Landfill sites in West Sussex continue to be a huge source of local concern.  The community successfully saw off the threat to Rock Common near Washington.  But we still face the awful prospect of a landfill site at Thakeham with plans to dump 4.7 million tonnes of rubbish at Laybrook Brickworks.  And the Horton tip at Small Dole was recently extended.  So the battle continues.

Thakeham Village Action are organising a fundraising outdoor picnic concert at Knepp Castle on Sunday 31 May from 3pm (tickets: 01798 817312).  This is in Francis Maude's constituency so he'll be speaking this time rather than me, but I'll certainly be sending a message of support as I strongly support this campaign.

Meanwhile, residents of Small Dole are still having a dreadful time living next to the Horton tip, with the noise, traffic, pollution, flies, smell and litter.  So last week I met with the Small Dole Action Group once again to discuss their concerns. 

Afterwards, I relayed their points to West Sussex County Council.  And on Tuesday, Council Leader Henry Smith and councillor Pat Arculus met with David Barling and the Small Dole Action Group to hear about the problems first-hand.

I'm told that the meeting was constructive and that Henry Smith pledged to look into some of the planning issues at Small Dole to ensure that local residents have more of a say over future plans for the site. 

We simply have to stop dumping rubbish in landfill.  And to their credit, the County Council are doing their bit with their own plans for a multi-million pound recycling plant at Warnham.

But they are still legally required to accommodate commercial waste, not to mention - in my view totally unacceptably - nearly 2 million tonnes of rubbish from London.

As we discussed at the Wiggonholt Association debate recently, it's time for Britain to end landfill and adopt a zero waste policy by reducing packaging, increasing recycling rates further and converting waste into energy.

Michelle Taylor