People of Wakefield 'have a responsibility to help save the planet'
An environmental campaigner with more than 25 years’ experience fighting for a greener world has laid out a plan for how our district can do its bit to help the planet.
Paul Dainton – the president of the Residents Against Toxic Scheme (RATS) group – has called on people in the district to take action and clear up the plastic and rubbish-blighted streets and waterways.
He said: “Whilst arguments around saving the planet from climate change continue at local, national, and international level, it seems that many find it difficult to see how we a small island, off the coast of Europe can make a change to this challenging question.
“To instigate a clean up of the highways and byways of this glorious country, which in turn would massively reduce the amount of plastic waste entering our seas, would not require a seismic scientific brain to organise, and the results both visual, and environmental, would be phenomenal.
“The cost of such an operation compared to that of cleaning up our seas, and removing such plastics from our food chain, would be minuscule, whilst the benefits to our daily health and welfare would be a fantastic reward for such efforts.”
Last autumn thousands of pieces of plastic and litter washed up in Stanley, after days of heavy rain caused the river to burst its banks.
RATS called for action after the high water levels showed the extent of litter at Stanley Ferry trash screen, which protects the nearby aqueduct. The group has spent more than a quarter of a century fighting for environmental causes.
It has been highly critical of the Welbeck Landfill Site in Normanton.
Rubbish from across the UK has been dumped at the site for more than 20 years as part of a controversial scheme, which is supposed to see the land eventually restored to a public park.
In August last year Wakefield Council wrote-off almost a million pounds worth of debt it was owed by the Welbeck.
The council’s statement of accounts has revealed that £969,000 worth of rental payments were written off during the last financial year “whilst a new lease was negotiated”. It said that the money would be recouped now that a new contract has been agreed.
Mr Dainton called the revelation “an absolute scandal”.