NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
SILT ROW: GAWNE GETS AN ALLY – MEANWHILE POLICE HAVE HEADS STUCK FIRMLY IN THE SILT
Beleaguered Department of Infrastructure Minister Phillip Gawne has found an unusual allay as he faces a deluge of criticism in the row over dumping of contaminated silt from Peel Harbour at a hastily constructed landfill 3 miles inland near Poortown quarry.
The local branch of ‘Friends of The Earth’ (FoE) have decided to ‘sit this one out’ until they have the facts. That is fair comment and hopefully as a new found ally for Minister Gawne they will have more luck than others (such as the Celtic League) who have been asking for details about the level of contaminants and the structure of the engineered site (despite a report on Manx Radio we did not ‘join the row’ yesterday).
We even asked for detail of the haul route and did not get that identifying it only after the operation was hastily enacted with the obvious intent of pre-empting a public meeting fixed for later this week.
Whilst FoE reluctance to involve themselves in the issue may be justifiable to them, in the absence of specific information, it is unfortunate that they also seem to have joined Ministers Gawne’s depreciative comments from those who have voiced concerns.
Earlier this week Mr Gawne in a radio interview labelled one of the residents on the haul route as a vexatious objector. Now FoE has added its criticism of those who speak out terming them a ‘lynch mob’.
Meanwhile Minister Gawne has said those walking backwards and forwards through Peel (including children on the way to the Primary School) will suffer no ill effects from the residue of contaminated sludge deposited on the highway and verges.
Both he and his new found friends (forgive the pun) at FoE may be right but why won’t he or DEFA publish the detail?
In other developments the DOI have seemingly via a deft bit of ‘footwork’ now labelled the site (on their land) which they seemed to be constructing a responsibility of DEFA.
Also Police asked to intervene by several sources on the first day of the haul when material was cascading of vehicles have reacted with typical efficiency and ‘stuck their heads securely in the silt’.
On a more serious note the environmental debacle unfolding on the west of the Isle of Man will in the long term call into question the credibility of both Manx government and environmental groups when they try to point the finger at the actions of other States e.g. The UK and its shoddy operation at Sellafield.
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur)
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