers are TRAINED, AUTHORISED and regularly AUDITED." (That is some good news then! Licensed eh - what a relief! And what about the other lorry drivers employed on materials etc - by implication are they unlicensed? )

And then ... an increase in lorry traffic is actually .... a decrease in lorries? "There would inevitably be an INCREASE in the level of transport once the new plant is commissioned due to increased capacity. Stuart Elliot plant manager also pointed out that 76% of the raw materials used in the process are transported via a pipeline from Kensworth, therefore substantially REDUCING vehicle movements to and from the works. Cllr Kirby noted that it would be unfair to expect Rugby Cement to shoulder the entire responsibility for HGV traffic in the area. (at the cement works?)

In response to a query with regard to clay lorries delivering raw material from Southam, Ian Smith stated that Rugby Cement had consulted with representatives from parish councils along the route and agreed the best route for all."(Oh, that's OK then is it? And what about any consultation with Rugby residents?)

And I just cannot resist this one: "The cladding is scheduled to be completed by early October and will be of MUSHROOM colour. Once the majority of this is in place the kiln can be lit. The kiln will run at low output for two to three months before increasing to full capacity". (Note the utter vagueness of capacity, but the certainty of the important point - the colour. Mushrooms again!)

These Minutes were obtained only after RBC and Agenda 21 said they had variously : lost them ; thrown them all away ; forgotten anything about them ; denied any knowledge of the meetings; insisted they were not present even when their names are on the Minutes; etc etc, in fact any old excuse to say "No we will not let you see what fools we are!"

Too late, the cat is well and truly out of the bag.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hoodwink with Plausible Stories

Further instructions on how to subdue and fool the public:

(Sorry folks, it's Mushroom syndrome again)

At the RCCF (Rugby Cement Community Forum) on 24th April Cemex will face
these questions:

Can Cemex advise whether or not they agree with the statements made on pages 14,(On unsustainability), 18 to 21, 23, (Particularly the "Tell them Plausible Stories" comment), 34 (on Take, Make, Waste), 58 (on burning Petcoke), of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's advisory/tutorial document for the Cement Industry? To view the powerpoint presentation click: HERE

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Environmentally Friendly Cement Plant.

Environmental Improvements initiated - even before cement plant built.
Read on to learn how they dunnit.

(This item carries a health warning, and we are not responsible for its contents, and the impact it may have on you. Keep a large bucket close by.)

The Environment Agency hid all the documents, in order to circumvent the lawful public consultation process, writing CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DIVULGE on the information sent out.

Rugby Borough Council officers played their part in this concealment, even though they knew full well it was unlawful, that is they should do unless they are only tea-girls or cleaners stepping into the job?

29th June 1997 RBC write to the EA: Re staged application - stage 1 - for major reconstruction. (After an apparent sneaky private viewing of the Application)

"Thank you for the opportunity to SEE the application. If the document is a formal consultation with the Rugby Council it should be directed to Diane Colley, the Chief Executive. It would be useful if you could summarise the issues in that consultation where the application is "not entirely consistent with current standards" as you advised in our telephone conversation. I would welcome a meeting with you to discuss the application and will arrange with my secretary Debra Butler to contact you. Karen Stone"

Members of the New Rugby Liaison Committee were then hand picked for their experience in mushroom cultivation, and manure shovelling. For these reasons it consisted almost entirely of Agenda 21, and Labour party puppets. Oh and I nearly forgot one RBC officer, who unfortunately suffers from memory loss. And for good measure a vicar to pray for the people of Rugby, and to pray for funds for the New Bilton St Oswald's Church Community Hall.

21st July 1999 New Rugby Liaison meeting Minutes:

Stuart Elliot Works Manager (Chairman);
Dr Neil Davies EA;
Cllr Ray Kirby RBC (Labour);
Karen Stone RBC EHO;
Cllr John Wells RBC (Labour);
Cllr Ish Mistry RBC (Labour);
Rev Graham Hardwick New Bilton (Vice Chair);
Noreen New Agenda 21;
Mark Hammon Agenda 21;
Mick New Agenda 21;
Cllr Martin Eversfield RBC (Labour);
Cllr Tom While WCC (Labour);
Tom Longstaff Agenda 21;
Ian Smith Property manager Rugby Cement;
David Reed Environmental Co -coordinator Rugby Cement ;
Annelli Gilbert Environmental Coordinator Rugby Cement;
Kay Pollack PR Support (Rugby Cement);
Andy King MP (Labour);

Members of the New Committee were welcomed.
Purpose to provide a useful forum for communication and promote closer links with the local community. The Committee agreed that open and honest communication between all parties is essential in order that any queries or concerns can be answered in a timely and accurate manner.

Rugby Cement is currently producing a newsletter to be distributed to local residents.

Noreen New asked what fuel would be burnt in the kiln. Stuart Elliot works manager confirmed that the draft authorisation issued to the works by the EA allows only for the burning of coal and petcoke, although the kiln is capable of burning other materials. Noreen New then asked if there were any plans to burn SLF Secondary Liquid Fuels or other waste materials in the kiln in the future.

Neil Davies of the EA stated that the EA had received no application to do so. He added that the EA advocates the use of waste recovery dependent on there being no ADDITIONAL environmental impact. He also described the lengthy application process to gain such authorisation, which involves CONSULTATION with all interested parties leading to trial burning periods.

5. Regulatory considerations:

The EA have been involved in all planning stages and a Draft Authorisation has been granted.

The limits set on the emissions from the new plant will be significant lower than those imposed on the current works - in the view of the Agency this plant is the best "currently available" (in Rugby?) from an environmental standpoint.

Rugby Cement has a system in place for continuous monitoring of emissions throughout the plant - not just the stack. These records are audited on a regular basis by the EA. All limits on emissions are available on the Public register.

Rugby Cement and the EA have also put in place an Improvement Programme with the intention of initiating ongoing environmental improvements. Stuart Elliot commented that good environmental performance, quality and efficiency run hand in hand and therefore it is in everyone's interests that the plant is as ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY as it can be.

The Committee agreed that the numbers were adequate and there should be no need to invite further members.

Next meeting 13th October 1999.

(Rugby Cement having built a cement plant with no lawful planning permission, without any environmental impact assessment or public consultation, and with complicit WCC officers amending the plans over and over again with no discussion, and thus increasing the capacity massively, the EA then gives it an unlawful IPC permit - under the noses of the hand-picked committee members and a compliant RBC. When the cement plant is pulled down perhaps these people should pay the compensation out of their own pockets?)

Saturday, April 01, 2006


What do we know about the emissions of dioxins, a most dangerous substance known to man, at Rugby cement? NOT A LOT! They test only TWICE a year, for a few hours, and for the other 8,750 hours what do we know? Look what is going on at another typical cement plant:

During 2004, Castle Cement's 2 wet kilns (1 &2) and their dry kiln (3) managed to shunt out to air 38% of the total UK burden to air of Dioxins. Arising from that, and perhaps assisted by the fact that CANK and other interested parties were breathing down their necks, the Environment Agency eventually took legal action i.t.o. The Environmental Protection Act, 1990. 3 Counts of Dioxin Excess levels, 3 Counts of Failing to Report and 3 Counts of Failing to take the required Quarterly Samples. 19 other assorted counts were TIC'd. Two weeks back, Cas6tle pleaded Guilty. Outline of case and Mitigation were set for today.

Today, at Magistrates Court, Mold, Solicitor Mr. Evans presented the Env. Agency outline of case. He dealt with the recklessness that was inherent in Castle knowing for 9 months that their Dioxin test/sample results were unreliable and saying nothing about it to the Env. Agency. He set out the excesses, which were heavy. 17Ng over 1Ng in one sample and 114Ng over 1Ng in another and various in between. However, he then indicated that there was a report from the National Health Protection Service, supported by the Local Health Board, that advised that there would be no ill effect on the population because the loading was light, below daily teq and because Dioxins worked accumulatively and not by way of one single dose. (Um!!!)

After an over-long mitigation plea by Mr. Greenwood for Castle, and an adjournment for consideration, the Magistrates delivered the following sentence:

3 Counts of Dioxin Excess @ £12,000 each = £36,000
3 Counts of Fail to Report @ £12,000 each = £36,000
3 Counts of Fail to Sample @ £9,000 each = £27,000
Total = £99,000

To which they added Costs of £9,000 making a grand total of £108,000

All three of those old kilns, 1,2, and 3 were shut down in January to March of 2005. The new kiln 4 is under commissioning at this time. It has just smothered the local town of Buckley with a powder dusting due to a system failure and is battling to get NOx levels down to the authorised 500Mg/NM3 and has not yet got around to trying to burn any alternative fuels.

Today, a major polluter got a slap on the wrist. For a company with turnover around £170 million and profit of around £13 million, the fine is not critical, but neither is it insignificant. What it might do is to make them wake up their ideas and sharpen their act i.t.o. environmental responsibility.

That will be no bad thing - and long overdue, but in the meantime no one knows what the health impact is of these excess emissions.

The SAME side, but different?

The Agency and local councils are on the SAME side... as they fight to protect air quality and health in other areas. While in Rugby they are on the SAME side, as they fight to protect industry, at the expense of air quality and health.

It is not only the cement kilns that are refusing to clean up, but also other industries. At least in these below the Agency and local authority are on the SIDE of the people, and not as in Rugby fighting AGAINST the people and against health protection! I quote ENDS environmental specialist magazine Issue 374 March 2006:

Hanson Building Products resist pressure to clean up brick kilns, and is using a series of appeals agianst Permit Conditions to Challenge EA efforts to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions, that are linked to local air quality breaches.

Sulphur in local clay leads to higher than normal Sulphur Dioxide emissions, and a distinct odour in the surrounding area. (one site at Stewartby Bedford and two in Whittlesey Peterborough)

In May 2005 Bedford declared an AQMA after monitoring revealed dozens of breaches of the 266 micrograms/metre cubed since 2000. From 2005 the objective is no more than 35 occasions of breach.

The same is going on at Hanson's in Whittlsey. The EA imposed an IPPC Permit, and in an attempt to improve air quality at both sites imposed strict limits for SO2 - NOT to breach the local air quality limits.

Last summer Hanson appealed against the improvements, claiming commercial confidentiality over the appeals. The Agency refused the request, so Hanson's launched a second set of appeals.

The appeals in effect prevent the Agency from enforcing the Permit Conditions to improve air quality and from disclosing information for public scrutiny. The Planning Inspectorate is unlikely to rule on the appeals before the end of the year.

Hanson's Corporate Policy states it will : "comply with all existing environmental legislation" and "minimise any adverse effects our activities have on the environment."

Bedford Council is concerned about the Agency's lack of progress in securing improvement at Stewartby. Officials have been concerned about the sites' impact on air quality since 2000.

Note there is NO mention of health. I wonder how many deaths, and how much ill health these air quality breaches are causing. It seems they do not have to comply with the UK and European air quality limits. But at least at these places the LOCAL AUTHORITY is on the side of the people, and so is the Agency, but it seems they can do nothing to protect health, which clearly must be being damaged. What right do the industries have to "use up the air", and make people ill, and even to die?

Meanwhile Rugby Cemex row rumbles on with the World Cement site revealing its advice to "tell them plausible stories" in order to get things over on the public. ENDS also reveal that under the Government's Climate Change Agreement an "opt-out" has been arranged, so the figures are being fiddled, as the cement industry is claiming CO2 reductions (which is meant only for the use of non-fossil "fuels"), for wastes containing fossil carbon, such as tyres and industrial solvents, which are NOT carbon-neutral materials.