Posted Wednesday, 30 November 2011 at 16:36
On the Order Paper today is the notification of the joint committee to be selected to hear petitions against the Covanta proposal.
Tomorrow we will have further news and a link to the relevant section of the Parliamentary website with instructions how to petition and an outline of the proceedings. (UPDATE: the petitioning kit is available here)
The committee, which is more like a court hearing than a select committee as the proceedings are quasi judicial, will be made up of three members from the House of Lords and three MPs. As a Speaker's Panel Chairman I have asked to chair the committee, however, not only am I not allowed but I cannot even sit on the committee as I have a constituency interest.
A committee hasn’t sat like this in the Commons for over ten years. The committee will hear the petitions, deliberate and then cast a vote. Only people directly affected by the proposal are allowed to petition. This means everyone in all of Bedfordshire I would imagine, as who knows how far toxic fly ash will blow on a windy day!
More news tomorrow. Relevant action groups and councillors are already informed and on the case. Petitions have to be submitted by December 19th.
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