An open letter to Surrey County Council regarding the Charlton Lane Eco Park
My local county council is actively circulating plans for developing the local recycling and waste disposal centre into what they call an “Eco Park” which they describe on their website at Charlton Lane Eco Park as:
Surrey Waste Management (a wholly owned subsidiary of SITA UK) is working on behalf of Surrey County Council to develop an Eco Park at Charlton Lane, Shepperton.
The Eco Park will include further improvements to the community recycling centre including the introduction of a reuse facility. It will also include:
- The construction of an anaerobic digestion facility to treat food waste.
- The construction of an advanced thermal treatment (batch oxidation system gasification) facility, which will treat residual waste.
- Bulking and baling facility for dry recyclables and local trade.
- Visitor centre
I view this as positive news for the local borough and have some ideas about how the council can leverage technology for great benefit. With that in mind I have sent an email to the council in which I ask for an opportunity to present some of those ideas, I have provided a copy of that email below.
For the foreseeable future I will use this blog as a means to inform how this progresses. Apologies in advance if this is not the sort of content you expect to read here.
My name is Jamie Thomson, I am a resident of Sunbury-on-Thames and hence also a resident in the borough of Spelthorne.
I am writing to you after reading both the August 2010 edition of the Charlton Lane Eco Park newsletter that I received through my letterbox today and the accompanying website
. My wife and I are committed to reducing our environmental impact and hence are very intrigued about Surrey County Council’s plans for the Charlton Lane site and hope to see the borough emerge as a centre for innovation in the area of renewables and recycling.
My reason for writing this email is in regard to the Eco Park, though does not relate directly to any of the issues addressed in the newsletter or on the website; let me explain. My background is in information technology and I am an avid proponent of using technology for enrichment and firmly believe that the adoption of innovative technology will be the great enabler for improving quality of life in the coming decades. My main interest in this area concerns the “opening up” of governmental data at both the national and local level so that it can be accessed and utilised by the public. Furthermore I believe that the adoption of technology can significantly reduce the cost of providing public services.
There are many examples today of where making public UK data freely available (and consumable) has proved, or will prove to be, beneficial; here are just a few:
- Transport for London challenges mobile developers: get us on our bikes
- Whizzkids create bus timetable ‘app’ for mobiles
- Publishing data from the COINS database (HM Treasury website)
I have no doubt that as part of your plans for the Eco Park you will be generating lots of information and it is my sincere hope that that information is made available to the public so that it can be analysed and utilised in ways that benefit the Eco Park and, as a consequence, the residents of Surrey.
I have many ideas as to how what data could be made available and, more crucially, how it could be made useful. The purpose of this email is not to bore you with those ideas right now but I am hoping that this email captures your interest and that you (and/or your colleagues) will be sufficiently intrigued to allow me to present some of those ideas to you. I earnestly await your reply.
I note that there is a public consultation at Halliford Community Centre on 18th September 2010; I will be attending and hope that I will be able to discuss this email with you or your colleagues at that event.
If you have read this far then I thank you for your attention and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Jamie K. Thomson