It must sometimes seem we’re against any change around here; clinging to a rose-tinted vision of a long-gone, olde England (and there might be a bit of truth in that). The reality is that the world is full of enterprising folk finding new ways to make money, perhaps from building houses or by expanding their mobile phone networks with transmitter masts.
People affected by these changes, naturally, become upset and turn to publications like this to give them a voice. So it’s no surprise to find our postbag packed with letters objecting to the proposed animal rendering plant at Hopwood.
When asked, we had said we would receive letters about it for publication, and word got around. But it takes a lot to make someone put pen to paper, and it’s clear from the letters that what is driving them is fear of the unknown.
No one has explained to them how the processing of 100,000kg of animal “by products” a day would work.
“The council” receives criticism – and rightly so for the way the authorities have passed around this hot potato while failing to give any guidance to worried residents. Meanwhile the company behind the plan has opted not to comment to the media, as is their right.
But this all means villagers are left helpless, with only rumour, breeding more fear – and protest. It may well be that with such a large investment in the operation, there would be no problems at all – but no one knows for sure, because no one is telling them.
There has been plenty of time for one of our elected bodies to take a lead and provide villagers with independent, expert information. But now the people feel abandoned and it is no wonder they have united in a protest group to stand up for themselves.