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Gravel plans ignore switch to recycling
10:00am Friday 13th April 2012 in Letters
APART from praising Cllr Keith Mitchell (Oxford Mail, April 4) the county council agreed last week to excavate more than one million tonnes of sand and gravel every year from the Oxfordshire countryside.
This is more than twice as much sand and gravel as was taken from our rural areas last year. Yet the building industry is increasingly using recycled materials.
The Tory-run county council will allow new gravel pits between Cholsey and Wallingford, bang in the middle of two areas of outstanding natural beauty.
More gravel extraction will also be allowed in the Lower Windrush Valley and around Eynsham.
This plan to despoil the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside is deeply flawed.
Three leading Conservatives, including the council chairman Patrick Greene and cabinet member Louise Chapman, voted with Labour against the plan.
Labour will continue to support the view of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) that 700,000 tonnes is more than enough sand and gravel extraction.
No new gravel workings will be allowed in the Dorchester area, however. Lorraine Lindsey-Gale, who represents Dorchester, is the cabinet member responsible for mineral extraction. She insists she has nothing to do with Parishes Against Gravel Extraction (PAGE) which campaigns in her area.
Odd then that as of Easter Sunday her picture and her name (woven into PAGE’s logo) appeared on PAGE’s website.
To jeopardise local tourism and add to the profits of mining companies is one thing.
To make sure that the new sand and gravel workings happen in somebody else’s backyard is quite another.
JOHN TANNER Executive member for a cleaner, greener Oxford City councillor for Littlemore County councillor for Isis