I am an elected Weymouth Town Councillor representing Preston Ward.

I have been asked why I backed a motion at last week’s council meeting to support Portland Town Council in commissioning a specialist legal adviser to act for them in opposition to Powerfuel Ltd being granted a permit from the Environmental Agency to build an incinerator on Portland.

Firstly, is this just a matter for Portland? No, it is a matter equally for Weymouth.

Particularly with regard to the height of an incinerator and even more so with prevailing south westerly winds, fumes (potentially toxic) and poor air quality would affect Weymouth residents just as much.

Secondly, why do I oppose an incinerator being built in our area.

Three main reasons. Firstly, the potential health hazards to our residents and particularly children. Our raison d’etre must be to make Weymouth a better place for future generations.

Whilst I am sure Powerfuel Ltd will do all it can to limit toxic fumes it is accepted there will be some and it is unknown the effect these will have on health. Some fumes may be carcinogenic. Last year Weymouth Council Planning Committee (of which I am a member) voted to object against a planning application from Powerfuel Ltd in establishing an incinerator. The vote was taken after hearing scientific arguments from Powerfuel Ltd and Portland residents with science advisers objecting to the incinerator. On listening to the science arguments from both sides, the vote by the Committee to object was nearly unanimous with only one councillor voting to support the application. All other members of the Planning Committee, who are across the political spectrum, objected to the building of an incinerator on Portland.

Secondly, an incinerator on Portland would create enormous environmental and traffic hazards from lorries carrying waste through residential areas.

On being questioned, Powerfuel Ltd said it would also ship waste in. It was noted that this could include waste products from other countries! This again would cause pollution to our sea, harbour and beaches with significant hazards to local fishing and sea life.

Thirdly, we are a great and developed nation – why should we be disposing other countries’ waste!

This application is for an environmental permit. I do not think civil service departments get it right all the time and make the right judgements. That is why it is essential that if we object to an incinerator, we stand with Portland on this issue, which strengthens the depth of objection to be noted by a civil service department.

I am certainly not against entrepreneurial spirit and companies prospering, in fact very much for it, but not to the detriment of our town and future generations to come.

My argument is not political.

In fact, the two most senior councillors, the past Mayor, Councillor Graham Winter, and our present Mayor, Councillor Colin Huckle both far more senior and experienced then I am, also oppose the building of an incinerator on Portland, and both, as well as I, support helping Portland council in this regard.

Thank you for reading and I have tried to be succinct in answering the question.