Editor’s comment: Why I oppose freesheet and incinerator

Parents and children from the Stop the Edmonton Incinerator Rebuild campaign.

Parents and children from the Stop the Edmonton Incinerator Rebuild campaign. - Credit: Stop the Edmonton Incinerator Re

– not just by taking away advertising but perhaps more significantly by fooling time-pressed readers into thinking they’ve already had their local news and therefore don’t need to pick up the Hackney Gazette or Hackney Citizen.

I welcome the decision by Hackney Council to suspend publication of Hackney Today while it considers its position.

But I'm disappointed that this turn of events needed the intervention of the government, which is obviously not an ally we would ever choose.

Despite the existence of Hackney Today, the mayor of Hackney has been a vocal champion of the Gazette and Citizen.

I share, and am encouraged by, his oft-stated belief that a thriving local press is essential to a healthy democracy.

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I am confident that both Hackney's local papers will now prove more than adequate for the council to get its own messages to the public, while continuing to fulfil the vital function that Hackney Today could not: that of holding the town hall to account.

- North London Waste Authority has wildly upscaled its PR operation in the last year or two - at one point it felt like every other phone call we received was a final final final check we'd received all the information we needed about some or other clothing swap shop in a park that was nine weeks away.

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Funny it wasn't so forthcoming about the plan to recommission an enormous incinerator to burn Hackney's household waste.

We need to be incentivising recycling, and this feels like a step in the wrong direction. There is no sustainable version of the future that involves producing the same amount of household waste we have been doing previously.

My personal belief is that we will never achieve adequate recycling levels without making it easier for people: perhaps even by centralising or even automating the burden of separating waste currently borne by the public. But however we do it, we need to reach a point - soon - where our waste levels are slashed and more or less everything we do produce is recycled. NLWA should be putting all its resources, financial and political, into achieving that goal.

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