We have to start with our thanks. In just three weeks (since the first envelopes came through your doors on Saturday 14 October) we’ve boosted our StopVeolia campaign fund by £3,400! That’s a truly remarkable result, and very sincere thanks to everyone who has donated since that date, either in the envelope or through our crowdfunding site. With this added in, the total fund has now topped £10,000!
There are many others we owe our thanks to also. The teams who delivered over 1,000 envelopes from the edges of St. George’s, right across the Common into the West End, and up to Yarborough Road. And then went back the following weekends and collected the donations you made. There were other volunteers eager to help, and we thank you too; in the event we didn’t need to call for help, but it was a genuine comfort to know you were there, and willing.
Then there was follow-up leafleting where we’d not called at a time convenient to you – it was a complex operation. And we mustn’t overlook stampsdirect.co.uk from Carholme Road, who helped to authenticate the campaign and give us a professional appearance, by creating and donating the StopVeolia rubber stamp that was on all our communications.
HAVE WE DONE ENOUGH?
It would take a brave person to say we’ve done enough. What we can say today is that we now have a seat – and a voice – at the Inquiry table, and a young, talented and hungry barrister to argue our case. That’s what we can get for our fund, now over £10,000.
But we can’t relax. If the Inquiry gets into more areas of detail than we anticipate, it will cost more. If we determine the need for specialist expert witnesses to make critical points as yet unidentified, it will cost more. If any one of a number of unexpected factors hits us, it will cost more – and by their very nature we can’t plan for these as they are just that, unexpected.
So the campaign fund runs on. The crowdfunding site justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stopveoliainlincoln remains open for business, and we urge you to contribute a little more from time to time, if you feel able. And of course we will always welcome cheques made out to Long Leys Residents Association – just write ANONYMOUS on the back of the cheque if you prefer.
And we are now being approached by individuals interested in holding a coffee morning, or running a cake stall, or organising a sponsored event. Great! Please do – every bit helps. We’ll support any such initiatives as best we can. How can you help the cause? And how can we help you?
AND SO WE FIGHT ON…
It will go a little quiet now, but we will continue to be busy working on your behalf. Many people – your neighbours – have become experts in specialist areas affecting the Inquiry. Experts in traffic movement and highways matters, in planning issues, in odour control, noise and light pollution, and more. And of course experts in financial matters, and communication. All of these are giving their time and skills free of charge and in their own time.
None of this will finish until the Inquiry does, at the start of March next year. We will be assembling, strengthening, and improving the best legal case we can between now and then, and ensuring our barrister has everything necessary to win this matter for us all.
So will we win? Quiet confidence, but without complacency, is where we are. It is surely impossible to believe that Veolia is ignorant of just how much damage their plans would do to our urban village. But will they withdraw? Their much-vaunted ‘Good Neighbour’ claim clearly doesn’t apply to us. You’ve seen the contempt and arrogance they adopt about our concerns, indeed the very future of our community. They’re not going to go quietly – we have to fight, and we have to win. But surely… Can any reasonable person think this is an appropriate site for what they plan? We have to believe that no-one can think that way, and that the Inspector will agree.
AND YOU’VE ASKED US…
We’ve said from the outset that our campaign must be as transparent as possible. If you want to see where the money is, where it’s come from, how we’re looking after it, and how we propose to spend it, all you have to do is ask. It’s your money, and you have the right to examine the same accounts seen by the legal fund trustees (Councillor Robert Parker, Richard Dale and Gary Stimson). The current figures on fundraising can be seen at long-leys.org/stop-veolia-legal-campaign-fund-status/ and reports to the trustees, prepared by Jackie Ward, the LLRA legal fund treasurer, will be available there in the next day or so. If you have any queries on this you can email the Long Leys Residents Association on LLRA@long-leys.org, or if you prefer (or if you have any other queries) you can contact me CHRIS TAYLOR. Email is best – firstname.lastname@example.org – or you can phone me on 07766 66 21 10 and leave a message, or drop a note through our door at 32 Albion Close (NOT Albion Crescent!). I can then put you in touch with the LLRA team if necessary.
But for now, once again, thank you all so much for bringing this campaign fund to where it stands today. It’s a formidable achievement. We must all fight on…