Understanding Public Perceptions of Environmental and Health Risks and Integrating them into the EIA, Siting and

Planning Process
Using the case study of the siting of a waste transfer station

Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Medicine, University of London

Salim Vohra

With the supervision of Simon Carter, Helen Dolk and Daniel Osborn

Environmental Epidemiology Unit & Health Services Research Unit, Department of Public Health and Policy London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

September 2003

Abstract

Abstract
Community concerns and protests at the siting of technological facilities in their neighbourhoods have increasingly been recognised as important social phenomena. However, environmental impact assessments (EIAs) undertaken during the planning process have tended to show that the environmental and health risks of these facilities are low. This disjunction in expert and lay discourse has been pejoratively described as NIMBYism (Not In My Backyardism). More importantly it has led to a risk perception gap developing between key stakeholders, especially residents and risk professionals, that in turn is having four wider societal consequences: a trust-credibility gap, a knowledgecommunication gap, a values-ethics gap and a democratic-accountability gap.

This thesis describes a qualitative study exploring this issue during the siting and planning process for a waste transfer station in an urban neighbourhood in London, England. It shows that individuals and communities are intuitive, emotional, imaginative and reasoned in their responses to such siting processes. In effect, they seem to be undertaking a wider, largely qualitative, form of risk and hazard assessment that takes into account their own personal and professional experiences as well as long term social, economic and political factors.

The specific objectives were to describe how each stakeholder group perceived the risks and develop an understanding of why stakeholders held these ‘risk worldviews’. A community profile, a systematic review of written public comments, in-depth interviews with residents and expert professionals as well as observation at public meetings and some local media and document analyses were undertaken.

A conceptual framework for understanding residents’ and other stakeholders’ concerns was developed. This framework argues that there are three key strands to understanding stakeholders’ ‘worldviews’ in these settings: direct, process and symbolic concerns. While risk experts and EIAs deal reasonably well with the direct environmental, health and economic concerns of potential developments, they deal poorly with the process and symbolic concerns that communities have.

The direct concerns involve issues relating directly to the facility and its operation in the neighbourhood. The process concerns involve issues about the openness and participatory nature of the siting and planning process such as having enough information and time to make an informed judgement as well as having a controlling influence on the decisions made during the process. The symbolic concerns involve three core issues: power, values and identity. Power involves questions of who has power to affect residents, is their accumulation and exercise of power seen as legitimate and are they seen to be using their

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Abstract

power appropriately. Values involves moral and ethical questions about fairness, equity, transparency, respecting people and the importance of experiential knowledge. Finally, identity takes account of how the personal and community identities of residents interact with the professional identities of experts, specifically how the siting impacts on perceptions of and ideals about home and neighbourhood.

This study points to the need for experts-professionals, the planning process and EIAs to incorporate the process and symbolic concerns that residents and other stakeholders have. By explicitly incorporating the concerns of residents and other stakeholders into EIAs as well as information on the important social, political and cultural factors at the local level conflict and mistrust between stakeholders could be reduced. It could also turn EIAs into strategic policy and planning resources that allow policy and decision-makers to better understand local issues and enable them to make better informed policies and decisions, locally and nationally.

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Contents

Contents
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7

1

Research Aim 1 Research Objectives 1 Research Context & Importance 1 Research Orientation 6 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Waste Disposal Facility (WDF) Siting 7 Fieldwork Locality 10 Organisation of Thesis 10

2. ON RISK, UNCERTAINTY AND RISK PERCEPTION
2.1 Introduction 2.2 Risk Perception in its Wider Context
2.2.1 Danger & ‘Risk’ in a Historical Context 2.2.2 Changes in the Linguistic Use of 'Risk' 2.2.3 Popular Culture

12
12 12
13 14 15

2.3 Classifying Approaches to Risk and Risk Perception 2.4 Scientific Conceptualisations of Risk
2.4.1 Technical Conceptions of Risk 2.4.2 Sociological and Cultural Conceptions of Risk

16 19
19 19

2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9

Scientific Conceptualisations of Uncertainty Scientific Conceptualisations of Risk Perception Classifications of Risk & Risk Controversies Lay Conceptualisations of Risk and Uncertainty Summary

21 22 23 24 26

3. GENERAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF RISK PERCEPTION
3.1 Introduction 3.2 Structure of the Literature Review 3.3 Individual Level Theories, Perspectives & Approaches
3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.3.4 3.3.5 3.3.6 3.3.7 3.4.1 3.4.2 3.4.3 3.4.4 3.4.5 Individual Level Theories The Role of Intuition & Patterns of Cognition Attitudinal Approach Emotion, Imagination and the Outrage Model MacGill’s Model Geographical Approach Summary of Individual Level Explanations Societal Level Theories Fairness Hypothesis Risk Society Perspective Conditional Knowledges, Institutions & Identities Perspective Summary of the Social Level of Explanation

28
28 28 31
31 34 37 38 39 41 42

3.4 Societal Level Theories, Perspectives & Approaches

43
43 44 45 49 51

3.5 Cultural Level Theories, Perspectives & Approaches
3.5.1 Cultural/ Symbolic Perspective 3.5.2 Extensions of the Cultural/ Symbolic Perspective 3.5.3 Summary of the Cultural Level of Explanation

52
52 54 55

3.6 Summary of the General Understandings of Risk Perception

55

4. SPECIFIC UNDERSTANDINGS OF RISK PERCEPTION IN THE CONTEXT OF WDFS AND EIAS
4.1 Introduction 4.2 Risk Perception and Waste Disposal Facility Siting
4.2.1 Public Attitudes to Waste and Waste Management in the UK 4.2.2 Understanding Residents Perceptions of Environmental Risk 4.2.3 Social and Cultural Impacts of Environmental Contamination Risks

57
57 58
58 60 63

4.3 Risk Perception and Hazardous Waste Facility Siting 4.4 Other Stakeholder Perceptions of Risk
4.4.1 Policy & Decision-makers 4.4.2 Scientists 4.4.3 Media

66 68
68 68 69

4.5 Environmental Impact Assessment and Risk Perception 4.6 Summary

71 73
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5. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Research Problem: Research Approach Study Design Fieldwork Siting & Participant Selection Study Methods
Community Mapping and Profiling Written Public Comments Interview Observation Media and Other Documents

75
75 76 76 79 80
80 80 80 81 81

5.5.1 5.5.2 5.5.3 5.5.4 5.5.5

5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9

Data Collection and Analysis Ensuring Study Rigour Addressing the Ethical Issues of the Study Summary

82 82 84 85

6. COMMUNITY PROFILE & FIELDWORK CONTEXT
6.1 Introduction 6.2 London
6.2.1 6.2.2 6.2.3 6.2.4 6.3.1 6.3.2 6.3.3 6.3.4 6.3.5 Population Environment Waste Generation & Disposal Living in London Overview Population Environment Waste Generation and Disposal Living in Islington

86
86 86
86 88 88 89

6.3 Islington

89
89 89 91 92 92

6.4 Fieldwork Context & Ethnography
6.4.1 Background to the Development and Planning Process 6.4.2 Ethnography, Informal Observations and Key Reflections

93
93 97

6.5 Summary

100

7. PUBLIC WRITTEN COMMENTS
7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Introduction Background to the Comments Themes emerging from the Comments Structure and Textual Emphasis of Comments Objectors Views and Concerns
Objectors’ Current Perceptions of the Neighbourhood Objectors Perceptions of the Current WTS Objectors’ Concerns about the Proposed WTS Objectors’ Preferred Use of the Site Objectors’ Perception of the Developer Objectors’ Perceptions of Council Objectors’ Perceptions of Other Residents - siting objectors & supporters Objectors’ Perceptions of Planning and Consultation Process Supporters’ Current Perceptions of Neighbourhood Supporters Perceptions of Current WTS Supporters’ Perceived Benefits of the Future WTS Supporters’ Expressions of Conditional Support Supporters’ Perceptions of Developer Supporters’ Perceptions of the Council Supporters’ Perception of Other Residents - objectors and supporters of the siting Supporters’ Perceptions of the Planning and Consultation Process

107
107 108 109 111 113
113 115 116 119 120 121 122 123

7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 7.5.4 7.5.5 7.5.6 7.5.7 7.5.8 7.6.1 7.6.2 7.6.3 7.6.4 7.6.5 7.6.6 7.6.7 7.6.8

7.6 Supporters’ Views and Perspective

124
125 126 126 128 129 129 130 131

7.7 Organisations’ & Councillors’ Views and Perspectives 7.8 Summary

131 133

8. IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS
8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Introduction ‘Partial Worldview’ mapping Characteristics of Residents Characteristics of Professionals Residents’ Interviews

135
135 137 138 138 139

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8.5.1 8.5.2 8.5.3 8.5.4 8.5.5 8.5.6 8.5.7 8.5.8

Perceptions of their Neighbourhood 139 Residents’ Perceptions of Stakeholders 145 Residents’ Concerns about Different Types of Developments 154 Residents’ Perceptions of the Planning & Consultation Process 158 Residents’ Views on How Society Manages and Should Manage Waste 165 Residents’ Understanding of Risk 165 Residents’ Understanding of Science 168 Residents’ Understanding of the Values Involved in the Consultation and Planning Process 169 8.5.9 Post-Planning Permission Interviews 169

8.6 Professional’s Interviews
8.6.1 8.6.2 8.6.3 8.6.4 Professionals’ Professionals’ Professionals’ Professionals’

170

Issues and Specific Concerns about the WTS Siting 170 Perception of the Lough Road Neighbourhood 171 Perceptions of the Other Stakeholders 173 Perceptions of the Public’s Concerns about Different Types of Developments 178 8.6.5 Perceptions of the Planning & Consultation Process 179 8.6.6 Professionals’ Perceptions on How Society Should Manage Waste 182 8.6.7 Professionals’ Understanding of Risk 182 8.6.8 Professionals’ Understanding of Science 183 8.6.9 Professionals’ Understanding of the Values Involved in the Consultation and Planning Process 184

8.7 Summary

184

9. PUBLIC MEETINGS, KEY MEDIA AND DOCUMENTS
9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Introduction Public Meetings Media – Local newspapers and key stakeholder websites Environmental Statement and Special Planning Report Summary

187
187 187 193 194 194

10. DISCUSSION

195

10.1 Introduction 195 10.2 General Themes: 195 10.3 Developing a Conceptual Framework Specific Themes Related to WDF Siting and EIA 197 10.4 Exploring the process of risk perception during the siting and planning process for a WTS 200 10.5 Using the Conceptual Framework to understand the siting and planning process for the WTS 204
10.5.1 10.5.2 10.5.3 10.5.4 10.5.5 Direct Concerns Process concerns Symbolic concerns Role of the Media Other Key Factors in influencing Risk Perception 204 207 209 212 213

10.6 Lay Publics’ and Expert-Professionals’ Core Definition of Risk 10.7 A Process Definition of Risk Perception 10.8 Summary

213 214 214

11 . CONCLUSION
11.1 Introduction 11.2 Key Conclusions 11.3 Recommendations
11.3.1 11.3.2 11.3.3 11.3.4 11.3.5 Strategic domestic waste management Siting and planning process Public consultation programmes EIAs and environmental statements Expert-professionals & expert institutions

216
216 217 220
220 222 224 225 225

11.4 Limitations of the Study 11.5 Contributions to Knowledge 11. 6 Suggested Directions for Future Research 11.7 Summary

227 229 230 231

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Contents

APPENDIX 1
Background Information on Interviewed Residents

232

APPENDIX 2

234

Round 1 Interview 1 Themes for Residents & Other Stakeholders (Expert-Professionals)

APPENDIX 3
Round 1 Interview 2 Joint Themes for Residents & Other Stakeholders (ExpertProfessionals)

243

APPENDIX 4
Round 2 Interview 3 Themes for Residents

245

APPENDIX 5
Information Leaflet, Invitation Letter and Consent Form

247

APPENDIX 6
Interview Prompts and Words Association Exercise Materials

252

APPENDIX 7
Residents & Other Stakeholders (Expert-Professionals) ‘Worldview’ Maps

260

APPENDIX 8
Results of WDF Rankings, Development Likes and Dislikes Exercise, StakeholderMapping & Word Association Exercises

287

BIBLIOGRAPHY

303

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Table of Figures

Table of Figures
Fig 1.1: The ‘perception’ gap between stakeholders leads to important consequences for society in terms of trust, communication, values and accountability. 4 Fig. 3.1: Spectrum of judgement (Margolis 1996) Fig. 3.2: The rabbit-duck illusion (Margolis 1996) Fig. 3.3: The risk matrix (Margolis 1996) Fig. 3.4: MacGill’s model of the process of risk perception (MacGill 1989) 35 35 36 40

Fig. 4.1: Drawbacks of living close to a waste disposal facility as mentioned by those aware of the facility in their neighbourhoods (Burnley and Parfitt 2000) 59 Fig. 5.1: Outlining the siting and planning process with the key stakeholders and the stages at which they usually become involved 78 Fig. 6.1: Map of the London boroughs and a map of the administrative wards that make up the borough of Islington (Office of National Statistics & Islington Borough Council) 87 Fig. 6.2: Map of the location of the current stadium, the proposed new stadium at Ashburton Grove and the proposed new WTS at Lough Road/ Eden Grove. 95 Fig. 6.3: Timeline of the actual siting and planning process for the WTA in Islington with the key stakeholders and when they became involved 96 Photo 6.1: The derelict site on which the proposed WTS was to be sited 101

Photo 6.2: Caledonian Road, the major road running to the left of the proposed site for the WTS. 101 Photo 6.3: The major council estate to the south of the proposed site for the WTS. In this photo the site lies at the far end on the other side of the wall. 102 Photo 6.4: One of the typical side streets running off the Caledonian Road to the North & North West of the proposed site for the WTS. 102 Photo 6.5: The existing WTS on the Ashburton Grove industrial area Photo 6.6: An artist’s impression of the proposed new WTS and new housing 103 103

Photo 6.7: A local newspaper article showing local residents protesting against the proposed WTS. 104 Photo 6.8: A protest flyer from one of the local residents’ associations. Photo 6.9: Protesters outside the Union Chapel Public Meeting in Jan’ 2001. 104 105

Photo 6.10: Local residents marching along the streets towards the Union Chapel public meeting in Dec’2001. 105 Photo 6.11: Local residents showing their support for the proposed developments outside the Union Chapel public meeting in Dec’2001.

106

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Table of Figures

Photo 6.12: Local residents waiting inside the Union Chapel for the public meeting to start in Dec’2001. 106 Fig. 7.1: Breakdown of gender by area of residence Fig. 7.2: Breakdown of objectors and supporters of the WTS siting by gender 109 110

Fig. 7.3: Objectors existing concerns about the neighbourhood as it currently is broken down by gender 114 Fig. 7.4: Objectors concerns about the proposed WTS broken down by gender Fig. 7.5: Supporters perceived benefits of the future WTS 117 127

Fig. 8.1: Partial worldview mapping framework used to summarise residents’ in-depth interviews 136 Fig. 8.2: Stakeholder mapping by residents Fig. 8.3: Susan’s understanding of risk Fig. 8.4: Kevin’s understanding of risk Fig. 8.5: Stakeholder mapping by professionals Fig. 9.1: An extract from the letters page of one of the local newspapers 146 166 167 174 193

Fig. 10.1: Key factors that influence perceptions of risk at the individual, societal and cultural levels 198 Fig. 10.2: Risk Perception Framework for Siting & Planning Processes: the general issues and specific issues as they apply to waste disposal facility (WDF) siting 199 Fig. 10.3: The iceberg of concern 202

Fig. 10.4: Cartoon of Arsenal, the developer, on the front page of the ISCA, the umbrella objecting group’s website 203 Fig. 10.5: Diagram of Objecting Residents pre-existing concerns about the neighbourhood and their direct concerns about WTS

205

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Table of Tables

Table of Tables
Table 2.1: Classification of disciplinary approaches based on their epistemological position on risk (Lupton 1999) 17

Table 2.2: Classification of risk disciplines and their perspectives on risk, risk assessment and risk management (Renn 1992) 18 Table 2.3: Taxonomies of Controversies and Levels of Conflict (Winterfeldt and Edwards 1984) 24 Table 2.4: A suggested simple schema of the differences and similarities between expert and lay conceptions of risk and uncertainty in terms of possibility and probability. 26 Table 3.1: Suggested Classification of Theories, Approaches and Perspectives by Individual, Societal and Cultural Levels of Explanation

30

Table 4.1 Major environmental concerns expressed by the general public and landfill neighbours 58 Table 6.1 Key Facts about Islington Table 8.1: Developments used for likes & dislikes exercise 90 157

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements
Many people have helped and supported me on my ‘philosophical’ journey over the last three and half years. They have enhanced the positive and insightful aspects and reduced the vague and wrong-headed features of my thesis.

In particular I would like to express my deep and sincere thanks to my first supervisor, and personal tutor during my MSc in Environmental Epidemiology, Professor Helen Dolk. Without her help, support and faith in me I would not have been able to develop my research topic and win the ESRC-NERC scholarship. She has been and continues to be a friend and mentor. Equal thanks and appreciation go to Dr. Simon Carter, my current supervisor, who bought me coffees and lunches and took me on as a student without a moments hesitation. To Simon I owe a great debt of gratitude for getting me through my upgrading unscathed, listening to my ideas and issues, making astute suggestions, allowing me to follow my own intuitions and for being a colleague-friend as well as a constructively challenging supervisor. Dr. Daniel Osborn, my NERC supervisor, deserves no less credit and recognition for supporting my ESRC-NERC scholarship application, reading my work, being there when I have needed to talk to him and for quietly and consistently supporting my ideas and approach.

Heartfelt thanks goes to all the residents and professionals who took the time to talk to me and helped develop my understanding of the risk issues during the siting of a WTS.

I would also like to thank two other members of staff Dr. Judy Green, for critically reading my thesis and providing some perceptive and meaningful comments and Professor Gill Walt for being ‘around and about’, acting on my ideas to develop an active research degree community - that shared and cared for each other - and for supporting the many social events that I organised on behalf of the LSHTM research student community. I am also grateful to the Economic and Social Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council for their financial and educational support.

Finally, I want to say thanks all my friends and in particular Omer, Jacob, Najib, Juraci, Jongkol, Duangtip and Charles. To Omer for his wise counsel on life, to Jacob for critically and smartly reading my thesis not once but twice; to Brenda for reading a key fieldwork chapter, to Najib for his unfailing support and for the drinks, food and companionship; to Juraci for being a wise Brazilian, to Jongkol and Duangtip for listening to me and always being the first to cook and help organise at our student parties and to Charles for listening with patience and perspicacity to my early ideas. You have given me laughter, joy and camaraderie to what was at regular intervals a lonely and dispiriting journey. You have been a beacon of light when the journey was at its darkest. Cheers mates!
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Abbreviations & Acronyms

Abbreviations and Acronyms
General EIA ES EU GLA GM HIA LULU NIMBY PM10 WDF WTS UK Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Statement European Union Greater London Authority Genetically Modified Health Impact Assessment Locally Unwanted Land Uses Not In My Backyard Particulate Matter less than 10 microns in size Waste Disposal Facility Waste Transfer Station United Kingdom

Fieldwork AISA DEFRA DETR ISCA NLWA Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (Arsenal Fans Club) Department of the Environment, Regions & Agriculture Department of the Environment, Transport & Regions (DEFRA’s predecessor) Islington Stadium Communities Alliance (umbrella objecting group) North London Waste Authority

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Preface

Preface
This thesis describes two journeys. At a personal level this thesis and the associated research has been a record of my journey as a researcher moving from a natural science perspective – medicine and environmental epidemiology – towards a more sociological outlook. This has influenced both the way I undertook my fieldwork as well as the final structure of my thesis leading to a tone and viewpoint that has moved me away from my quantitative understanding of risks towards a more qualitative understanding. Furthermore, this duality and 'tension' is reflected in the way this thesis is written, with a quieter 'realist' voice echoing the louder 'social constructionist' tone of the arguments that are developed.

This thesis therefore hopes to evoke a similar journey in its non-sociological audience – risk expert-professionals – by developing a unified perspective and approach that will make sense to risk expert professionals - planning officials, civil servants and environmental and health professionals - who tend to have a natural science, quantitative and largely positivistic perspective. This is exemplified in planning processes by the use of impact assessments – environmental, health and social – that are based on quantitative risk assessment approaches and are framed in rationalistic ways to manage and contain the potential dangers that developments may expose residents to.

Risk is complex because at a basic level it means danger and the possibility of being exposed to danger but at another level – some would say a higher or deeper level – it is associated with many different things including people’s personal and professional experiences of danger and of social and cultural institutions especially those that are seen to have a remit to protect lay publics from risks. It can stand for and have embedded within it a whole set of issues about personal and social identities, relationships and processes. Technical and socio-cultural definitions and understandings of risks come together and depart from this point of interconnection. While technical approaches aim to prove the existence of a danger and attempt to quantify it in physical terms, the type of health effects and the number of people likely to be affected, for sociological and anthropological perspectives the important issue is to unpack the notion of risk and uncover the social and cultural issues and concerns that are and become embedded within it.

The challenge this thesis takes up is to create a perspective that is accessible for risk professionals with a pragmatic focus wanting to understand and deal with public concerns and make societal decisions in a context of limited resources. This thesis has developed arguments with this framing in mind and therefore in some areas has not explored themes and issues in a deeply theoretical or sociological way as a deliberate attempt to ensure that it remains accessible to both realist as well as social constructionist readers. It synthesises the key risk understandings and allows risk professionals to understand lay publics’
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Preface

perceptions of risks in a coherent way as well as acting as a ‘gateway’ for them to access the wider sociological and anthropological literature on risk issues. Specifically, it explores the micro-arena of a local planning process and what risk means at this level. It starts from the notion that risk issues in planning processes are used in a boundarified and distinct context with the general aim of increasing the positives and reducing the negatives of any proposed development for the community as a whole. It argues that in this micro-context an approach can be developed that allows sociological and anthropological understandings and approaches to be used to reduce conflict and improve cooperation and consensus in planning processes and so lead to better social policies and decisions.

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1. Introduction

1. Introduction
1.1 Research Aim
The aim of this research project was to use a qualitative methodological approach to develop a better understanding of residents’ and other stakeholder groups’ perceptions of risks in a community setting as they manifested themselves during a local policy and decision-making process. The local process in question was a siting and planning process, which included an environmental impact assessment (EIA), for a domestic waste transfer station (WTS) in an urban neighbourhood in the borough of Islington in London, England.
1

1.2 Research Objectives
The specific objectives were to:

• • • •

describe what each of the stakeholder groups perceived as the risks, develop an understanding of why stakeholders held these 'risk worldviews', follow the stakeholders over time to see whether their perceptions of risks changed and identify those factors that led to changes in risk perception.

The intended outcome was to develop a conceptual framework that would allow the differing perceptions of risks between stakeholders to be understood in context and to point the way towards a general approach that might be used by stakeholders to reduce mistrust and conflict during such siting processes.

1.3 Research Context & Importance
Protests by local communities faced with the siting of technological and industrial facilities have been recognised for some time (for example, the extension of the Edmonton B incinerator, the Yucca mountain nuclear storage facility and the third runway at Heathrow airport). However this has tended to be regarded disparagingly as 'NIMBY' (Not In My Back Yard) and 'LULU' (Locally Unwanted Land Uses) effects by many risk assessment and policy experts (Freudenburg and Pastor 1992; Luloff, Albrecht et al. 1998). More recently, there has been growing public opposition to genetically modified crops that has been both

Stakeholders, in this thesis, is the term used to encompass all the individuals, groups, organisations and institutions that have a stake or feel they have a stake during any given policy and decisionmaking process i.e. in terms of gaining or losing things that they value professionally or personally. Hence it includes lay individuals and lay groups as well as experts and expert institutions.
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1. Introduction

vocal and direct. This has added to a growing realisation, among researchers and policymakers, that public perceptions of risk have important implications for many parts of the environmental health research, policy and decision-making processes (Davies 1991; Calvet and Ewan 1995; British Medical Association 1998). Most recently two reports, one by the Royal Commission on the Environment and Pollution and the other by the Government's Interdepartmental Liaison Group on Risk Assessment have stressed that public values and perceptions of risk must be integrated into public policy and decision-making (ILGRA 1998; RCEP 1998).

The conceptualisation of risk and risk perception is complex and problematic and is one of the areas explored in this thesis. In this thesis risk is used to mean both a danger and the likelihood i.e. probability or possibility of that danger occurring. Risk perception is seen as a process, analogous to sensory perception, by which individuals gain information from their environment, relate it to their previous experiences and thoughts, and develop a judgement about an object, activity, group or person as being a danger. This thesis, therefore, argues that there is no dichotomy between an ‘objective’ risk reality versus ‘subjective’ risk perception as we all, lay and expert, regardless of our methods or instrumentation have a partial view of the natural, social and cultural worlds around us. We experience these ‘worlds’ through the mediation of language, personal relationships, social institutions and cultural traditions.

The notion of public, lay people and stakeholders is also problematic and complex. Sally MacGill argues that the ‘public’ are not homogeneous rather there are a range of ‘publics’ and defining what we mean by ‘the public’ can be problematic and political. She argues that researchers have to choose how to define the term ‘public’ in terms of their own motives for trying to understand public perceptions of risks. Hence, in her words, “…the ‘public’ consists of a multitude of overlapping and diverse sub-populations within and between which there are very different attitudes” (MacGill 1989 pg. 53). In this thesis, public and publics are used to mean lay individuals and groups that make up a community and society who have not received formalised training in risk assessment and risk perception. One point to note however is that risk experts are also members of lay publics when siting processes affect their own homes and families. Conversely, in many areas there are few people who can be considered totally non-expert or lay as we all tend to have some expert knowledge and experience through exposure to expert discourses (Green 1997).

Community is also a complex construction and in this thesis is used to mean a group of people living in the same geographical area who, to a greater or lesser extent, tend to know each other and share common concerns and aspirations about the area and/ or the siting of a technological facility.

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Finally, this thesis tends to make a broad distinction between risk experts and non-experts or lay publics. However while this dichotomy is a useful shorthand to help explore the key differences and roles that stakeholders have in policy and decision-making processes it is worth noting that this distinction is simplistic as we all have expert knowledges and experiences and as stated above are also members of the wider lay publics that make up society. So, depending on context, individuals and groups can act in both expert and lay ways. One way of partially overcoming this generalisation is to talk of expert-professionals and expert-residents or -lay people to emphasise that differences in risk understandings and perceptions are as much connected to the professional and non-professional roles that individuals and groups act out in policy and decision-making processes as to the technical expertise that they possess. A further point to note is that risk experts and professionals are not a homogeneous group rather their views, while broadly similar, tend to span a range of perspectives (Barke and Jenkins-Smith 1993).

So, while there is an increasing realisation that the public are more concerned, more vocal and more active, this has not stopped a growing ‘risk perception gap’ developing between major stakeholder groups in society namely the public, researchers, local and national government, the media, NGO’s and business. This is especially true, with regard to environmental and health risks (Hayes 1992; Gregory and Slovic 1996; Dunant and Porter 1997). This gap does not imply that risk expert-professionals are right and that the public wrong or vice versa. Rather it is that each of these stakeholders brings their own ideas, values and experiences to their understanding of risks, their own ‘perceptual map or worldview', that incorporates little understanding of why other stakeholders have different views. This has led the more powerful stakeholders to often underrate and de-legitimise less powerful stakeholders’ perspectives (Schwarz and Thompson 1990; Adams 1995).

Whilst differences of views, disagreements and disputes are an important and healthy part of modern diverse societies, increasingly these siting disagreements and disputes are turning into conflicts which are bitter and entrenched. Furthermore, they are leading to direct action and civil disruption that have an impact on society as a whole (e.g. the debate on the risks and benefits of gene modification technologies). These impacts range from the social and cultural to the political and economic (Beck 1992; Kasperson, Renn et al. 1998).

Many of these disputes and conflicts have centred around the environmental and health risks posed by these developments and technologies, for example the risks of congenital malformations, cancers and asthma. While the epidemiological literature on waste disposal facilities is still difficult to interpret in this regard, there have been recent studies which have shown that, at the very least, there are important psychosocial and stress impacts that siting disputes have on communities (Eyles, Martin Taylor et al. 1993; Vrijheid 2000).

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1. Introduction

It has also been argued that in their efforts to successfully access and influence policy and decision-making processes individuals and communities are becoming sophisticated users of scientific knowledge. They are focussing on the potential negative health and environmental effects of technologies, however small, as the best means of stopping these technological facilities being built (Cohen 2000). This focus on directly-acting risk concerns attributable to the development itself has tended to obscure four deeper issues that are only now being seen more clearly. The growing 'risk perception gap' between the various societal stakeholders appears to be having at least four important consequences for society (see Fig 1.1): a trust gap, a communication gap, an ethics gap and an accountability gap. This thesis uses the term risk perception gap as opposed to risk differences to imply that this gap needs to be bridged and reduced. In other words, experts and lay groups need to develop joint frameworks for identifying, understanding and managing risks. However, this is not a one-way process as the gaps in trust, communication, values and accountability feed back into and further widen the differences in stakeholders’ perceptions of risks.

Trust-Credibility Gap Risk Perception Gap
between stakeholders

Communication-Knowledge Gap Values-Ethics Gap Democratic-Accountability Gap

Fig 1.1: The ‘perception’ gap between stakeholders leads to important consequences for society in terms of trust, communication, values and accountability.

1. Trust-Credibility Gap: There is a general loss of public trust and credibility in business, researchers, policymakers, decision-makers and associated organisations and institutions. This loss of trust is increasingly affecting medical, public health, social welfare and political agencies and institutions. This picture is not uniform but lay people are less willing to defer to the judgements of expert-professionals. Hence, there is increasing mistrust of various types of risk experts, including health professionals, and the programmes and projects that they attempt to implement in communities (Wynne and Mayer 1993; Peters, Covello et al. 1997; Bennett and Calman 1999).

2. Communication-Knowledge Gap: There is a lack of a forum for open, honest and clear debate on environmental and health issues. This can lead to misunderstandings, distortion and conflict between powerful stakeholders (e.g. government, media) with a generally 'silent' public caught in the middle.

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On one side are those with better communication skills like journalists or greater public trust like environmental groups and on the other 'big' business and politicians. Health and environmental risks have become part of the political 'weapons' used by communities and non-governmental organisations to influence and change community and societal-level policies and decisions. This has also led to scientific research and understanding being manipulated by stakeholders in order to achieve their own strategic ends, for example, by taking only those parts that confirm pre-existing views, or setting high standards of 'proof' before action is taken (Wallack 1994; Fischhoff 1995; Cohen 2000).

3. Values-Ethics Gap: There is a reduced interest in and understanding of the complexities of environmental health science and policy-making by lay publics, with a consequent de-valuing of science and science-based policy as a positive force for change that has contributed much to the well-being of society (Berger, Kristol et al. 1991). ‘Green’ environmental groups have raised lay publics’ awareness of environmental issues and science but have tended to emphasise its destructive and negative impacts at the expense of its constructive aspects. Concurrently many researchers, funders and users of research, have tended to under-value and trivialise public perceptions (Shrader-Frechette 1998). One example of this is the way medical, scientific and other institutions have tended to create their own specialised forms of professional ethics that have not kept pace with changes in public views and not always adequately explored the wider moral and ethical implications of research and decisionmaking. This values gap is leading to greater calls from lay groups for risk expertprofessionals and institutions to be more transparent, accountable and ethical (Carlo, Lee et al. 1992; Bauman 1993; Walker 1995; Burke 1999).

4. Democratic-Accountability Gap: There is resistance on the part of more powerful stakeholders - experts, politicians, and business - to involve the general public in health and environmental policies, programmes and projects which as a consequence has produced poorer outcomes, increased the chances of failure and heightened the potential for public opposition. Where public participation and consultation have occurred this has been seen either as a legal nicety or tokenism without a real belief in the need for and value of participation. This is in contrast to a growing desire by the general public to have a greater influence on how society is run and how public policy is developed. This desire is unlikely to go away and social and commercial institutions involved in environmental and health issues need to accept this growing trend (Brownlea 1987; O'Neill 1992; Barrow 1997; Gillis 1999).

The policy importance of this research is three-fold: firstly on purely democratic and social justice grounds it is important for researchers, policy- and decision-makers to take into consideration the concerns raised by the wider public. Yet there appears to be no straight

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forward way for this to be accomplished. Secondly, by understanding how and why residents and other stakeholders hold the risk views that they do there is an opportunity to develop approaches to bridge not only the risk perception gap but importantly its consequences: the gaps in trust, communication, values and democratic accountability. This is likely to lead to a reduction in conflict and an increase in cooperation between lay publics, community groups, environmental NGO's, researchers, businesses, risk experts and local and national governments. There would also be a reduction in the stresses and concerns within communities and savings in time, cost and effort in implementing projects. Finally, it could also potentially lead to more effective environmental and health policies and programmes that work in partnership with local communities and have a larger positive impact (WHO Healthy Cities Project 1997; British Medical Association 1998; Slovic 1999).

The research importance of this work is also three-fold: firstly, there is a need to attempt to integrate the various perspectives on risk and risk perception and thus develop a conceptual-analytical framework for understanding risk perception in the context of siting and planning processes. Secondly, there has been no risk perception research that has followed a siting and planning process, incorporating an EIA, for any kind of waste disposal facility in a populated urban area. Thirdly, there has been no qualitative research on the risk perceptions of stakeholders specifically during the siting of a waste transfer station.

1.4 Research Orientation
“The bricoleur understands that research is an interactive process shaped by his or her personal history, biography, gender, social class, race and ethnicity, and those of the people in the setting. The bricoleur knows that science is power, for all research findings have political implications. There is no valuefree science…The product of a bricoleur’s labor is a bricolage, a complex, dense, reflexive, collagelike creation that represents the researcher’s images, understandings, and interpretations of the world or phenomenon under analysis. This bricolage will as in the case of a social theorist…connect the parts to the whole, stressing meaningful relationships that operate in the situations and social worlds studied.” (Denzin and Lincoln 1994 pg. 2-3)

Coming from an Indian Muslim background, being born in Uganda, having my family and other Ugandan Asians forced out of our homes and growing up in a working class community in Lancashire have shaped my sense of identity and my place in the world. They have also given me a passion for social justice and an understanding of the possibilities and constraints of history, society and culture on individual and group actions.

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My professional background in medicine, public health and the voluntary sector have added to this and given form to my ethical and professional principles. They have shaped my vision of social justice and shown me the need to work in a consensual and cooperative way to achieve social ends. They have also left me with a deep desire to work for individual and community empowerment and the belief that individuals and communities should have the opportunity to reach their true and full potential by making their own choices and by being allowed to fully engage in the socio-political processes that are likely to affect them.

Exploring and reflecting on the literature of risk perception has emphasised the social construction of risk perception and its socio-historical underpinnings. The centrality of time, place and context and the plural rationalities that stakeholders use to understand and respond to danger and uncertainty. The public therefore have a valuable role to play and important insights to provide in the development of local and national policies and decisions. Understanding public perceptions of risks can therefore uncover new ways of thinking about and dealing with risks in modern societies alongside traditional quantitative and probabilistic risk assessment and risk management strategies.

1.5 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Waste Disposal Facility (WDF) Siting
While there has been significant risk perception research over the last 30 years it has largely been with the aim of improving risk communication (Fischhoff 1995). There has been research on the sociological and cultural aspects of risk and risk perception but this has tended to look at macro-social and cultural processes (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982; Beck 1992). Only recently have these perspectives been used to understand local policy and decision-making. Risk policy and decision-making have begun to incorporate public perceptions and values but only now is this happening in risk analysis. Of the range of risk analysis methods, impact assessment - environmental, health and social - has increasingly become an important tool for enabling policy- and decision-makers to make better informed decisions about business developments, public infrastructure projects and the health and social needs of local communities (Glasson, Therival et al. 1994; Barrow 1997; British Medical Association 1998)

Of these EIA is the longest established, having been used around the world for the last 25 to 30 years, and is part of the regulatory systems of Europe, North America and Australasia (Wathern 1995; Harrop and Nixon 1999). It has also become part of the framework for implementing development aid projects in other parts of the world by agencies like the World Bank. There is now gathering momentum to see public concerns and community participation being integrated into the EIA process framework. In the UK 2,500 EIAs have

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taken place over the last ten years and this rate is set to grow. National policies set the context within which local planning authorities approve projects. The public and EIAs, via the environmental statement, are formally involved at the planning permission stage. However, in the UK, there is no formal legislated mechanism by which communities are proactively integrated into either the project-level EIA process or the more strategic environmental assessment (SEA) levels.

In particular, the planning process for waste disposal facilities (e.g. landfill, incinerators, recycling and waste transfer stations) has important qualities that could help to elucidate key aspects of lay publics’ perceptions of risks. Waste disposal facility EIAs account for 20% of all EIA activity in the UK and current studies and reviews have highlighted key weaknesses in the process.

The deficiencies of EIAs generally are said to include (Radcliffe and Edward-Jones 1995; Wathern 1995; WHO Healthy Cities Project 1997) • • • • • • Weaknesses in the identification and evaluation of health and social impacts. Little recognition of the contribution that understanding community perceptions of risk and of involving local communities could have on the EIA process. Poor involvement of the public and other interest groups before the submission of the environmental statement. An increasingly combative planning process with developers, planners, communities and NGOs tending to be in opposition to each other. Poor treatment of alternatives to the proposed development and poor development of risk minimisation measures. Lack of a strategic dimension within the EIA process as many EIAs do not take into account the combined or cumulative effect of other similar development projects at local or regional levels. • A failure to address the broader issues for example the impact of a development on global climate change, the sustainability of a development and the inequity in the distribution of risk burdens within affected communities.

The role of the public in UK EIAs, in contrast to that of the developer and environmental control authority, is not explicitly stated. The UK is affected by EU legislation, specifically Article 6 of Directive 85/337/EC relating to the need for public involvement. However there is considerable variation in how each Member State interprets and applies the Directive and so, in the UK, the exact form the public consultation process takes tends to be left up to each individual developer (Harrop and Nixon 1999).

The 1968 Town and Country Planning Act made public participation a statutory requirement. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) e.g. County, Borough and District Councils

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must therefore take account of issues raised by the developer, statutory consultees and the general public. While the Department of Environment has laid down requirements that certain statutory agencies should be consulted before the environmental statement (ES) is submitted, developers are not obliged to consult any organisation. Furthermore statutory agencies can be asked for information but cannot make a formal assessment of the project at the EIA stage.

There is no formal consultation of the general public during the EIA before the environmental statement is submitted to the LPA. The ES is placed on the planning register and a copy is sent to the Secretary of State. Only after the ES is submitted are statutory agencies and the public consulted. The developer has to publicise the details of the planning application, inform the public where they can consult a copy of the ES and a minimum of 21 days is given for written submissions from the public. After this the LPA considers all the submissions and makes a decision within 16 weeks, following which the details of the decision, including reasons, must be published.

However, two key issues are having an important impact on the future of EIAs and public participation. Firstly, Local Agenda 21 argues for the need to empower local people to develop community-led solutions to sustainable development and secondly, the EC Directive 90/313 on the Freedom of Access to Information on the Environment (Harrop and Nixon 1999). The former is likely to make consultation a key part of planning procedures and the latter should increase the transparency of EIA and planning processes to public and other stakeholder scrutiny.

Furthermore, the disposal of societal waste has moved up the political and social agenda at the local, national and international levels as the amount of waste has increased and the range of solutions diminished now that sustainable waste management has become a key policy concern. Finally, in public terms, every person as a creator of waste has a personal stake in the issue of waste disposal and its environmental, health, social, economic and political dimensions (Therival and Rosario Partidario 1996).

Studying the EIA and planning process within the context of waste disposal facility siting is therefore a meaningful and important way of understanding public perceptions of environmental and health risks in a dynamic policy and decision-making process that takes place in a local community setting.

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1.6 Fieldwork Locality
The fieldwork for this study was undertaken in the borough of Islington in London. Islington is one of the northern boroughs of inner London. It has become a fashionable and up and coming area to live in which has meant that house prices in all parts of the borough have increased sharply. However, there are also many poor and deprived neighbourhoods especially in North Islington where the research fieldwork was undertaken. Islington is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-faith borough with a patchwork of wealth and poverty, expensive and well-maintained owner-occupied Georgian period housing as well as rundown council housing estates.

The location for the proposed site of the waste transfer station (WTS) is currently derelict and is made up of some abandoned factory buildings and a large amount of overgrown shrubs and weeds. The site has been derelict for over 20 years and a range of previous proposals have been rejected, most recently a large retail supermarket with car parking. It has a large well-maintained council estate to the south and owner-occupied and rented terraced houses and converted flats to the north. On either side, west and east, the site is bounded by two major roads which run the length of Islington.

1.7 Organisation of Thesis
Chapter 2: On Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Perception Places risk perception research in the context of other risk areas and explores the current scientific and lay conceptualisations of risk, uncertainty and risk perception.

Chapter 3: General Understandings of Risk Perception Describes the structure of the literature review and examines the key general perspectives and approaches to risk perception - relevant for this thesis - at the individual, societal and cultural levels.

Chapter 4: Specific Understandings of Risk Perception in the Context of WDFs and EIAs Reviews the literature on risk perception and domestic waste disposal facilities as well as communities affected by contamination accidents. Key issues in the areas of hazardous waste facilities, other stakeholders’ perceptions of risk and environmental impact assessment are also examined.

Chapter 5: Research Methodology Details the design of the study, the qualitative methods used, the analytical approach, the measures taken to ensure rigour and the ethical issues faced.

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Chapter 6: Study Context and Community Profile Provides a community profile of the study area using key census and demographic information as well as social, historical and cultural information. I also describe the context within which the fieldwork was undertaken and provide an ethnography/ personal perspective of the neighbourhood.

Chapter 7: Public Written Comments Describes the key issues and themes elicited from the systematic review of the written public comments.

Chapter 8: In-depth Interviews Describes the key issues and themes discovered from the in-depth interviews.

Chapter 9: Public Meetings, Media & Other Materials Describes the key issues and themes identified from the public meetings, environmental statement and other planning documents, other publicity material and local newspaper articles.

Chapter 10: Discussion Draws out and synthesises the key themes emerging from the literature review. Describes a conceptual framework for understanding public and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks during siting and planning processes and shows how this can be used to deepen the understanding gained from the fieldwork.

Chapter 11: Conclusion Discusses the key conclusions, develops some practical and policy recommendations from this study, looks at the limitations of this study, its contribution to knowledge and future areas for research.

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2. On Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Perception
2.1 Introduction
In this chapter I start by briefly exploring the wider context of risk and risk perception by looking at historical dangers, linguistic usage and the influence of popular culture. I then move on to examine the scientific conceptualisations and classifications of risk, uncertainty and risk perception. Finally, I explore lay conceptualisations of risk and uncertainty.

In this chapter I show that history, language and popular culture are the backdrop upon which we all understand and give meaning to risk and danger. That there are a variety of scientific conceptualisations of risk and these conceptualisations depend on the orientations and methodologies used by risk researchers to study risk perception. This is important because the scientific conceptualisation of risk, uncertainty and risk perception shapes the explanations of lay perceptions developed by the various risk disciplines and approaches. There seem to be two classification systems for risk disciplines, one based on their epistemological stance and the other on a more detailed breakdown of how disciplines work with risk and hazard. There are also two broad categories of conceptualising risk: the technical/engineering and the social/cultural. Lastly, risk perception as a process has been much less clearly defined and there seems to be no comprehensive definitions of risk perception as a cognitive reasoning process.

Finally, exploring lay conceptualisations of risk and uncertainty shows that there are no scientific understandings of risk that empirically explore and bridge the gap between expert and lay perspectives on risk and uncertainty particularly ones that take their starting point from lay perspectives. Both experts and lay publics use the word risk so they must share, at some broad level, a common conception of what risk is in order to communicate and understand each other. Socio-cultural conceptualisations of risk while showing the complexity and richness of risk as a socio-cultural process seem to be blurring different understandings of risk and different understandings of risk perception. Instead of risk being conceived of differently by individuals and lay publics it may be that it is risk assessment and the criteria used to make that assessment that are conceived of differently. This is an aspect that was explored in the fieldwork and is dicussed in later chapters.

2.2 Risk Perception in its Wider Context
This section briefly explores a number of areas which, while not part of the mainstream risk literature, are important to understanding lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of
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risks. These areas place risk not only in its individual, societal and cultural contexts but also its historical, linguistic and popular culture contexts. The key issues these persectives draw out is firstly, that danger and how we understand and deal with danger has changed over time. Secondly, that the word ‘risk’ has a long linguistic history and is not a recently developed scientific concept with a fixed and precise meaning. Instead, the

conceptualisation of risk is dynamic and changing both socially and scientifically. Thirdly, popular culture has a deep resonance and influence on how we all, as lay publics’, conceive of and understand risk. It is only by acknowledging this wider context within which risk ideas are shaped in everyday life can a deeper and broader understanding of lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks emerge.

2.2.1 Danger & ‘Risk’ in a Historical Context
In these times a terrible plague was sent by divine command across the western people. There appeared signs of harmful droughts, excessive rains, numerous Cracks began to open all around … Even pleasure no longer felt the same … Food becomes a foretaste of heart disease. The body itself was subversive of the ‘self’; in the ‘youth culture’, the very existence of the flesh was onset of decline … Industrialization, once the

eclipses of sun and moon … terrible famines, so that innumerable common folks were killed and a brother killed his own sister and ate her.
th

harbinger of progress, threatened the world with environmental collapse.

Ademar, French monk, 10 century (Dunant and Porter 1997 pg. 1)

Massumi, 1993:10 (Lupton 1999 pg. 12-13)

Dangers have assailed human beings since the earliest times. Humans have therefore had to develop an instinctual and cognitive set of processes able to detect and evolve strategies to deal with a range of dangers (Margolis 1996). The instinctual element of this has been popularly termed, the "fight or flight" response. With the coming of agriculture and the change, in many societies, from a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence to permanent citystates and civilisations these dangers remained but changed in their intensity and quality. Intensive agriculture and the reliance on a few plant crops changed the natural environment and created the danger of mass famine through the devastation of crop diseases and drought. Cities and towns brought large numbers of people together giving infectious diseases the opportunity to spread quickly to create epidemics. Wars of conquest became one means by which cities and civilisations acquired wealth and new lands for cultivation. Trade was another, bringing new goods from far off places but also new ideas - including religious beliefs - as well as new human and animal diseases that disrupted social, cultural and natural systems (Zinsser 1985; McKeown 1988).

As reasoning beings, people needed to make sense of what was happening to them. So,
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alongside practical ways of warding off dangers people also developed a web of interconnected beliefs involving magic, superstition and religion that helped them make sense of and come to terms with the range of dangers and fears that assailed them. These beliefs are with us today and still play an important role in our lives (Thomas 1988; Armstrong 1993).
th th

With industrialisation in Western countries, in the 18 and 19 century, more and more of the natural environment was taken up by large cities and towns made up of factories and dense housing. Industry, science and modern bureaucracy developed and with them came new ways of identifying dangers and hazards. Though on the whole the dangers faced were similar to those faced by agrarian societies, industrialisation also brought its own forms of danger to the natural world and human societies (Beck 1992).

2.2.2 Changes in the Linguistic Use of 'Risk'
The widespread use of the term ‘risk’ in its current scientific form is relatively recent, but risk as a word has been used for centuries and during that time its meaning has changed. The Collins English dictionary describes the etymology of risk as being from the 17 century French term ‘risque’, which came from the Italian word ‘risco’, which in turn came from the word ‘rischiare’ meaning ‘to be in peril’. ‘Rischiare’ was itself derived from the early Greek word ‘rhiza’ meaning ‘cliff’ from the dangers of sailing along rocky coasts (Makins 1986).
th

Some commentators have linked the use of the term risk with the dangers affecting early maritime shipping ventures before industrialisation (Ewald 1991). This early conception of risk excluded the idea of human fault and responsibility. The word was used for natural events like hurricanes, storms and epidemics. There was therefore little that could be done except to calculate the likelihood of such events occurring and to take whatever actions were possible to reduce their impact.
th

During the 18 century 'risk' became a formal scientific and statistical concept and in the 19 century the notion of risk was extended to include not just the natural but also the human. Risk began to be located in human actions and in societal relationships. This change in meaning assumed that unanticipated outcomes could be the consequence of human action as well as the actions of God or Fate (Hacking 1990). Furthermore, until the early 19 century risk was used both as a positive and negative concept. There were good risks and bad risks. Douglas asserts that in the 20
th th th

century risk has less to do with its

original links to calculating probabilities but, as in the past, stands more for danger and undesirable outcomes (Douglas 1992). However Bauman disagrees and argues that risk still holds the prospect of benefits if it can be managed and thus is related to ideas of taking a calculated chance or gamble as in for example balancing the risks and benefits of nuclear

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power and genetically modified (GM) crops (Bauman 1997). Ewald has further argued, that the distinction between risk and uncertainty and good and bad risks has been blurred and lost and that this has been in parallel with the diminution and breakdown of the sense of progress created by the Enlightenment (Ewald 1991).

A study of the etymology of risk has important implications for the understanding of risk as a concept because it shows that, first, lay uses preceded scientific and expert uses of the word risk. Second, that science has taken up and 'appropriated' many everyday words, given them precise technical meanings and assumed that this process is unproblematic. In other words, that these scientifc meanings are fully understood by lay publics, used in appropriate contexts and take precedence over the everyday lay meanings of these terms. Third, that one of the reasons for the gap in risk perception may be due to the different meanings that lay and scientific discourses give to risk. This last aspect is discussed later and was explored during the fieldwork.

2.2.3 Popular Culture
Popular culture has a profound influence on how each of us perceives ourselves, society, the nature of the world around us and our understandings and perceptions of risk. For this thesis popular culture is defined as those aspects of everyday culture and society such as novels, films, TV, sports, advertising, and so on that reflect and shape the ideas and values that individuals and societies have. A number of authors have highlighted the link between popular culture, science and risk (Midgeley 1989; Allaby 1995; Gregory and Miller 1998). There is an extensive literature on the nature of popular culture and this thesis will only use two illustrative examples to show the power and influence of popular culture in shaping perceptions of risks.

Stories play an important role in how people perceive science and technology and in turn technological hazards and risks. Science has its own genre of writing called science-fiction which specifically explores the human and societal dimensions of science and technology. Novels have shown both the positive and negative aspects of science (Allaby 1995). However, the negative and dystopian visions of science and technology have increasingly become pre-eminent. One example of the power that stories have is shown by the recent furore around GM crops and the potent labelling of them as 'Frankenstein Foods' linking GM with the experiments of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ to create new life (Hargreaves 1999; Sardar 1999). Conjuring up a whole set of images about GM being an inappropriate and hubristic tampering with the natural and divine.

Advertising also has a profound influence on how we see ourselves, other people and society. Increasingly advertising is made up of health and risk discourses and these are

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potentially sensitising all of us to seeing our lives as filled with hazard, danger and risk. We have cars sold on their safety à la Volvo; shampoo to make our hair 'healthy' looking; cereal and drinks with added vitamins that are good for us; margarines that reduce cholesterol; skin cream to keep our skin young; and detergent, bleach and disinfectant sold as ways to keep our homes and families free of germs. This advertising discourse is everywhere from TV to magazines and bus-stop posters to billboards. Alongside this we also have health promotion advertising extolling the virtues of giving up smoking, changing our diets and taking more exercise.

2.3 Classifying Approaches to Risk and Risk Perception
Conceptualisations and definitions of risk and risk perception are strongly shaped by the disciplinary perspective from which they are studied and a schema has been developed for classifying approaches to risk and risk perception based on a discipline’s underlying epistemological position on risk (Lupton 1999). This schema has been adapted, in this review, to include the psychometric, economic and geographical alongside the sociological and anthropological (see Table 2.2).

Each disciplinary area is placed in one of three epistemological frameworks: realist, 'weak' social constructionist and 'strong' social constructionist. Realist research and researchers see risks as objective entities that are present in the world and independent of human processes and relationships. Social constructionist research understand risk as constructed by social and cultural factors. The ‘weak’ position maintains that risks are real but are mediated through social and cultural processes that influence how we understand and respond to risk. The ‘strong’ position argues that risks are wholly influenced by social and cultural factors, would not exist otherwise and are ‘created’ through the actions of social institutions and other actors whose role is to protect society from risks. This schema also shows how the different epistemological standpoints lead to different disciplines adopting different approaches to and perspectives on risk. In other words, they ask different risk questions and are interested in different aspects of risk and risk perception.

An alternative classification has been developed by Ortwin Renn (see Table 2.3). Renn starts with disciplinary categories: actuarial, toxicology/ epidemiology, probabilistic risk analysis (e.g. engineering/industrial), economic, psychological, sociological and cultural. He then goes on to categorise their perspectives on risk by how they measure risk (base unit), their method of research, their conceptualisation of risk, their areas of work, their areas of application, and their instrumental and social function (Renn 1992).

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Table 2.1: Classification of disciplinary approaches based on their epistemological position on risk (Lupton 1999)
Epistemological Position Associated perspectives and Theories Key Questions

Realist: Risk is an objective hazard, threat or danger that exists and can be measured independently of social and cultural processes, but may be distorted or biased through social and cultural frameworks of interpretation.

Technico-scientific perspectives e.g. epidemiology, toxicology, industrial risk analysis.

What risks exist? How do we quantify them? How should we manage them?

Economic Approaches

How do humans as rational actors working for their own self-interest make risk choices and how can this be quantified in monetary terms? How do people respond cognitively to risks especially probability-based risk estimates? How do humans adapt to and respond to risks due to the natural environment ? How could a taxonomy of hazards be developed to help understand and predict risk perceptions? What factors lead to the amplification or attenuation of risk perception in society? How do human systems, technology and the natural environment interact in a social and political setting and respond to hazards/ risks? What is the relationship of risk to the structures and processes of late modernity? How is risk understood in different socio-cultural contexts?

Early cognitive science approaches and early psychometric approaches

Early Geographical Approaches

Weak Social Constructionist: Risk is an objective hazard, threat or danger that is inevitably mediated through social and cultural processes and can never be known in isolation from these processes

Current Psychometric (& cognitive) Approaches Sandman’s Outrage Model Social Amplification of Risk Theory

Current Geographical Approaches

Risk Society Theory/ Perspective (critical structuralism) Wynne’s Conditional Knowledges Perspective McGill’s Model

Cultural/Symbolic perspectives (functional structuralism) Psychoanalysis Phenomenology

Why are some dangers selected as risks and others not? How does risk operate as a symbolic boundary measure? What are the psychodynamics of our risk responses? What is the situated context of risk? How do the discourses and practices around risk operate in the construction of subjectivity and social life?

Strong Social Constructionist: Nothing is a risk in itself - what we understand to be a ‘risk’ (or a hazard, threat or danger) is a product of historically, socially and politically contingent ‘ways of seeing’.

‘Governmentality’ perspectives/ (post-structuralism)

Renn defines two broad approaches to risk, those that are technical (actuarial, toxicological, epidemiological and engineering) and those that are non-technical (sociological and cultural). He argues that the definitions of risk used by these approaches contain three key elements: a) undesired outcomes (danger or hazard), b) the possibility of

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these outcomes occurring (probability or likelihood) and c) their understanding of the nature of reality.

Both classifications emphasise how starting assumptions about the nature of reality and the nature of knowledge - ontology and epistemology - shape how risk is conceptualised, researched and acted upon. They are useful in understanding the starting assumptions and precommitments of risk perception researchers, the kinds of research questions they ask and the kinds of explanations they develop. This thesis takes a ‘weak’ social constructionist view as its starting point to understanding lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risk.

Table 2.2: Classification of risk disciplines and their perspectives on risk, risk assessment and risk management (Renn 1992)

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2.4 Scientific Conceptualisations of Risk
2.4.1 Technical Conceptions of Risk
Technical conceptions have precise and fixed definitions of hazard and risk and therefore how they should be understood (Royal Society 1992). Hazard is a threat or danger that could harm a person, group, flora, fauna or other object. Risk is the mathematical concept for assigning a probability rating to a particular hazard occurring within a given period of time.

Risk is therefore defined as “…the probability that a particular adverse event occurs during a stated period of time, or results from a particular challenge” (Ibid pg. 2 ). Technical approaches view risk as:

Risk = Probability x Magnitude Time

This quantitative and statistical way of dealing with danger and hazard is used in technical, engineering, business and epidemiological disciplines. It has two important advantages firstly, it provides a universal measure of risk by providing a mathematical framework for assessing risk and defining risk as direct physical harm allows it to be more easily understood by different societies and cultures. Secondly, it sees hazards as independent of human agency and therefore views risk as an objective measure of the likelihood of those hazards occurring. Its biggest disadvantage is that it reduces what is seen as a threat to one that is narrow, limited and scientifically defined excluding individual, social and cultural notions of danger, what is worth protecting and how danger should be managed. As will be discussed in later chapters, in contrast to lay publics, expert-professionals during the planning and siting process tended to perceive risk in this realist way and used technical risk assessment and management approaches that are based on it.

2.4.2 Sociological and Cultural Conceptions of Risk
Sociologists and anthropologists have criticised this technical conception of risk and have developed a range of diverse, overlapping and sometimes contradictory socio-cultural conceptions of risk. In sociology and anthropology, risk tends to be used interchangeably to mean danger, hazard and threat and this usage is closer to lay and everyday uses of the word. Sociological and cultural definitions of risk aim to bring back the human and subjective dimensions to risk, hazard and danger. At the individual level it is about what people see as valuable and worthwhile to them. At the social level it is about what groups see as important and the role of social systems, institutions and processes in shaping and transforming individual and group perceptions. At the cultural level it is about how

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individuals and groups use cultural symbols, customs and traditions to structure, understand and manage danger.

There are three broad types of socio-cultural conceptualisations of risk: realist, weak constructionist and strong constructionist. Realist views of risk argue that lay conceptions of risk are not about the probabilities of hazards occurring but about certain specific characteristics of hazards themselves that are important to people. One of the most influential definitions of risk that has been developed from cognitive research, risk analysis and risk communication is risk as ‘threats to people and the things they value’ (Kates and Kasperson 1983). In this view of risk “…it is the characteristics of hazards, rather than some single abstract concept such as risk, that people appear to evaluate” (Royal Society 1992 pg. 89).

Weak constructionist definitions see risk as real but mediated by personal, social and cultural meanings and processes. The National Research Council defines risk as “A concept used to give meaning to things, forces, or circumstances that pose danger to people or to what they value” (National Research Council 1996). In a similar way modern geographers argue that, “…technological (environmental) hazards are socially constructed. They are products of failures in technological devices or systems as well as failures in political, social, economic systems that govern the use of the technology” (Cutter 1993 pg. 9).

Finally, strong constructionist definitions see risk as a social and cultural artefact that is created by societal structures and cultural processes. Rayner states that “[Risk is not]…a reified concept…a thing “out there” in nature. Rather risk is a way of classifying a whole series of complex interactions and relationships between people, as well as between man and nature” (Rayner and Cantor 1987 pg. 5). Slovic, from a psychometric perspective, argues that psychometric research has no definition of risk, risk rather is “…subjectively defined by individuals who may be influenced by a wide array of psychological, social, institutional, and cultural factors” (Slovic 1992 pg. 120). Similarly, Wynne argues that “Risk is assumed to have an intrinsic, objective natural meaning that everyone should share, rather than a meaning that has been created and imposed by particular dominant institutions with their own interests and anxieties, that systematically conceals certain issues and questions from public attention” (Wynne 1992 pg. 284). Ulrich Beck defines risk as “… a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernisation itself. Risks as opposed to older dangers, are consequences which relate to the threatening force of modernisation and to its globalisation of doubt” (Beck 1992 pg. 21). For Mary Douglas, risk and risk perception are the ways by which social groups, organisations and cultures maintain boundaries between themselves and others. They are
2

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a means of maintaining the boundary between the internal and external as well as a way of dealing with social deviance to achieve social order. Edelstein, from a social geography perspective, also argues that “…risk is a technocratic concept that has made its way into social science jargon, research and theory” but has little to do with lay understandings of danger (Edelstein 2000 pg. 136).

The conceptions of risk described above show three broad categories of risk definitions: definitions based on largely objective and broadly measurable characteristics of risk; definitions based on objective aspects and subjective ‘human value’ aspects of risk; and definitions which see risk as a social and cultural construct. Most, if not all, of these conceptions see risk as a complex and problematic notion; they see lay conceptualisations as rich, diverse and influenced by a wide variety of individual, social and cultural factors; and finally, they see risk as a construct intimately related to socio-cultural relationships, processes and structures. Most of the authors cited above appear in the literature review chapters that follow and their work will show how their core conceptualisation of risk influences their explanations of lay perceptions.

Finally, with the exception of Edelstein, none of the above authors explores how lay and everyday uses and understandings of the word risk link with their socio-cultural conceptions of risk. They do not explore how technical and socio-cultural expert-professionals must at some level share a common conception of risk with each other and lay publics because we all seem to broadly understand what people mean when they use the word risk. This is an important point because it begs the question of whether lay publics have differing conceptions of risk or whether they have differing conceptions of risk assessment from those held by technical risk expert-professionals. There seems to be a core understanding of risk which is the same for expert-professionals and lay publics but technical expertprofessionals use a narrower risk assessment procedure while lay publics use a broader approach that incorporates values and other social and cultural factors. This issue is explored in more detail in Section 2.8, was a theme that was pursued in the fieldwork and is discussed in later chapters.

2.5 Scientific Conceptualisations of Uncertainty
While the concept of uncertainty is closely linked to that of risk it has received less attention particularly in the study of risk perception. Where risk is the probability of a given adverse event occurring, uncertainty is generally defined as an event, usually adverse for which a probability rating cannot be given. Adams asserts that even in the scientific literature there is a strong blurring of the boundaries between risk and uncertainty as many times what is put forward as a risk probability is in fact an expert judgement or ‘educated guess’ rather

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than an empirically-based probability score (Adams 1995). He refers to the philosopher A. J. Ayer and his characterisation of the senses in which the word ‘chance’ is used to make judgements about probability: judgements of prior probability, estimates of actual frequency, and judgements of credibility. Adams argues that the first two senses are what is usually defined as ‘objective’ risk and the third sense actually enters the domain of uncertainty.

Wynne also describes the importance of what he terms ‘indeterminacy’ which he relates to an earlier concept of ‘structural uncertainty’ where there are events and processes which cannot be quantified or given a probability rating and therefore need an element of social and human judgement to lead to an appropriate societal solution (Wynne 1992). Funtowicz and Ravetz in their work on post-normal science have also explored what they term ‘system uncertainties’ and have defined three levels of uncertainty: technical, methodological and epistemological. Technical uncertainty is about inexactness and can be managed through the use of statistics and normal science. Methodological uncertainty is about unreliability and occurs in more complex situations in medicine, engineering and professional consultancy where expert judgement is used to overcome the uncertainty. Epistemological uncertainty is about a ‘true’ lack of knowledge where we are ignorant of our ignorance (Funtowicz and Ravetz 1992). Finally Andrew Stirling has developed a four category approach to classifying knowledge about hazards which is made up of risk (a hazard and its probability of occurring are known), uncertainty (a hazard is known but its probability of occurring is unknown), ambiguity (where the hazard is not fully known and the probability of occurring is not known), ignorance (where the hazard and its probability of occurring are unknown) (Stirling 1997).

As with conceptualisations of risk here again the scientific understanding of uncertainty seems to be at odds with lay and everyday understandings of uncertainty. This issue is explored in more detail in Section 2.8, was investigated during the fieldwork and again will be discussed in later chapters.

2.6 Scientific Conceptualisations of Risk Perception
The actual process of perceiving risk in human individuals seems to be largely undefined. There are diagrammatic models of how risk perception is supposed to work for example MacGill’s model and the health risk model but there is no comprehensive process definition of risk perception (MacGill 1989; Bennett and Calman 1999).

Cutter describes perception in the narrow sense as “…the actual receipt of environmental stimuli by one of our five sensory perceptors - sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch.” Cognition

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“…is the process of making sense of the stimuli that are coded and filtered through individual experiences, value and belief systems, and personalities, and then ultimately stored as knowledge and memories” (Cutter 1993 pg. 13). Geographers tend to see risk or hazard perception as more than a cognitive process that forms perceptions, rather geographers aim to explore how perception relates to judgement and in turn to action as well as the factors that influence these judgements and actions (O'Riordan 1986). This is similar to the way attitudinal researchers study how attitudes to risk affect cognitive thoughts and physical behaviours towards risk (Eiser, Richard and van der Pligt, J 1988). Cognitive psychologists on the other hand explore risk perception itself and the underlying cognitive heuristic processes. Most sociological and cultural perspectives on risk see risk perception as “…inherently multidimensional and personalistic, with a particular risk or hazard meaning different things to different people and different things in different contexts…[And it]…cannot be reduced to a single subjective correlate of a particular mathematical aspect of risk, such as the product of the probabilities and consequences of any event” (Royal Society 1992 pg. 89).

The above definitions of risk perception show that, as yet, no comprehensive process definition of risk perception has been developed. This is a key gap in the literature because only by developing and debating a general descriptive understanding of what aspects and cognitive processes of the mind go into forming our risk perceptions will we begin to see how the various general explanations of risk perception, described in the next chapter, can be brought together to form a broadly coherent picture of the process of lay risk perception. A comprehensive process definition of risk perception is developed in Chapter 10, the discussion.

2.7 Classifications of Risk & Risk Controversies
There have been a range of attempts at classifying hazards and risk. Taxonomies are useful in structuring risks and acting as guides to risk reduction policies. Chauncey Starr was the first to develop a binary classification of voluntary versus involuntary exposure from his work on technological and societal hazards (Starr 1969). Whyte and Burton have developed a classification system based on subject categories for environmental risks (Burton, Kates et al. 1978). The categories include public health, natural resources, economic development, disasters and new products. Slovic has used his psychometric approach to create a classification based on the degree of dread and unknownness (Slovic 1987). Hohenemser, Kates & Slovic have developed an influential seven category classification based on twelve hazard characteristics as assessed by a panel of experts (Hohenemser, Kates et al. 1983).

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However, Winterfeldt and Edwards argue that while these classifications are useful they do not help explain risk conflicts and why they occur (Winterfeldt and Edwards 1984). They develop a classification of technological conflicts where morals and values enter the frame (see Table 2.4). Their classification has three broad categories: A) manufactured products, B) industrial development, and C) technological mysteries. They link this to a six category classification of levels of conflict. They argue that conflicts can occur at various levels from debate over facts and probability estimates to issues about equity (risk-benefit distributions) and basic social values. So, some conflicts will simply be about technical aspects of risk measurement, while at the other extreme, some conflicts will have little to do with risk assessment and much more to do with ethics and values.

This classification of risk conflicts is important because it shifts the focus of risk classification systems away from the characteristics of risks and hazards themselves to showing how different conceptions, different values and different ways of managing risks are the more important ways of classifying risks. The key theme that this highlights, which is pursued in later chapters, is that potentially all types of risk conflicts, including siting and planning processes involve three facets: conflicts about the facts or direct consequences of a risk, conflicts about how a given risk is framed and assessed and conflicts about how a risk burden is distributed and dealt with. These themes were pursued in the fieldwork and helped to develop an analytical-conceptual framework to understand residents’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risk during the siting and planning process.

Table 2.3: Taxonomies of Edwards 1984)
Controversies A.1 Dramatic health effects from food/drug/consumer products A.2 Uncertain, low dose effects from food/drug/consumer products B.1 Local large scale industrial development B.2 Diffuse, widespread pollutants C.1 Disaster threats and catastrophe potential C.2 Value threats and moral impositions ** Primary level of conflict *Secondary level of conflict

Controversies and Levels of Conflict (Winterfeldt and
Facts data Levels of conflict Estimates Definitions probabilities assumptions Risk/benefit tradeoffs Risk/benefits distributions Basic social values

*----------------**-------------------* *----------------------**---------------------* *----------------------**-------------------* *----------------------**-------------------- * **---------------------------------------------------------------------------------* *---------------------------------------------------------------------------------**

2.8 Lay Conceptualisations of Risk and Uncertainty
The scientific conceptualisations of risk and uncertainty are different from the lay conceptualisations of these ideas.

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Looking at how we use the word 'risk' in modern everyday English we can see evidence of a range of meanings: • "That's risky" or "That's a risk to your family" involves notions of threat, danger, hazard, and harm. • "You're taking a risk leaving your bike unlocked" or "That increases your risk of heart disease" involves the notion of chance and probability.

The general dictionary definitions of risk are: 1. The possibility of misfortune or loss/ hazard, and 2. to expose to danger or loss/hazard (Makins 1986). In everyday use the term 'risk' seems to incorporate first and foremost the idea of exposure to a danger and only secondarily the idea of the probability of that danger occurring in the scientifc sense. In the Collins dictionary definition given above the definition does not even talk about probability but uses the much looser term possibility. There could therefore be the potential, an idea argued in more general terms by Margolis in the next chapter, where while both meanings are understood in any give situation or conversation one or other of the meanings will predominate. In normal conversation there is a tendency to emphasise either the danger meaning or the probability meaning of risk (Slovic, Flynn et al. 1993). This is different from the technical scientific use of the word risk where chance or probability is the key part of the definition with hazard and danger being the subject of the probability .

Moving on to uncertainty, the general dictionary definitions of uncertainty are: 1. not able to be accurately known or predicted, 2. Not sure or confident, 3. Not precisely determined, established, or decided (Makins 1986). As stated earlier current perspectives on uncertainty are illuminating but they do not seem to connect up the differences between expert and lay perceptions of uncertainty. The dictionary definitions take on board the issue of not being able to assign a probability rating but they also incorporate the ideas of lack of surety and unknowness. Tentatively developing this line of reasoning leads to Table 2.5 which suggests one simple schema for how expert and lay uncertainty might be broadly understood. Certainty is the 100% or 0% probability of an event occurring or not occurring while ignorance is being totally unaware that an event could potentially occur. One of the issues that may therefore underlie differences in expert and public perceptions of risk is that while risk experts see risk events largely in terms of probabilities, lay publics may be seeing risk events more in terms of possibilities. It may also be that, just as lay publics may overlap risk and uncertainty as concepts, experts may tend to use uncertainty and ignorance interchangeably (i.e. uncertainty due to the unquantifiability of the risk and uncertainty due to ignorance). Most experts rather than saying that they don’t know and have no way of knowing in a given situation may fall back on giving an ‘educated guess’ or professional judgement without explicitly characterising it as such.

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The implications of this are that the usage of risk and uncertainty in everyday and lay situations can be confusing and problematic and may be one significant cause of misunderstandings and miscommunications between risk expert-professionals and lay publics. This also links to the wider linguistic issues highlighted in Section 2.2.2.

Table 2.4: A suggested simple schema of the differences and similarities between expert and lay conceptions of risk and uncertainty in terms of possibility and probability.
Possibility of Event Occurring Known Known Probability of Event Occurring Either 100% or 0% Between 0.1%-99.9% EXPERT Danger Classification Certainty Risk LAY Danger Classification Certainty Risk/ Uncertainty (Possibility of hazard occurring) Known Not Quantifiable Uncertainty Uncertainty/ Risk (Possibility of hazard occurring) Unknown Not Applicable Uncertainty/ Ignorance Ignorance

2.9 Summary
As I stated earlier, technical approaches to risk have two important advantages: they provide a universal mathematical measure of risk and use a definition of risk that, being confined to physical harm to humans and the environment, is easily understandable across a wide range of societies and cultures. However this restriction is at the cost of removing the complexity and diversity of how human beings and human communities perceive and understand danger and risk. This becomes an issue when policies and decisions depend on communities accepting expert judgements based on technical risk assessment and management approaches that exclude a community’s own values, wishes and experiences.

Sociological and cultural conceptualisations and definitions aim to incorporate the human dimension into risk and risk perception creating rich and complex definitions but at the cost of a range of diverse, diffuse and potentially confusing meanings. Exploring lay understandings of risk and uncertainty also seems to show that socio-cultural definitions and conceptualisations only partially connect up the differences between expert and lay understandings of the meanings of these two concepts.

Two crucial points seem to emerge from the literature that may explain why there seems to be only a partial connecting up. Firstly, sociological and cultural explanations may have lost the simpler understandings that most people have most of the time in their desire to understand risk in its richness and complexity as a discourse and process in modern societies and cultures. Secondly, and more importantly, risk researchers and experts may be mixing up and conflating people’s understandings of risk and their understandings and
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views about risk assessment. It may be that while people have a relatively simple view about risk as danger and threat they may have much more complex, contradictory and diverse views about how risks should be assessed and what goes into making a good risk assessment. What lay views and socio-cultural conceptualisations have in common though is that different individuals and groups rate risks very differently, depending on context, and that risk has important connections to social and cultural relationships, structures and values.

Finally, while there are risk perception models, both technical and non-technical conceptualisations do not seem to have developed an adequate generalised process definition of risk perception that encompasses how individual’s perceive risk through their senses and over time. This may be due to a reluctance to cross disciplinary boundaries and understandings as the notion of developing a generalised process definition of risk perception implies that each of the disciplinary understandings and perspectives explored in the coming chapters have some validity and value. Like the conceptualisation of risk it may also have something to do with the antagonistic realist versus constructionist debate in the field of risk research and the difficulty in developing an approach that combines the best aspects of these two perspectives (Irwin 2001b).

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3. General Understandings of Risk Perception
3.1 Introduction
In this chapter I review the relevant theories, approaches and perspectives dealing with how people perceive risks. My aim is to distil key general insights into how individuals and groups perceive risk and how the different understandings can be brought together to create a complementary understanding of lay publics’ perceptions of risks. In the next chapter, Chapter 4, I review the research on risk perception in the context of municipal and hazardous waste disposal facilities (WDF), contaminations events, other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks and environmental impact assessment (EIA).

This literature review does not explore economic and decision analysis approaches to risk and risk choices as these approaches take a prescriptive approach to risk and risk perception (Geweke 1992; Nau, Gronn et al. 1997). These approaches include cost-benefit analysis, willingness-to-pay, contingent valuation and multi-attribute-utility theory. They work from the axiom that individuals and groups are logical calculators, who decide risk issues on the basis of the most ‘rational’ choice, and then go on to develop mathematical and logical procedures by which individuals and groups can and should make ‘rational’ decisions and choices when faced with risks. Neither does this review explore the epidemiological evidence on the health effects of waste disposal facilities. This is because most epidemiologists would agree that the strength of evidence is weak in the case of landfills and incinerators and non-existent in the case of waste transfer stations (Denison and Silbergeld 1988; Vrijheid 2000).

The key thing that emerges from this review is that there are three broad strands to understanding perceptions of risks - individual, societal and cultural. It is only by understanding and explaining risk at all these levels that we can fully comprehend lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks. Though it is worth noting that in different situations and contexts one or other level may provide more useful insights.

3.2 Structure of the Literature Review
This thesis uses a functional classification system to categorise the risk perception literature compared to those traditionally found in reviews of risk perception, see Table 3.1. Reviews have often adopted a disciplinary-based approach looking at risk perception from a geographic, psychometric, sociological and anthropological perspective. Instead, this chapter explores theories, approaches and perspectives to studying risk perception under
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the categories of individual, societal and cultural levels of explanation. The individual level encompasses research that describes the personal, psychological and physical characteristics that influence risk perception in individuals, the societal looks at research that shows how societal structures and processes shape individual and group perceptions of risks and the cultural level deals with research showing how cultural symbols, customs and hierarchies affect perceptions of risks.

Firstly, this way of classifying incorporates the idea that risk perception can be understood and explained as occurring at a number of levels and that the factors that influence risk perception need to be addressed at many levels simultaneously. As discussed in the previous chapter there is a spectrum of socio-cultural conceptualisations of risk that are not clearly distinct but blend into one another. The last chapter showed that perceptions of risks are complex, diverse and influenced by socio-cultural relationships, processes and structures. Secondly, the risk perception literature incorporates a range of disciplinary approaches, broad perspectives, theories, frameworks and models. Some approaches are empirically based with a quantitative methodology, other approaches or perspectives are based on historical readings and still others have a qualitative methodological focus. The classification suggested here allows these diverse knowledges to be placed at the structural level at which they attempt to explain risk perception so that connections and differences at the theoretical and methodological levels can be seen more clearly. Finally, this approach to classifying explanations of risk perception may make it easier for non-risk experts and lay publics to understand and apply risk perception research.

By looking at Table 3.1, some clustering of ideas and perspectives does become evident. The individual level of explanation examines the emotional and intuitive elements of risk perception and has at its core three conflicting theoretical viewpoints about risk perception: non-rationality, rationality and plural rationalities. There are also three lesser theoretical viewpoints, at this level, which argue that risk perception is about misperception, lack of knowledge and personality. The societal level of explanation examines the role of societal institutions, processes and relationships in influencing risk perception at the individual and group levels. The cultural level of explanation, while overlapping considerably with the sociological and societal explanations, examines how cultural ‘worldviews’ influence individual and group perceptions of risk. Specifically, how the symbolic aspects of risk and danger – morals, power, politics, identity and notions of space and place - are key to understanding risk and risk perception.

However, a number of criticisms can be made about this classification system. Firstly, the categories could be seen as too broad and similar to an existing three-category

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Table 3.1: Suggested Classification of Theories, Approaches and Perspectives by Individual, Societal and Cultural Levels of Explanation
(Looking from left to right theories have been linked to approaches and perspectives that incorporate all or a key part of the theory, and approaches that have strong connections with perspectives are found at the same row. A dotted horizontal line shows where there is a mixing or merging of perspectives and approaches which while different have some degree of similarity) BOLDED items are discussed in this review as being most relevant for this thesis

Theories Non-rationality Misperception
Theory of Reasoned Action (not reviewed)

INDIVIDUAL Approaches
Cognitive Approaches (not reviewed)

Perspectives
Intuition & the Risk Matrix Model

SOCIETAL Theories

Approaches

Perspectives

Theories

CULTURAL Approaches Perspectives

Attitudinal Research
Economic & Decision Analysis
(not reviewed)

Rational Choice Theory Knowledge Personality Plural Rationalities/ Worldviews

Wealth Theory

Early Risk Communication Risk Thermostat (not reviewed) Psychometric (not reviewed)

Outrage Model

Risk Communication (not reviewed)

Social Amplification of Risk Fairness Hypothesis Risk Society & Culture Conditional Knowledges & Identity
Governmentality (not reviewed)

Cultural/ Symbolic
Subjectivity The Other (not reviewed) Pleasure (not reviewed)

Politics & Power
Natural Hazards Adjustment Other Risk Perception Models Early Geographical Hazards in Context & Palm’s Framework

Geographical

MacGill’s Model
Health Risk Model

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classification of the psychological, sociological and cultural/anthropological. A second criticism, is that the categories imply a false separation between individuals, society and culture with little interaction between them. In other words, the individual level does not have any effects on the societal and cultural and vice versa. In answer to the first criticism while the similarity is evident the latter classification system still retains a strong disciplinary focus with the psychological category tending to refer to cognitive and psychometric approaches only whilst excluding other individual-level understandings. The second criticism is a problem for all classification systems but this approach is less restrictive and constraining than a disciplinary-based system.

3.3 Individual Level Theories, Perspectives & Approaches

3.3.1 Individual Level Theories
Non-rationality or irrationality is probably the earliest view on public perceptions of risk and is still current today (Berger, Kristol et al. 1991). The core tenet of this theory is that public reactions to risk are based on ‘irrational’ processes involving emotion, intuition and illogical thought. There is, therefore, no rational basis for these reactions and fears, no way of explaining these perceptions, and no way of predicting them or any actions based upon them. Furthermore, these non-rational processes tend to be ‘rationalised’ in a post-hoc process where reasons are developed and information collected to justify the perceptions formed. Information that does not fit the perception is said to be ignored. Because of this, individuals will tend to have a range of ‘inconsistent views’ on different risks even where the probabilities of the risk event are the same. This theory has been criticised by risk reserachers and has largely been discarded as evidence has accumulated that while we, as lay publics, may be emotional and intuitive we are not irrational (Shrader-Frechette 1998). Instead we use cognitive ‘rules of thumb’ developed from lived experience (heuristics) and experiential knowledge that, as a whole, generate good solutions to the challenges we face in the everyday situations that we encounter (Kahneman, Slovic et al. 1982; Otway 1992).

The opposite end of this theoretical perspective is rational choice theory or the ‘rational actor paradigm’ which states that individuals or groups are totally rational actors that take account of all the relevant information and then make a reasoned and rational choice based on their own self-interest. Self-interest in this context is defined as being anything which benefits or is of value to an individual or group either materially, emotionally or intellectually. It is upon this normative assumption that most of the economic and decision analysis approaches to rational decision-making are based (Samuelson, Nordhaus et al. 1995; Blore and Nunan 1996; Huhtala 1999). The key criticism of this theory is that the amount of

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information collection and intellectual ability that this theory demands of ordinary people in an everyday decision-making context is immense and unrealistic (Renn, Jaeger et al. 2000). This has led to the development of the theory of ‘bounded’ rationality which states that within time, information and intellectual constraints individuals and groups make the most ‘satisficing’ or satisfactory choice they can. However there is still considerable debate about whether even this bounded version of the rational actor fits the way real people in their everyday lives deal with risk and choice (Douglas 1985; Samuelson, Nordhaus et al. 1995).

Between the two extremes of irrationality and total rationality is the theory of plural rationalities. In its simplest form this theory states that experts and the public disagree on risk, not because the experts are ‘rational’ and the public ‘irrational’ but because each has a different ‘rationality’. So, while experts are using a narrow view of risk seeing it as the probability of death and injury due to a specific hazard, the public have a different and/or broader view of risk and risk assessment that incorporates other issues such as equity, ethics and power. This perspective originated in the work of Mary Douglas and has been extended most notably by Dake and Schwarz and Thompson (Schwarz and Thompson 1990; Dake 1991). The theory argues that people attempt to make sense of the world around them in a coherent and comprehensive way so that they can interpret and act in the world. Hence, an individual’s worldview is their understanding of the world, their place in it and their relationship to others. This worldview also incorporates an individual’s system of values and ethics. Furthermore, among lay publics themselves there is not one homogeneous perception of risks rather different people and different groups of people will have a different viewpoint and bring a different ‘rationality’ to their perceptions and understandings of risk and danger. There are, therefore, plural or rival rationalities each consistent in terms of its own framework and values. Many of the risk perception approaches and viewpoints incorporate a version of or have echoes of this plural rationalities argument including the geographical, outrage, fairness, risk society and cultural/symbolic perspectives.

Three lesser theoretical perspectives argue that misperception, amount of knowledge and personality traits play a significant role in risk perception. Misperception theory argues that the public responds ‘inappropriately’ to risks and reacts with high concern when experts judge the risks to be small because the public have misperceived and misunderstood the risks. This ‘misperception’ is due to two key factors: errors in cognition (i.e. cognitive biases in thinking) and inaccurate information and ‘distortion’ from non-expert sources such as the media and personal social networks (Kahneman, Slovic et al. 1982). This theory was the starting point for early risk perception research as it studied why risk communication strategies failed to produce the expected results. Its aim was to understand misperception so that communication strategies that would reduce these misperceptions could be

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developed. This theoretical viewpoint, like the irrationality perspective, has been criticised most notably by research into the public understanding of science which argues that lay publics are not simply ignorant misinformed people looking to experts to provide them with objective knowledge that they uncritically absorb. It is not just a matter of providing lay publics with factual knowledge because people come with their own understandings and views about how the world works and new knowledge is actively incorporated into these existing understandings (Irwin and Wynne 1993).

Knowledge theory, as the name implies, argues that an individual’s perception of risks is related to their level of knowledge and information about a particular risk or danger. So, the more people know about and are aware of the risks and dangers that face them the more likely they are to become concerned. Conversely, the less people know about a given risk that may affect them the less concerned they are and the lower their perceptions of being at risk. According to this theory risk perceptions should have a direct relationship and association with the level of knowledge concerning the risk in question (Johnson, Sandman et al. 1992; Johnson 1993; Jenkins-Smith and Silva 1998). However, while knowledge plays a part in how we perceive risk it is only one factor and arguably not the most important. A case in point would be nuclear power that after more than fifty years of risk communication still engenders fear and dread.

Finally, personality theory uses the concept of personality traits and in particular two broad types of personalities - the risk-taking and risk-averse personalities - to explain people’s perceptions of risk. This theory states that individuals are predisposed to taking a certain amount of risk, some have a low threshold and are risk averse while others have a high risk threshold and accept and enjoy higher levels of risk by for example undertaking extreme sports. This theory therefore argues that specific patterns of risk perception could be mapped to the personality types described in the psychology literature (Wildavsky and Dake 1998). The personality theory framework is used in economic understandings of individual behaviours towards risks and, in the risk perception context, has been elegantly developed by John Adams through his risk thermostat model (Adams 1995).

Taking the standpoint that each of the theoretical perspectives has something to bring to the understanding of perceptions of risks a pattern seems to emerge between what can be termed innate or fixed characteristics of individuals (and groups) and their changeable aspects. Irrationality, misperception and personality theory argue that there are innate, and largely unchangeable, characteristics of individuals that makes them react to risks and dangers in specific and potentially non-rational ways. In the case of misperception this may be amenable to some modification through the intervention of expert-professionals educating lay publics but the tendency to misperceive without expert guidance remains. Plural rationality, knowledge and rational choice theory argue that individuals respond to a

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variety of factors when dealing with risk and danger and that their perceptions of risks can be amenable to change by reasoned means.

More importantly irrationality, misperception and personality theories do, without meaning to, highlight the importance of individual characteristics, particularly emotion and intuition, in how risk perceptions are formed. The emotional aspects are captured in a positive way by a number of approaches and perspectives including attitudinal research and Sandman’s outrage model (see Section 3.5.4). While the intuitive aspects are captured well by Margolis’ work on intuition and cognition (see next section). On the other hand rational choice, plural rationalities and knowledge theories highlight the importance of reason in lay publics’ perceptions of risks and benefits. A synthesis of these insights would argue that individuals, and groups, are emotional, intuitive, imaginative and reasoned in their reactions and responses to risk and danger. Furthermore, emotion and intuition are not irrational and useless mechanisms but important ways, alongside reason and imagination, which humans use to frame and make sense of the world around them (Evans 2001).

3.3.2 The Role of Intuition & Patterns of Cognition
Margolis highlights the importance of intuition as a crucial process in our perceptions of risks. He takes an evolutionary and cognitive approach, arguing that human cognition is an extension and development of animal cognition which depends both on a species’ genetic endowment as well their experiences of the world. As many of our experiences of the world are broadly similar, this means that some of the ‘patterns of cognition’ or ‘intuition’ are widely shared across societies and cultures, some are more specifically related to a particular culture while still others are peculiar to the individual and her/his experiences (Margolis 1996).

Sometimes this intuitive cognition can go wrong because our experiences never exactly match the new situations we encounter. We are constantly acting and reacting on less information than we would ideally like to have. Most of the time this intuitive cognition produces a reasonable result or we recognise that the cognition is not working and try another. However, in certain situations this does not occur. Citing the work of psychologists such as Wason on logical illusions and Kahneman and Tversky statistical illusions, Margolis argues that this work can give us an insight into why cognition can go wrong when social issues are considered (Kahneman and Tversky 1981).

He argues that there is a spectrum of judgement (see Fig. 3.2) made up of three broad areas: the narrow and limited world of puzzles and controlled experiments; the normal area of ordinary experiences and the broad area of social issues. At the narrow end we have limited experiences in information-poor environments. While at the broad end we have

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judgements that transcend any single individual’s experiences, so that the consequences of our actions tend to be diffuse, delayed and difficult to interpret. So that, unlike in the normal area of judgement, there is poor feedback and hence poor learning from experiences at the narrow and broad ends. Intuitive cognition therefore works well in the normal range, creates cognitive ‘illusions’ at the narrow end of controlled experiments and, depending on the context, creates ‘illusory judgements’ at the broad end of social issues.

Narrow

Normal

Broad

Fig. 3.1: Spectrum of judgement (Margolis 1996)

Margolis argues that similar to gestalt images like the rabbit-duck (see Fig. 3.3) we tend to see things either one way or the other when faced with certain social issues. In proverbial terms when we see ‘better safe than sorry’, in a given situation, we do not think of the positive side of the pairing ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

Fig. 3.2: The rabbit-duck illusion (Margolis 1996)

Initially, in these situations we find ourselves alternating between one way of seeing and its rival. For a gestalt drawing like the rabbit-duck illusion this is the usual situation but when we need to act such a state cannot be sustained for long. Instead, when a pair of gestalts are mutually incompatible, we tend to lock in on one or the other. Either we act on one or the other or if the decision is not critical we lose interest. From this, Margolis argues that in ‘intuitive’ risk assessment, a similar process occurs, the pair of proverbial contexts people use is ‘better safe than sorry’ versus ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. The first signals ‘caution’; the second signals taking ‘opportunities’. This allows the creation of a two by two risk matrix table (see Fig. 3.4). Margolis argues that in general we aim to balance the risks and benefits of a given situation as otherwise we would avoid risk situations altogether.

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Fig. 3.3: The risk matrix (Margolis 1996) OPPORTUNITY Yes No

Yes DANGER No

Fungibility [Cell 1]

“Better safe than sorry” [Cell 2]

“Nothing ventured, Nothing Gained” [Cell 3]

Indifference [Cell 4]

There are four cells to the risk matrix table, cell 1, ‘fungibility’, is where people are aware of both the potential opportunities and the potential dangers. In cell 2, they are aware of the dangers but not of the opportunities. In cell 3, they are aware of the opportunities but not of the dangers. While in cell 4, they are not aware of or are indifferent to the opportunities and dangers. The opportunities and dangers that are considered, or as Margolis terms it are “on-screen” for a person, are what is placed in the cells by the person themselves not those that an expert might think are important. Similar to attitudinal research, Margolis asserts that it is important to bear in mind that an individual may not be sensitive to all the risks and opportunities of a given situation, rather certain salient risks and opportunities take centre stage. So instead of experts having a narrow view and people seeing things that experts neglect, as plural rationalities theory argues, the reason that lay-expert conflicts occur is because of threshold effects. Simply put human beings tend to see the world in dichotomous ways and in dealing with risk this tendency is even stronger where the costs and benefit are small.

The criticisms of Margolis’ work share many of those commonly made against cognitive research namely that there is a strong tendency to characterise lay perceptions of risk as error, unreasonableness and irrationality while expert judgements are, with a few caveats, reasonable and right. Though Margolis specifically states that lay perceptions and intuitions are right most of the time, he undermines this in his writing by constantly using words like ‘unreasonable’ and ‘wrong’ when describing lay intuitions and ‘reasonable’ and ‘right’ when describing expert intuitions. However, Margolis also tends to argue too strongly that all reasoned argument in favour of an intuition will tend to be a post-hoc justification. Instead, it can be argued, on a broader basis, that while there may at times be an element of post-hoc justification, it is also possible that intuitions are based on previous experiences, knowledges and understandings of risk events. I would argue that just as face recognition is based on recognising a large number of individual aspects of the face and a considerable amount of cognition, so in the formation of an instant intuition or ‘gut feeling’ there is likely

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to be subconscious cognition taking place and previous cognition and emotion being recalled.

3.3.3 Attitudinal Approach
Most of the attitudinal research focuses on the development of attitude and behaviour models that explore and predict how information, experiences and events affect peoples’ attitudes and lead to action. An attitude is defined as a form of experience that refers to specific objects, events, people or issues and is primarily evaluative. It is mediated by language and is perceived of not simply as a personal subjective feeling that something is good or bad but that something is ‘truly’ good or bad. Attitudes are guides to how an individual should treat and act with regard to objects, events, people or issues. We view it as ‘true’ until some new event or information compels us to change our minds (Eiser, Richard J. and van der Pligt, J. 1988). Attitudes are formed because our view of the world is selective as there is too much information to take in. Attitudinal researchers assert that we have relatively little insight into the impact of our own selective take-up of information and the interpretations and attitudes we form. We also tend to assume that our view of the world is shared by the majority of other people and so we find it difficult to understand why other people disagree. This has parallels to Margolis’ arguments on intuitions.

There has been some key attitudinal work on technological risk perception focussing on nuclear energy (Otway, Maurer et al. 1978). Otway and colleagues found that people’s beliefs fell into four broad categories: 1. Economic and technical benefits 2. Environmental and physical hazards 3. Socio-political implications 4. Psychological well-being

Pro-nuclear individuals saw the economic benefits as most important while the anti-nuclear individuals saw the other three risk aspects as most important. This finding has been replicated in other studies showing that not only the importance of the issue but the relative negative and positive impacts are seen differently by individuals and groups with different attitudes to a given issue (Eiser, Richard J. and van der Pligt, J. 1988). The participants fell into three groups: pro, neutral and anti in their rating of statements made in four categories: economic, environmental, public health/psychological and social. Of these ‘psychological risk’ (psychosocial stress), ‘peace of mind’, and environmental risk, were the three aspects that had strong predictive powers to differentiate between the three attitudinal groupings. The study also showed the importance of salience as well as belief (e.g. while the attitudes between groups were small, in terms of potential employment created, the salience they placed on employment was very different). The supporters regarded it as very important

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while the objectors regarded it as much less so. Finally, there were also major differences in beliefs about the long term consequences of the siting (Eiser and van der Pligt 1979; Woo and Castore 1980; van der Pligt, van der Linden et al. 1982).

The attitudinal research on technological facilities shows that we all value and prioritise things differently and use these values to make a lay assessment of the risk and benefits of a given technological facility. It also shows that we use prior values, experiences and knowledges to frame what we think is important in a given context and that conflicts occur because of the differential nature of this framing process between and within the stakeholder groups involved.

3.3.4 Emotion, Imagination and the Outrage Model
Building on the psychometric work of Fischhoff and Slovic, who discovered a range of factors that influence lay publics’ perceptions of risks, Peter Sandman has explored the differences between expert and lay views on environmental health risks and argues that the scientific assessment of risks can be turned into an ‘equation’ which states that RISK=HAZARD (Fischhoff, Slovic et al. 1978; Slovic 1992; Sandman 1996). However, the public looks at a wider set of factors including values, power relationships, trust and so on. The lay equation therefore includes these wider aspects which he terms ‘outrage’ factors where:

RISK = HAZARD + OUTRAGE

For lay publics risk is the sum of hazard and outrage. He argues that these outrage factors are ignored by scientists assessing risks but are a real aspect of risks as assessed by the public (Sandman, Miller et al. 1993; Blake 1995; Grobe, Douthitt et al. 1999). While outrage factors are the characteristics of risks as discovered by the psychometric approach, Sandman also makes the point that each of these factors when present in a given situation lead to feelings of anger and outrage and the more factors come into play the more anger and outrage the affected individuals will tend to feel. So, risk managers and communicators need to pay more attention to and specifically tackle these outrage factors rather than simply the hazard aspects of risks. These factors are:

• •

Involuntary: Lack of control:

Foisting a risk, however small, onto people leads to outrage. Similar to involuntary where the lack of control is in how, where and when a given risk will be faced.

Unfairness:

When people feel that they bear more risks than others or that they face risks while others benefit.

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Immorality:

Links to issues of unfairness and the ethics of whether we should do certain things for example foetal embryo experimentation.

Improper Process: When people feel that those creating the risks are dishonest or have selfish motives.

Memorable:

Links to being able to relate the risk faced to other memorable risk experiences such as publicised disasters elsewhere.

Unfamiliarity:

Being faced with something new that is not part of our everyday experiences.

Dread:

Risks that create feelings of dread in people for example because they lead to cancer or death (e.g. nuclear power).

Concentrated:

This is usually termed diffusion but it is more appropriate to call it concentrated. Deaths and injuries that are concentrated, occur in a short period of time and at the same place lead to more outrage than those risks that are diffused in time and space.

While Sandman’s aim is to point out the key characteristics of risks that should be taken into account he does indirectly show how emotions, which are both reasonable and understandable, can be aroused by a given risk event. His model shows how we all use emotion as a form of expression against actions and events which we see as unwanted and unwarranted. This model, and psychometric research as a whole, also highlights the key role of imagination through the notion of ‘dread’, an almost existential fear, which is linked to imagined pictures of the potential damage and destruction that certain types of can cause for example nuclear weapons and nuclear power stations.

3.3.5 MacGill’s Model
Sally MacGill has described a model of risk perception made up of four components (see Fig 3.1). She maintains that risk perceptions are determined by a two-fold process, involving a person’s own private reflection on their personal experiences and their communications and connections with family, friends, work colleagues as well as public and private organisations. These communications and connections can lead to the confirmation or revision of views already held. It is the synthesis of people’s own understanding, their experiences of the social world and the ideas of others that creates their perceptions and beliefs about particular things or issues (MacGill 1989).

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Fig. 3.4: MacGill’s model of the process of risk perception (MacGill 1989)

She found six key determinants of attitudes to risk in the community of Sellafield where a nuclear power station was sited: material benefit, personal investment, workplace issues, malign effect, science and the media.

1. Material Benefit:

The importance of the nuclear facility to the economic well-being of individuals and the community.

2. Investment:

The time and effort people have put into creating a life for themselves in their community.

3. Workplace:

As the main employer in the area issues concerning leaks, bad practice and employee dissatisfaction spread through the whole community and quickly became local knowledge.

4. Malign Effect:

Recognition of the adverse effects of the facility (e.g. high rates of cancer in the area).

5. Science:

There were different understandings of science and different views on the ‘authority’ of science and its ability to manage risks.

6. Media:

Was a constant reminder of the bad environment created by the facility and stigmatised the local community.

In terms of Sellafield, MacGill found that different perspectives on risk were based on a mixture of these factors and the relative value individuals placed upon each of them. Furthermore, while some people had very strong beliefs that resisted change other people felt confused and uncertain. Thus a ‘rational’ response to this is to be concerned unless there are countervailing factors such as a strong belief in experts, material benefits and actual improvements in people’s quality of life. However, for many, a mixture of the positive and negative considerations led to feelings of confusion, bewilderment and disorientation that tended to be repressed so that the normal routines of life could be carried out. This occured in a wider social and cultural context and she argues that “…perceived risk is a social and institutional phenomenon, rather than something which is physical and calculable” (Ibid. pg. 56). She also argues that, in a wider context, media reporting can sensitise people through the words they use such as radiation, contamination or nuclear because they bring up images of bombs, cancer and death. This has similarities with the

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risk society perspectives developed by Beck and Giddens that are discussed in Section 3.4.3.

Social interaction therefore leads to attitudes being created, confirmed or changed. Arguments and risk positions that are repeated and become successful in influencing individuals and the community become one means by which social cohesion alongside the rejection of opposing ideas and positions. ‘Prejudices’ develop which instead of being seen as irrational are more like “filters of perception” that mediate an individual’s and group’s openness to the world. These ‘prejudices’ can be strongly held when they include deep social commitments such as distrust of authority, faith in the employer or trust in science (Ibid. pg. 57).

Finally, MacGill provides a useful visual diagram of the process of risk perception, she also shows that people’s perceptions of risks are determined by their judgement of the physical and symbolic characteristics of the risk source. What individuals will identify as characteristics and what it means to them will be shaped by the local social, cultural and economic context and so can change over time. MacGill’s work and conclusions throw an important light on public perceptions of risks particularly the role of reason and social interactions in shaping perceptions. However, some criticisms can be made of her work. First, her use of the term ‘prejudice’ implies that people’s understandings are a distorted version of a real ‘objective’ truth though she does qualify this by linking them with people’s commitments to certain values. Secondly, her work is specifically related to one community and one type of facility and so the wider generalisability or transferability of her work can be questioned.

3.3.6 Geographical Approach
The geographical approach originally began looking at natural hazards using an individuallevel approach. However this approach has changed over time and hazard/risk perception is increasingly seen in a societal, cultural and contextual framework (Burton, Kates et al. 1978; Palm 1990; Cutter 1993). Geographers have identified a number of general factors that affect individual perceptions of risk (Cutter 1993): 1. Personality 2. Societal and community influences 3. Cultural factors 4. Experience of hazards 5. Environmental philosophy i.e. how they view nature and the environment 6. Race & Gender 7. Socio-economic status 8. Distance from potential hazard

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Finally, there has been important work done by geographers on understanding the risk perception and coping responses of local people in communities facing environmental risks such as the siting of landfills and contamination events. This work will be reviewed in the next chapter.

3.3.7 Summary of Individual Level Explanations
The perspectives and approaches reviewed in this section argue that lay publics’ perceptions of risks are based on intuition, emotion, imagination and reason. Intuition is a form of cognition based on heuristics or ‘patterns of cognition’ developed in previous threat situations. Emotion is a crude and broad form of cognition based on the different states of mind felt and expressed in threat and non-threat situations (e.g. fear, joy, anger and sadness). Reason is a higher level form of cognition which uses logic, personal and social values, social relationships and previous experiences to judge the danger in new situations. This section also highlights the role of personal characteristics like age, gender, background and ethnicity, situational factors like proximity to the source of risk and the specific characteristics of risks in shaping perceptions of risks.

So lay publics are not irrational, ignorant or misperceiving they are using an array of cognitive processes to understand, assess and manage the risks and benefits that face them in any given situation or context. This assessment may not be readily recalled or pieced together by lay publics because it is not codified in the same way as expert knowledges but this does not mean that conscious and sub-conscious reasoning is not taking place. Furthermore, irrationality, misperception and rationality perspectives argue that individuals and groups should use the ideal model of scientific knowledge and action, in other words, that they should only make choices when they have sufficient scientifically robust evidence to hand and should disregard personal experiences, personal values, the judgement of people they respect and personal thought and reflection. This conflict is explored in more detail in the sections that follow.

The fieldwork chapters will show how residents and other stakeholders during the siting and planning process displayed plural rationalities. Expert-professionals tended to see residents perceptions of risks as being influenced by misperceptions caused by media distortion and lack of knowledge. Many residents had a fairly immediate intuitive reaction for or against the siting of the waste transfer station (WTS) and felt a range of emotions and ‘outrage’. Residents also assessed the costs and benefits of the WTS in economic, environmental, social and psychological (quality of life) terms. The neighbourhood was not homogeneous but was made up of concerned, supportive, unconcerned and unaware residents who used social networks as well as personal reflection, experiences and values to understand and assess the impact of the siting on themselves and the wider community.

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3.4 Societal Level Theories, Perspectives & Approaches

3.4.1 Societal Level Theories
The key theory at this level is what is termed ‘political’ theory in the risk literature. It states that differences in perceptions of risk are based on struggles over power and conflicts between different interests in society. It therefore argues that it is the social relationships between men and women, people of different ethnicities, rich and poor and so on that determines how these groups perceive risks (Fiorino 1989; Jasanoff 1998; Sjöberg 1999).

The second theoretical perspective is termed ‘economic theory’ in the risk literature but is perhaps more appropriately termed the ‘wealth’ theory. There are two versions of this theoretical perspective. In the first version, rich people are more willing to take and accept risks because they have a greater share of the benefits arising from the taking of these risks and are also able to shield themselves more from their negative consequences. The poor on the other hand are less willing to take and accept risks because they gain little benefit from them and are less able to shield themselves from the negative consequences. In the second version, the ‘post-materialist’ version of the theory, the reasoning is reversed. Rich people become less interested in what they have and what they have gained from modern industrial society and instead are more concerned about what they have lost such as a sense of community and simpler and ‘healthier’ ways of living. Rich people having fulfilled most of their material needs and wants are now more concerned with subtle quality of life issues that make them more aware of risks when compared to poorer people (Wildavsky and Dake 1998).

The third theoretical perspective that emerges at the societal level is the role of trust and the importance of trust relationships between risk experts, institutions and lay publics. At its simplest this perspective argues that distrust of expert and other powerful institutions such as government and business gives rise to increasing perceptions of risk while trust in experts and institutions leads to reduced perceptions of feeling at risk. The possible causes for this distrust are many and varied and include the idea of a ‘decline in deference’ to experts and institutions, past experience of failures by experts and institutions and an increased desire for democratic decision-making (Fiorino 1989; Laird 1989; Jasanoff 1998).

All three theoretical perspectives have in common their stress on the importance of social relationships, processes and structures in influencing and mediating people’s perceptions of risks.

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3.4.2 Fairness Hypothesis
Steve Rayner argues that the public are not concerned about issues of statistical probability when the choices facing them have very low probabilities of risk such as radiation therapy in medicine and acceptable levels of potential carcinogens in the environment. In his research he found that only a small number of the general public expected that life should be totally free of risk (Rayner 1992; Rayner and Cantor 1998).

Rayner asks the question, what do the public care about? and goes on to develop a polythetic concept of risk. He argues that people are interested in three issues - trust, liability and consent. They want to know three things: a) are the managing and regulating organisations trustworthy? b) is the principle used to share out liabilities for adverse consequences acceptable to the affected people? and c) is collective consent for a course of action and the process used to gain it acceptable to those who are likely to bear the consequences of that course of action? These value-based questions are answered differently depending on the social and cultural context within which a given risk event occurs.

Therefore Risk = (PxM) + TLC
where P = Probability T = Trust M = Magnitude of consequences L = Liability C = Consent

In polythetic terms, the conceptual chain has the technical definition of risk at one end (PxM) and the societal conception of risk at the other (TLC). This view has similarities to Sandman’s outrage model in separating the technical aspects of risk from the social and cultural aspects. In his study of nuclear utility companies, public utility commissions and public interest groups in the US he found that the utility companies’ major concerns were about the investment risks. They were concerned about health and safety issues but they felt these were covered in the technical design regulations developed by regulators. The public utility commissions were concerned about the economic risks from the potential unanticipated costs caused by either the utility company going bankrupt or the lack of growth in consumer demand. Their concerns about health and safety risks were incorporated into their general concern to ensure that the societal benefits outweighed the societal costs. Only the public interest groups were directly focused on the health and safety issues, emphasising the imposition of risks on others, the unequal distribution of that risk on the public and the unacceptability of these risks in any circumstances.

Rayner maintains that this study showed how each stakeholder conceived of the risks differently and that this influenced their ‘agenda of interests’ making it difficult for them to understand the concerns raised by the other groups involved. This is similar to the findings of the attitudinal research discussed in the previous section and the cultural-symbolic work described in Section 3.5. Rayner argues that risk, risk perception and risk management are
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more to do with social relations than probability functions. The key issues are about how we achieve consensual agreement for a technology, how we distribute the liabilities and negative side-effects of that technology, and how trustworthy the technology-managing institutions are seen to be (Rayner and Cantor 1987).

3.4.3 Risk Society Perspective
The two key proponents of the “risk society” perspective are Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens. Their interest is in how individualisation, reflexivity and globalisation are making western societies increasingly preoccupied with risk and danger. Beck and Giddens developed their ideas separately and while they have differences their approaches share much common ground (Giddens 1990; Beck 1992).

3.4.3.1 Beck’s Perspective Beck’s thesis is that individuals in modern western societies are going through a period of change where industrial society is giving way to what he terms the ‘risk society’. In this transitional period industrial production is leading to more and more risk. The problem for western societies has therefore changed from the early industrial era where the focus was on the distribution of ‘goods’ such as consumer products, money and employment to one where the focus is on the reduction and regulation of ‘bads’ or risks. Individuals are increasingly aware of risks and are forced to deal with risk as a fact of everyday life. This is reflected in debates and clashes at all levels of society - the individual, social, political and cultural (Beck 1992; Beck, Giddens et al. 1994).

Beck, like Mary Douglas, is interested in how individuals and groups single out certain risks as important while ignoring others. He illustrates this with the example of how the degradation of forests is a big issue in Germany while road deaths are virtually ignored. He argues that this is because dangers act as symbols. He further asserts that while the initial self-protective response to threats is to deny their existence, in an attempt to maintain a sense of normality, these ‘symbolic dangers’ focus our attention towards some risks while allowing us to ignore others.

Beck then goes on to examine the risks or dangers in three eras: the pre-modern (preindustrial era), the early modern (early and middle industrial era) and the late modern (late industrial era). He identifies several features of risk in the late modern era that are different from earlier times. He claims that industrial society has been confronted with threats to human life on an unprecedented scale. Such threats - environmental pollution, radiation, toxic chemicals - are not localised because they are not restricted in space and time and therefore are unlike the ‘personal’ risks produced by early industrialisation. The size, global nature and open-endedness of these risks makes them hard to quantify, prevent and avoid. Furthermore, he argues that these threats are increasing and threaten all life on Earth.
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Beck then analyses how hazards are assessed in modern times compared to previous eras. In pre-modernity, common threats like storms and plague were thought of as incalculable because they were attributed to supernatural forces beyond human control. In early modernity these threats were transformed into calculable risks as part of the development of, in his words, “rational instrumental control processes” such as insurance. ‘Risks’ as they were understood in the early industrial era were “determinable, calculable and controllable” and they were seen as “products of social choice, which must be weighed against opportunities and acknowledged, dealt with, or simply foisted on individuals’ (Beck 1995 pg. 77).

In a ‘risk society’ the assessment of risk itself becomes problematic because of the complexity of society and technology. While in earlier times hazards were noticed through our sense of smell, taste, vision, touch and hearing, late modern hazards are less amenable to sense perception. Instead, they can only be apprehended through abstract scientific discourses. Unfortunately, these expert knowledges tend to contradict each other, change over short periods of time and their methodologies are subject to criticism. This tends to paralyse action so that late modern science cannot provide clear-cut solutions to these large-scale and amorphous modern threats. Beck asserts that the world itself has become one large experiment in the effects of these risks on populations. Scientists have lost their earlier authority in dealing with threats to human life and to assessing these risks. Their views are therefore increasingly challenged by political and civil organisations.

This means that, ironically, we have returned in one sense to earlier times when risks and dangers were not calculable. However, now we do not tend to believe in supernatural forces as the causes of these risks and we do not deal with them in fatalistic ways. Rather these dangers are seen as being societally generated and the responsibility of humankind to control and remedy. Furthermore, realising that current hazards are related to modern forms of consumption and urbanisation also brings people face-to-face with the negative as well as the positive aspects of social and economic progress. While uncertainties have always been a part of life, increasingly uncertainty is related to the growth in scientific knowledge and an understanding of its limits. Even the causes of ‘natural’ hazards like floods and droughts are now implicated with human activity and are attached to the notion of nature ‘striking back’ because of the damaging actions of human societies.

3.4.3.2 Giddens' Perspective Like Beck, Giddens also writes about risk and the uncertainties with which individuals approach life in contemporary western societies. He also defines pre-modernity, modernity and post-modernity in the same broad way as Beck. He sees uncertainty as coming from the realisation that the idea of human progress is problematic. He argues that there are two distinctive features of modernity: extentionality (globalising influence) and intentionality
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(personal predispositions). He is interested in exploring these features and their impact on social responses to risks (Giddens 1990; Giddens 1991).

Giddens sees late modernity as transforming traditional norms, behaviours and meanings. He argues that modern institutions are central and have a profound influence on everyday life including influencing our ideas of who we are and our everyday behaviour. In premodern times, activities and events were local and human experience was contextual and fragmented so that space and place were effectively the same. However, in modernity space and place have become separated as distant and remote social relationships are created and expert institutions provide universalising knowledges and understandings. Unfortunately, because of globalisation and “disembedding mechanisms” like expert institutions and knowledges certain events can now have far-reaching and catastrophic effects. Thus falls on Wall Street affect the life chances of people around the world and a nuclear reactor leak can affect farming practices across an entire continent.

Giddens describes late modernity as a “risk culture”. He states, in contrast to Beck, that this does not imply that people in developed countries are more exposed to hazard or even that they are more concerned about threats. For Giddens, the fears in past times were as strong and engulfing as the fears in modern times. However, now such fears are commonly linked to the perception that humans have created the dangers and have brought it upon themselves. We are seeing, what he terms, the “dark side of modernity”. Danger is now conceptualised as ‘risk’ rather than as facts of nature - the risks we face are events and processes over which humans have control. In modern societies, the very idea of risk has been created in an effort to control, or ‘colonise’, the future and make it safe.

Giddens, describes modern reflexivity - for individuals and institutions - as being about the awareness of the conditional nature of scientific knowledge and its tendency to be revised and re-interpreted. He claims that this reflexivity is a result and a paradox of the Enlightenment and its vision of progress. Paradox because while there are scientific and technological advances which are opening up possibilities and making life safer and easier they are also generating new threats and new uncertainties. Furthermore, the separation of space, place and time and the increasing role played by disembedding mechanisms means that we all rely on experts and expert knowledges without having met these experts or fully understanding their expert knowledges. This contrasts with earlier times when local knowledges, customs and faiths were the ways most people understood the world.

Alongside this trust of experts there are also profound doubts about the validity of expert knowledges. People are sceptical about the claims of progress made by traditional modernity. This generates a continual reflexivity between individuals and social institutions. For Giddens, trust is based on the awareness that risk is present and offers a way of

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reducing the sense of being at risk by providing a sense of reliability in persons and institutions. Trust can therefore be seen as a way of psychologically dealing with risks that would otherwise paralyse and overwhelm us with fear and anxiety. Trust allows people to take the ‘leap of faith’ needed to use and deal with expert knowledge systems whose technical aspects they do not understand. Giddens further asserts that trust may develop either from a calculated judgement or a sense of faith. Trust therefore provides people with a sense of security in their personal identity and the stability of their social and natural environments. When this sense of ‘ontological security’ is broken by risk experiences and events impinging on the self then established ways of living are brought into question. In these situations people respond in four basic ways:

1. ‘Pragmatic acceptance’, that leads to a reduction in anxiety even when there is contradictory information and experiences. However, these anxieties do not disappear they are simply pushed into the unconscious. 2. ‘Sustained optimism’, where individuals still believe in the power of science and rationality to solve the risk issue. 3. ‘Cynical pessimism’, where humour and/or a ‘world-weary’ perspective is developed to counter anxieties about risks. 4. ‘Radical engagement’, where risks and the sources of risk are actively challenged and attempts are made to constructively deal with them.

Beck’s and Giddens’ work connects up with the cultural-symbolic perspective of Mary Douglas and others described in Section 3.5 on cultural level explanations of risk perception. Giddens' ideas on trust and ontological security has strong connections to the empirical work of Edelstein in communities affected by contaminations events described in Chapter 4. This, largely, macro-social perspective fits alongside the meso-social (institutional) perspective developed by Wynne and described in the next section. These aspects were also explored during the fieldwork and will be discussed in later chapters.

There are a number of key criticisms of Beck and Giddens (Lash 1994; Alexander 1996). Critics have argued that the risk society perspective assumes that reflexive critiques of science and expert knowledges, as well as the growth of social movements, are features solely of late modernity and were not found in early modernity. These critics argue that Beck and Giddens provide a ‘simplistic’ representation of modernity. They have also pointed out that the perspective does not acknowledge the complexity of responses to expert knowledges (Lash 1993). For example, modernity is by definition reflexive involving a continual monitoring of itself through conventions such as the notion of scientific scepticism, rather than simply through individualisation. Finally, others have also argued that they are too speculative, making broad and loose speculations about structural and

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organisational processes without grounding their statements in terms of actual processes and experiences of institutional and everyday life.

3.4.4 Conditional Knowledges, Institutions & Identities Perspective
Wynne explores the ‘institutional dimension of risk’ and the importance of social relations in risk perception. He makes a number of key points about risk and risk perception. He argues that scientific definitions and assessments are socially ‘framed’ but scientists tend not to explicitly state the social assumptions they have used in their framing or be critical of them. The social framework or model from which the definition is derived involves creating a narrow and idealised social world involving a set of actors, their assumed behaviours and a set of processes within which a particular kind of risk is assumed to occur. Expert risk knowledges are therefore ‘conditional’ on the validity of the social assumptions upon which their risk assessments are based. Alongside this there is an assumption that statistical techniques will eliminate all aspects of uncertainty within a given risk analysis. Trust and competence in individuals and organisations are key ingredients in the risk process but risk experts tend to underestimate the ‘indeterminate’ nature of social and contextual factors. Instead experts tend to use ‘idealistic’ models of social and organisational behaviour that assumes predictable behaviours in predictable contexts (Wynne 1989; Wynne 1992; Wynne 1996).

Even when there is consensus on these assumptions this is only a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the validity of the risk analysis because there is still the issue of whether the conditions under which the analysis is valid will be implemented in ‘real life’ situations. There can be legitimate differences of opinion on whether these conditions will be met and this issue can underlie many risk conflicts for example assuming that farmers will always wear full and up-to-date protective gear each and every time they use a pesticide.

These starting assumptions and “precommitments”, based on social and political values, are deeply embedded and not only shape the experts’ risk assessment but tend to lead to a downgrading of other forms of knowledge about a given risk including the experiential knowledge of lay publics. In some cases, these starting precommitments and worldviews can become normative requiring experts to ‘reshape’ social behaviour so that it ‘fits’ expert assumptions and knowledges. Experts and expert institutions therefore tend to ‘impose’ their own risk meanings and discourses onto lay people because they lack a critical ‘reflexive’ self-awareness. People naturally see this imposed view as a threat to themselves and this tends to lead to the ‘rational’ response of heightening people’s perceptions of being at risk. This heightened perception or ‘social anxiety’ tends to be misunderstood by experts as ignorance, irrationality or calls for ‘zero risk’ and are then used to dismiss legitimate

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public concerns. This, in turn, intensifies public feelings of being at risk from experts who are perceived to lack respect for people’s identities, rationality and legitimacy thus leading to a polarisation of views between experts and lay publics.

From this Wynne argues that ‘social learning’ by institutions could help reduce this polarisation. This learning would take the form of: a) appreciating the ‘conditionality’ of objective risk knowledge; b) making explicit the social and institutional nature of all definitions of risk, both public and expert; c) risk institutions taking up these ideas of conditionality and understanding how their existing precommitments shape the knowledges that they create; d) recognising the legitimacy of other social actor’s precommitments and framings of the issue and e) recognising the need and value of a collective and shared understanding of ‘official’ risk definitions and assessments in any given local community situation with these changing from context to context. This social learning would widen the ‘dimensions of risk’ that are currently recognised in socio-political debates and decisionmaking allowing societies to move away from technocratic definitions of risk to ones where organisational track records, social conduct, intentions and organisational structures in the whole practice of risk management are the starting points for shared discussion and community-negotiated risk management approaches.

Many dominant approaches to risk also assume that social identity is a fixed and unproblematic issue and that there is just one sort of rationality. In this view trust becomes a distinct characteristic which can be measured. Wynne asserts that contrary to this perspective, people may be seen to be actively ‘trusting’ a person or institution when in reality they may see themselves as ‘socially dependent’ on that person or institution and have no choice. They may then ‘rationalise’ this dependency leading to a superficial sense of trust that hides deeper doubts and uncertainties. So a range of attitudes and beliefs can be held by a person that reflects the different social identities that they have within a range of different social networks. This, Wynne argues, could be what creates the sense of ambivalence in issues of trust and credibility. Trust and credibility may therefore be deeper and more complex constructs than current perspectives allow for and ambivalence within trust may be an essential part of late modern life and not something that can be overcome by current approaches to risk management and risk communication.

Wynne’s work has many similarities with the perspectives discussed previously and with the cultural-symbolic perspective which will be discussed in Section 3.5. Critics have argued that Wynne’s approach is methodologically weak, populist and that he overstates the value of lay experiential knowledge when compared to scientific knowledge. Wynne argues that his framework aims to analyse the conditional and socially-based nature of both scientific and public definitions and understandings of risks. His approach, therefore, does not try to find the one ‘real truth’ between competing ‘truths’ but attempts the development

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and articulation of the stances and positions of all parties so that they can be evaluated systematically and critically.

3.4.5 Summary of the Social Level of Explanation
The theories and perspectives in this section on societal level explanations of risk perception provide a complex view of public perceptions of risks but they also have a series of common threads. At the macro-social level they focus on how the changing nature of modern societies is having an enormous impact on public perceptions of risks by adding a global and symbolic character to present dangers, creating a more aware and more active public, a less deterministic science and weakening the social relationships between individuals, groups and institutions. At the institutional or meso-social level they spotlight the inadequacy and ineffectiveness of modern institutions to deal with current threats, the ‘naïve’ social framing of much scientific assessment and the need to develop more responsive and reflexive institutions. Finally, at the micro-social level they highlight the importance of ethical values, personal identities and social relationships.

These perspectives also emphasise the idea that risk is a social (and cultural) construct rather than a simple objective measure of hazard. They argue, overall, that while the dangers are real they are mediated and influenced in important ways by the societal relationships and processes between individuals, groups and institutions. For them the focus should be on issues of power and control, trust and distrust, narrowly-based scientific assumptions versus broad-based social values and professional identities versus community identities. The fieldwork chapters will show that trust, liability and consent are key factors which influence residents’ perceptions of risks during the siting, planning and consultation process. They will show that residents have ambivalent, reflective and reflexive attitudes to experts, expert knowledges and technology. Finally, they will emphasis the importance of personal and social relationships, the value of local lay knowledges and the social assumptions that experts use to frame environmental impact assessments and their unreflexive approach to residents’ concerns.

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3.5 Cultural Level Theories, Perspectives & Approaches

3.5.1 Cultural/ Symbolic Perspective
Anthropologist Mary Douglas is the pioneer in analysing risk, society and culture. Her work on risk is an extension of her earlier work on purity and danger which theorised about the body, self, communities and the regulation of contamination and the other (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982; Douglas 1985; Douglas 1992). Douglas views risk as Western society’s way of dealing with danger and ‘otherness’. Her main focus is on the question, why are some risks selected for attention and others not - why are some dangers highlighted, regulated and monitored while other seemingly similar risks ignored by a given culture and society. Her main explanation of risk and risk perception are that social groups, organisations and cultures need to maintain boundaries between themselves and others. Risk is therefore a way of maintaining the boundary between the internal and external and a way of dealing with social deviance to achieve social order.

In Douglas’s words “…individuals do not try to make independent choices, especially about big political issues. When faced with estimating probability and credibility they already come primed with culturally learned assumptions and weightings” (Douglas 1992 pg. 58). Instead of seeing lay judgements of risk as wrong or irrational, especially when compared to expert judgements, they should be seen as providing use and value within particular cultural contexts. Heuristics, mental models and intuitions are not cognitive aids allowing the individual to short-cut the thinking process but shared conventions, expectations and cultural categories that are founded on social functions and responsibilities. So, culture not only helps people understand risks it also helps create communal understandings of risks.

Douglas emphasises the cultural relativity of judgements about risks, within and between groups, especially as to what is considered a risk and its acceptability. Risk acceptability has an ethical and moral element which traditional risk analysis and management does not take into account. Clashes and differences in the perception of risks are not so much about lack of information, better communication or irrationality but about the political, moral and aesthetic aspects of risks (Douglas 1992). Douglas also highlights the way risk is used to apportion blame and responsibility for dangers that threaten a community. For her risk is closely bound up with politics especially in relation to accountability, responsibility and blame. Douglas therefore argues that the risks that receive the most attention in a culture or society are those that are about legitimating moral principles.

For Douglas, the notion of risk has replaced earlier ideas about misfortune due to bad luck, individual sin and the work of internal and external enemies. In pre-modern times, taboos

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were used as a way of binding communities together by accusing individuals of breaking taboos and meting out ‘just’ retribution. In modern times, the concept of risk works in this way and also in a reverse fashion where individuals are deemed to be at risk and are seen to be ‘sinned’ against by others and therefore in need of protection. Risk, in the modern context, is more often about being placed in jeopardy by others than about placing oneself in danger.

According to Douglas the term risk has come into prominence not just because of its scientific credentials but also because of globalisation which has created a new level of community discourse and a greater sense of vulnerability.

“The idea of risk could have been custom made. Its universalising terminology, its abstractness, its power of condensation, its scientificity, its connection with objective analysis, make it perfect. Above all, its forensic uses fit the tool to the task of building culture that supports a modern industrial society.” (Douglas 1992 pg. 15)

She illustrates the way risk is used in a moral and political context by pointing to how environmental NGO’s use a political and moral discourse to discuss risks. She and Wildavsky argue that the environmental movement acts like a ‘secular sect’ by placing business and government as the ‘Other’ who are the creators of risk and the destroyers of the environment (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982). Risk is therefore used, depending on context, as a means of enhancing social cohesion either by blaming the person at risk or by blaming others as the creators of risk.

Douglas has extended this work to develop a four-cell model of how social groups and organisations perceive risks. This she has termed the ‘grid-group’ model. Groups and organisations have a cultural filter or ‘bias’ based on one of these four modes of viewing the world. The grid index contrasts two ideal types: those who have a high and those who have a low grid ethos. Those who have a high grid ethos have a large number of social distinctions and hierarchical structures creating many cultural constraints based on, for example, group membership, gender, age and race. Those with a low grid ethos have fewer cultural rules and regulations governing behaviour and are less bound by tradition. The group index contrasts two ideal types of groups: those who have a high and those who have a low group ethos. The high group ethos emphasises the cohesion between group members and makes a strong distinction between the group ‘us’ and the other ‘them’. The low group ethos emphasises individuality and much looser social ties.

This creates four ideal types of groups and individuals: hierarchical (high grid, high group), fatalist (high grid, low group), egalitarian (low grid, high group) and individualist (low grid,

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low group). Douglas provides an important insight into how culture mediates perceptions of risks and how moral, political and aesthetic judgements come into play in selecting and reacting to risks and dangers. However a number of specific criticisms have been made of this perspective and the grid-group model (Lupton 1999). Firstly, that it is too rigid and static in nature with the implication that social groups and organisations fall neatly into one of these four categories. It downplays the viewpoint that individuals, groups and organisations while having a preferred view of the world can also understand and behave in the other three ways. Secondly, the perspective argues that it is our worldviews rather than the nature of the risks themselves that shapes differences in response. In other words, her perspective has no room for the view that while worldviews shape what things are considered risks dangers also shapes worldviews so that there is a continuous interaction between cultural worldviews and risks. Thirdly, the perspective is unable to explain how certain risks are taken up and then discarded by a culture over time and how worldviews might change in terms of risk, purity and danger when confronted by new ideas, insights and experiences. Finally, her work with Wildavsky has also been criticised for portraying environmentalists as politically and ideologically motivated with industry and government being ‘victims’ of a moral environmental ‘crusade’.

3.5.2 Extensions of the Cultural/ Symbolic Perspective
A number of researchers have extended and elaborated the cultural/symbolic perspective developed by Douglas. In this literature review we will only consider the work of Dake and Earle and Cvetkovich.

Karl Dake undertook an empirical study on the grid-group model and the four cultural worldviews. While Dake takes up the cultural/ symbolic perspective and agrees with the general approach of seeing risk as culturally constructed and about politics, morals and socio-cultural relationships he argues that these cultural categories should not be seen as fixed with individuals bound to just one grid-group category. Dake sees the grid-group model as having a continuous scale for the group and grid functions, so that individuals and groups are not stuck in one category but act different cultural roles in different contexts. An individual may therefore be a communal egalitarian at home but as a salesperson an individualist at work. Dake’s perspective allows complex cultural affiliations, mixed cultural outlooks, alliances with others, role playing and the evolution of people’s worldviews to be incorporated into Douglas’ model and overcomes the original’s biggest flaw - its rigid, fixed and static view of individuals and groups (Dake 1992).

Timothy Earle and George Cvetkovich have also extended the Douglas’ perspective by developing a new cultural variable which they term cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitanism focuses not on forms of social relations but on how these forms change. They explore how

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people move from one form of sociality to another and how inclusive or exclusive they are in any given context. Cosmopolitan individuals have “multiple permeable cultural narratives”. Cosmopolitan individuals are members of several cultural groups that differ in a variety of ways for example by ethnicity, politics, profession, geography or religion. These individuals successfully negotiate these differences by having permeable cultural narratives that allow them to understand how these groups see the world, who belongs to them and how they should behave within them (Earle and Cvetkovich 1997).

3.5.3 Summary of the Cultural Level of Explanation
The cultural explanations of risk perception described in this section link with the societal explanations explored in Section 3.4. They spotlight the importance of unwritten, unseen and oral aspects of society (cultural symbols, customs, traditions and norms) in influencing how cultural groups give meaning to risk, what is seen as dangerous and how ‘the other’ is a way for individuals and groups to maintain personal, social and cultural boundaries as well as to create a sense of unity, solidarity and identity.

The broad themes of these cultural explanations parallel some of the key themes of Beck’s and Giddens’ risk society perspectives on the changing nature of how we perceive risk in modern societies as well as Wynne’s and Rayner’s work on professional and lay identities and the role of societal institutions. Cultural perspectives see risk as a socio-cultural construct with little or no relationship to real and objective dangers in the world. Their focus is on the culturally symbolic aspects of risk as a moral signifier that shapes the power, identity and social relationships of different cultural groups. The fieldwork chapters will show how symbolic issues of personal and community identity, notions of ‘communityminded’ versus ‘selfish’ residents and ideals about what makes up a good neighbourhood and community are key to understanding perceptions of risks during siting and planning processes.

3.6 Summary of the General Understandings of Risk Perception
Reiterating what was said at the beginning of this chapter the key theme that emerges is that lay publics’ perceptions of risks cannot be understood at just one level: individual, societal or cultural. To fully comprehend it we need to look at all three levels simultaneously. As I will show in the next chapter this is crucial when investigating the risk perceptions of communities who feel under threat from the environmental and health hazards of waste disposal facilities.

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Looking back to the conceptualisations of risk: individual level explanations tend to conceptualise risks as real and objective aspects of the world, societal explanations emphasise the real and socially constructed nature of risks and cultural explanations focus on the socio-cultural construction of risks. In broad terms, individual level explanations of risk perception underscore the importance of emotion, intuition, imagination and reason when lay publics’ assess the risk and potential benefits of a change in their environment. Societal level explanations emphasise the need to understand the role of social processes, relationships, structures and identities in influencing and mediating our perceptions of risks. Finally, cultural explanations of risk focus on the symbolic and moral nature of risk and its impact on our cultural identities and our sense of self, place and community.

In the next chapter I will explore how these generalised explanations of risk perception are expressed in the specific context of waste disposal facility siting, contamination events, hazardous waste facilities, other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks and EIAs.

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4. Specific Understandings of Risk Perception in the Context of WDFs and EIAs
4.1 Introduction
In this chapter I describe risk perception in the context of waste disposal facilities, hazardous waste facilities, other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks and environmental impact assessment. The literature on risk perception and domestic waste disposal facilities is not extensive and falls into three broad categories: attitude and behaviour research, research on residents' understandings of environmental risk and research on the social and cultural impacts of environmental hazards. Attitude and behaviour research focuses on the direct acting concerns that residents have about waste disposal facilities. It shows that residents have a range of concerns about waste disposal facilities and their operation. It also shows that communities are heterogeneous with some people strongly concerned and aware of the facilities and others completely unaware and unconcerned. Research on views about the meaning of risk highlights both the direct concerns that residents have about waste facilities as well as what can be termed deeper concerns about individual and

community identities. Lastly, research on individual and community responses highlights the long-term psychosocial and cultural impacts on communities of siting and contamination events. One point to note is the dearth of empirical work on the role of cultural differences in shaping individual and group perceptions of risk by for example comparing and contrasting the risk perceptions of different cultural groups when faced by similar environmental and health risks.

There is a large literature on the siting of hazardous waste facilities, compared to domestic waste facilities, but this review will only explore three key themes concerning the influence of societal relationships, structures and processes: a) the role of trust, b) the differing values and notions of justice expressed and c) the role of the planning and consultation process.

There is very little literature on other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks but what is there is very suggestive and highlights the importance of understanding not just lay publics’ perceptions but other professional stakeholders’ perceptions as well. Importantly, this work argues that the general understandings of risk perception apply to both expertprofessionals and lay publics. In other words, that experts are not set apart from lay publics but are like them especially when they are acting outside their professional roles. This section also shows that expert-professionals like lay publics are heterogeneous and diverse in their understandings and perceptions of risks.

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Finally, this chapter explores the key findings of researchers on the limitations of environmental impact assessment and the need to see it as a social and cultural phenomenon as well as a technical process.

4.2 Risk Perception and Waste Disposal Facility Siting

4.2.1 Public Attitudes to Waste and Waste Management in the UK
The Open University undertook a telephone questionnaire survey of 1000 adults across Great Britain (the general public) and face-to-face questionnaire surveys of 487 people living close to ten operational municipal waste landfill sites in England (the landfill neighbours) (Burnley and Parfitt 2000). The researchers also undertook a more local study of people identified as living near landfills, municipal incinerators and non-municipal incinerators (landfill and incinerator neighbours) from the above two surveys and from a previous incinerator neighbour survey. They found that the general public and landfill neighbours had similar levels of environmental concern and that there were no statistically significant differences in attitudes between different age, sex or socio-economic groups.

Table 4.1 Major environmental concerns expressed by the general public and landfill neighbours
Issue General public (% n=1000) Air quality Treatment and disposal of industrial and household waste Use of chemicals in agriculture Pollution in cities Tap water quality None Don’t Know 37 32 31 1 1 43 27 32 3 1 46 39 Landfill neighbours (% n=487) 39 49

Only 50% of residents were aware of living near a landfill or incinerator. Of those landfill neighbours who were aware of the neighbouring landfill 52% expressed concerns whilst among those who were unaware 42% expressed concerns. Landfill neighbours were more concerned about the use of chemicals in agriculture and were less concerned about air quality and pollution in cities (see Table 4.1) probably because landfills tend to be sited in rural areas and so landfill neighbours were more concerned about rural issues. Respondents were then asked about their preferred disposal method for non-recyclable wastes and the need for incinerators and landfills; here 52% preferred composting, 30% preferred incinerators, 10% preferred landfills, 4% had no preference and 5% didn’t know.

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Approximately 60% agreed that there was a need for incinerators and landfills with neighbours showing a slightly stronger ‘need’ for the type of facility that they lived close to.

There were no important differences between the general public’s and landfill neighbour’s public health concerns. Both rated nuclear waste, car pollution and genetically modified foods as their top three concerns. Landfill and incinerator neighbours were then asked what they felt the environmental and health risks of their respective WDFs were. Landfills were seen as a greater hazard to food, water and public health while incinerators were seen as a greater hazard to the environment. These residents were also asked about the local impacts of living near such waste disposal facilities. Non-municipal incinerators were rated as having the greatest impacts with 94% mentioning at least one impact. Approximately half of those aware of living near a landfill or incinerator felt that they had personally experienced an adverse impact (25% of all residents living near such facilities).

The general negative impacts mentioned included such issues as traffic, smell, fumes/smoke and non-specific health effects (see Fig. 4.1). Landfill neighbours rated traffic, smells and unsightliness as key negative impacts. However, over 20% of respondents felt that there were no obvious effects. Municipal incinerator neighbours rated smoke emissions and smells as key negative impacts. Here again over 29% felt that there were no obvious effects. Non-municipal incinerator neighbours rated smells, fumes, and non-specific health effects as key impacts, though 15% of people aware of the facility felt that there were no obvious effects.

Fig. 4.1: Drawbacks of living close to a waste disposal facility as mentioned by those aware of the facility in their neighbourhoods (Burnley and Parfitt 2000)

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Finally, they were asked how worried they were about living near a waste facility: 42% of municipal incinerator neighbours, 49% of landfill neighbours and 71% of non-municipal incinerator neighbours were worried or very worried about these facilities. They were also asked how their perceptions changed over time, before and after they lived near the WDF; there was a slight increase in concern about municipal incinerators; a slight fall in concern in the case of landfills and increased concern in the case of non-municipal incinerators.

This type of attitudinal work shows strong similarities with the attitudinal work described in the individual-level explanations section in the last chapter. It shows that residents have a range of directly experienced concerns about WDFs sited near them as well as more general societal and neighbourhood concerns. As we will see in the fieldwork chapters these concerns were also raised by the residents concerned by the siting of the WTS.

Though a majority of WDF neighbours had environmental concerns around half were unaware of the facility’s existence. There also seemed to be an escalating level of concern based on facility type with municipal incinerators felt to be less hazardous than landfills and landfills seen to be less hazardous than non-municipal incinerators. There also seemed to be some small changes in risk perception over time among residents. Unfortunately, this study does not tell us why there were these different levels of concern among WDF neighbours. It also does not tell us what factors led to residents’ changes in perception or how residents’ wider societal and background concerns affected their perceptions of risks from the WDF. More importantly, these types of survey studies do not show how residents’ perceptions of risks have been influenced by their social relationships and identities, their dealings with expert-professionals and their views and ideals about home and neighbourhood.

4.2.2 Understanding Residents Perceptions of Environmental Risk
Jamie Baxter explored the meaning of risk in the community of Caledon, Canada. This was part of a larger study undertaken by a team at McMasters University that looked at well being and the psychosocial effects of WDF siting processes (Martin Taylor, Elliott et al. 1991; Elliott, Martin Taylor et al. 1993; Eyles, Martin Taylor et al. 1993; Wakefield and Elliott 2000). Baxter explored how risk and uncertainty were constructed in a community sensitised by the environmental risks posed by the siting of a landfill (Baxter 1997). His overall objective was to relate it to the ideas of ‘risk society’ as described by Beck and Giddens. Caledon was a rural community with a mixed population of existing residents, more recent wealthy retirees and newly arrived young families. The site was chosen for a landfill after an in-coming government developed a new waste management strategy and created a new waste regulatory authority.

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Baxter undertook two rounds of interviews with three sets of stakeholders: residents, grouped into three distance zones around the potential site, leader-residents (residents who became community leaders during the siting process) and waste regulatory authority officials. In the first round, 34 individuals were interviewed: 23 residents, 7 leader-residents and 3 waste authority officials. The second round of interviews explored issues in more detail with 8 residents and 2 leader-residents. The residents were selected randomly from the electoral register and stratified by distance from the potential site with the leaderresidents and officials being purposefully sampled.

The study identified a number of general background concerns which were: 1. Negative views of government: Lack of trust, high taxes, ‘big’ government versus ‘little’ community. 2. Community life problems: Traffic, isolation, rural life issues, poor access to the city, local politics, lack of amenities, crime. 3. Pollution: 4. Economic: 5. Health: General pollution concerns, water, noise. Income issues. General health concerns.

The specific landfill siting issues raised by the community were: 1. Pollution: 2. Economic: 3. Disruption to Community Life: 4. Health: 5. Concerns for the future: 6. Inequity: 7. Landfill itself: 8. Stigma Water, smell, pests, leakage. Property values, waste of money. Traffic, agriculture. Children’s health in particular. Uncertain and unknown consequences. Community not beneficiary, other people’s rubbish. Too big, no guarantee of safety.

Baxter found differences between residents’ and expert-professionals’ on three key issues: uncertainty during the process, equity and participation. He found that resident felt very uncertain about the siting process and its potential consequences. They felt that they did not have enough of the right kind of information about the siting process and the landfill. Experts, on the other hand, felt that they were providing a great deal of appropriate information which should have reassured residents. In terms of equity residents wanted the process and the outcomes from the process to be fair. Specifically, they wanted to have a strong influence on whether the landfill was sited in their community and a strategic approach that saw other communities in the region sharing the burden of having waste facilities sited near them. Experts, in contrast, were more interested in convincing the environmental assessment board, who could stop the proposal; protecting the wider regional environment and creating inter-regional equity rather than the intra-regional equity

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that the residents wanted. Finally, residents felt that the planning process and the community consultation were inadequate in that many options were excluded from discussion, the process were already constrained by the experts’ framing of the issues and experts’ disrespectful, distant and patronising attitudes. The expert-professionals’, in contrast, saw residents as emotional, irrational, political and ignorant of the true facts. Baxter argues that these differences led to increasing distrust between residents and expert professionals and to the ultimate failure of the landfill siting.

Baxter makes a number of key points with regard to residents’ concerns. First, he argues that the landfill concerns intensified the more general background concerns that residents had about their neighbourhood. The general lack of trust in big government amplified residents’ sense of unfairness at having a landfill forced on them and the background pollution concerns were exacerbated by pollution concerns about the potential landfill. Second, residents used a range of sensory images, usually negative, to evoke their ‘dread’ and fear about the potential landfill for example “rotting stinking garbage” and “mountain of shit”. Third, residents seemed to undertake a form of cost-benefit assessment with only those residents having direct experiences of seeing or living near landfills elsewhere having positive comments to make about landfills. Baxter argues that the concerns about the landfill were based on deeper issues linked to, in his words, “core values” and peoples’ sense of security that included their desire for a traditional way of life, a close-knit community and a clean and green environment. The residents attributed a range of impacts to the landfill siting process: a) emotions including shock, fear and anger; b) disruption to their way of life and shattered dreams; c) psychosocial impacts such as depression and stress; d) community-level impacts and a e) general lowering of their quality of life.

In terms of risk and uncertainty, Baxter highlighted that in the community he studied residents did not use the word ‘risk’ in the way experts did to describe the probability of a given hazard but more broadly as a potential danger that they faced such as crime, traffic and financial risks. Furthermore, they saw expert uncertainty about the potential adverse effects as a synonym for the potential ‘certainty’ that adverse effects would occur at some time in the future.

Baxter explicitly bases his work on Giddens’ risk society perspective. His work shows how wider neighbourhood and societal concerns are exacerbated by new threats entering a community and thereby heightening perceptions of risks and the sense of being under threat. His arguments about concerns being based on deeper ‘core values’ also links up with Douglas’ cultural/symbolic perspective. He also provides evidence for the role of

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images and imagination in shaping individuals’ perceptions of risks. Finally, he shows how distrust was generated between residents and experts because of differences in how they viewed each other, the siting process and the values that should form the basis of the siting decision. As we will see in later chapters many of these issues were articulated by urban residents faced with the siting of a WTS.

4.2.3 Social and Cultural Impacts of Environmental Contamination Risks
It is only when communities face large, sudden and ‘catastrophic’ environmental hazards that deep social and cultural impacts become visible. So-called ‘contaminated’ communities provide important insights into community perceptions of risks (Edelstein 1988; Brown and Mikkelsen 1990; Erikson 1994). One of the key authors in this area is Michael Edelstein who has undertaken a range of long term studies into contaminated communities like Love Canal.

Edelstein takes a psychosocial and ecohistorical perspective on communities affected by contamination events. He argues that not only does the contamination event have psychosocial effects, these effects occur within a historical and environmental context and hence are seen as “threats to place”. Furthermore, these impacts go all the way from the individual and family to the local community and wider society (Edelstein 1988). Psychosocial impacts start at the point when people become aware that they have been exposed to contaminants, understand the negative consequences of their exposure and accept the reality of their contamination. People who are exposed to contamination perceive the situation differently from people who are unaffected. Edelstein describes this phenomenon as an “insider-outsider gap”. People exposed to contamination find themselves re-examining and re-shaping their understanding of the world around them. In Edelstein’s words once the fact of contamination is accepted the victims of exposure are “…pulled into the vortex of the contamination experience, ripped from the moorings that help them establish a secure and stable perspective on the world” (Edelstein 2000 pg. 128).

Contamination therefore has a number of important effects: • It shatters the sense of routine safety and certainty in everyday life, changing the way residents understand themselves, their environment and their daily activities. • Social relationship networks are strained as family, friends and co-workers are unable to support and understand the contamination victims’ experiences and feelings. • • Victims become dependant on experts and expert institutions for help and advice. This dependence on experts and expert institutions leads to victims coming together for mutual help and support through ‘grass-roots’ action groups in an effort to gain control

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and reduce their dependence on experts. These groups tend to be unstable over time and few survive over the long term. • There are some affected people who do not believe that they are contaminated. The community therefore becomes divided into ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’. This happens because there is uncertainty and conflicting information about what has happened. Alongside this, socio-demographic characteristics like personal resources, education, employment, age, lifestyle and an individual’s personal outlook on life are key factors in creating these differences in perception.

One of the key perceptions of contaminated communities is that ‘outsiders just don’t understand’ and many of the impacts on these communities is due to this insider-outsider duality. This divide can also make it difficult for expert-professionals to understand the victims’ experiences and reality. Professional expertise and knowledge become separated and different from the direct local expertise and knowledge of victims. Similarly, researchers studying these communities are also likely to have a different conception of reality to the people exposed. In particular, five core assumptions about what is ‘normal’ life are

affected. Edelstein argues that each of these changes in the ‘lifescape’ represents a loss of “cultural immunity” that previously served a protective function.

Perceptions of Health Victims experience a change in their perceptions of personal and family health. Previous ‘optimistic’ biases to perceiving health disappear and are replaced by a reassessment of past and present health problems in terms of the contamination. This transformation in health perception is recurrent and extended because of the delay between the time of exposure and the time when potential health effects become visible.

Loss of ‘Perceived’ Control “Toxic victims” tend to lose their sense of being in control of their lives. They become aware that the potential for exposure to contamination is inescapable. This makes them look to experts, officials and lawyers for help thereby further exacerbating their sense of helplessness. The future, instead of being filled with good possibilities, is seen in negative and fatalistic terms.

Perception of Home and Environment Affected residents redefine their homes from places of safety to places of danger. Both the financial and, importantly, the psychological value of people’s homes becomes subverted. Contaminated houses become seen as unsellable and residents feel trapped physically, economically and psychologically. Victims of contamination also start viewing the environment as threatening and filled with hidden danger. Local food and water cannot be eaten or drunk and local parks and lakes become no-go areas. Nature is seen as being

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“spoiled and soiled”. The sense of danger is so profound that other distant areas are also seen as having potentially unseen dangers so that residents prefer staying in their own contaminated neighbourhoods rather than risk moving to an unknown neighbourhood with unknown dangers and contaminations.

Generalised Blame & Distrust A key psychological attribute that emerges from the contamination event is that victims see it as a result of human actions. Not only is there distrust of those seen to have caused the contamination but there is distrust of those who are seen to have failed to prevent and resolve it. As Freudenberg terms it, government and regulatory agencies are seen to show ‘recreancy’, a failure of risk institutions to carry out their mandate and fulfil the responsibilities that they are entrusted with by society (Freudenburg 2000). This distrust can become so generalised that all ‘unaffected others’ are seen as untrustworthy.

Environmental Stigma The differences in perception between residents and those outside the community leads to environmental stigma. Edelstein describes this as “…the tendency for contaminated environments – settings, places, objects, non-human life forms, as well as people and everything associated with them – to become devalued and discredited” (Edelstein 2000 pg. 132). Environmental stigma occurs in situations where aspects of the environment are seen to be dangerous for example soil, air, water and food. Furthermore, an “anticipatory stigma” can be created when a future hazard threatens a place such as with the proposed siting of a hazardous facility. Edelstein links environmental stigma to issues of environmental justice and the possibility that some communities are singled out for potential contamination because they are already seen as socially stigmatised by other factors such as poverty and ethnicity (Stephens, Bullock et al. 2001).

Edelstein has compared his understanding to Beck’s ideas on the risk society and has asserted that while there are transformations taking place there is little empirical evidence from his work of individuals and communities changing from an industrial society perspective to one of risk society. For him lay publics do not have a conceptual framework for risk before the contamination and often they do not even use the word risk. Afterwards they develop an ‘all or none’ view of environmental dangers that does not accept riskbenefit tradeoffs, risk assessments and appeals to wider societal benefits. While Edelstein disavows links with the risk society thesis his arguments have parallels with Giddens’ work on trust, expert institutions and the shattering of ontological security. His work also connects to Douglas’ cultural-symbolic perspective by showing how risk perception is so strongly linked to people’s cultural identities, sense of place, and awareness of boundaries that risks or dangers perceived as overwhelming lead to feelings of alienation, fragmentation and stigma. Finally, this work links strongly into the work of Baxter, described

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in the previous section, on the meaning of environmental risk for residents faced with the siting of a landfill.

4.3 Risk Perception and Hazardous Waste Facility Siting
This section will briefly explore three aspects of the literature on hazardous waste facilities: the role and importance of trust, the role of values and notions of justice and the influence of the wider planning and siting process.

There is significant literature on the importance of trust in influencing residents perceptions of risk during the siting of a hazardous waste facility (Hadden 1991; Bailey, Faupel et al. 1992; Kasperson, Golding et al. 1992; Linnerooth-Bayer and Fitzgerald 1996; Williams, Brown et al. 1999). Kasperson et al have explored the differing and diverse conceptualisations of trust and argue that they have three common themes: trust allows people to communicate and negotiate with others without knowing all the relevant facts; trust implies having the confidence that others will act freely in a way that is beneficial not harmful; and trust involves perceptions about situations and other actors in that situation (e.g. other peoples’ intentions and the characteristics of the situation).

Importantly, they argue that trust is both a psychological and sociological phenomenon and define four conceptualisations of trust. Cognitive trust is the foundation upon which people can make a judgement on trustworthiness. It requires some familiarity with the situation, events or persons but still involves an element of faith such as the reliance on others and assumptions about what will happen without having complete and accurate information. Emotional trust provides for the ‘leap of faith’ that all trust relationships have by creating an emotional bond or frame around other people and situations. Behavioural trust is the physical manifestation of trust through attitudes and behaviours towards other people and situations in other words to act as if the uncertain future actions of others were certain and predictable even though negative impacts could result if these future actions did not take place. Finally, social trust is where people and institutions involved in a social relationship with others can be relied upon to have commitment and to act in competent, predictable and caring ways. This notion of social trust involves a commitment to professional and personal values that include openness, honesty, objectivity and fairness; the competence and skills to undertake a professional role; a caring and respectful attitude to others and the predictability of actions and behaviours. Three broad themes that emerge from the work on trust are how trust is created or destroyed by power and the differentials in power relationships; the social and ethical values which inform how actions are taken and power used; and the ability to deliver on promises and act within the bounds of these social and ethical values.

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Research on the values and notions of justice displayed in siting processes has shown that stakeholders hold differing notions of fairness and equity. Four broad notions of justice have been identified: libertarian, utilitarian, distributive and procedural (Davy 1996; Linnerooth-Bayer and Fitzgerald 1996; Hunold and Young 1998). Libertarian justice sees justice involving free interactions between competing individuals and interests. Utilitarian justice sees justice involving social arrangements which ensure that the greatest number of people receive the greatest amount of benefit. Distributive justice involves social arrangements where less powerful or more vulnerable members of society are not disproportionately affected by negative impacts. Procedural justice involves process arrangements that are fair and equitable. Hunold and Young say that procedural justice has five key aspects: inclusion of and feedback from all potentially affected stakeholders, regular consultation over time that allows for communication and information dissemination, equal resources and access to information, shared decision-making authority and authoritative decision-making i.e. where decisions reached are binding on all the parties involved (Hunold and Young 1998).

Research into how the siting and planning process has an impact on residents’ perceptions of risk has developed what is termed the Facility Siting Credo (Kunreuther and Susskind 1991; Kunreuther, Fitzgerald et al. 1993). In thirteen themes this Credo encapsulates the issues that tend to reduce residents’ perceptions of risks:

1. Achieve agreement that the status quo is unacceptable, in other words, that the facility is needed and doing nothing now or in the future will also have negative consequences. 2. Seek consensus and involvement of all stakeholders and address their values, concerns, needs and wants. 3. Work to develop trust by admitting mistakes and avoiding misleading statements and exaggerated promises. 4. Choose the solution that best addresses the problem. 5. Guarantee that safety standards will be met. 6. Fully address all the negative aspects of the facility. 7. Make the host community better off. 8. Use conditional agreements. 9. Seek acceptable sites through a voluntary process. 10. Consider a competitive siting procedure. 11. Work for geographic fairness in other words build several smaller facilities rather than a single large one. 12. Set realistic siting and planning timetables. 13. Keep multiple siting options open at all times.

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The work on siting hazardous waste facilities has also provided some evidence for gender and proximity impacts with women and ethnic minorities tending to be more concerned than white men and the nearer a person lives to the siting the greater their perceptions of risk and hazard (Bord and O'Connor 1992; Flynn, Slovic et al. 1994). These findings have also been found by geographical researchers and was mentioned briefly in Chapter 3 on the general understandings of risk perception.

The research on hazardous waste facilities shows strong connections to Baxter’s work on municipal waste facilities. It again emphasises the importance of social relationships, social values and the impact of the process of siting on lay publics’ perceptions of risks. It links into Giddens’ and Wynnes’ themes of trust, social institutions and social relationships. It also links strongly into Rayner’s fairness hypothesis which argues that trust, liability (i.e. how the risk is shared) and consent are key to understanding lay publics’ perceptions of risks. Issues of trust and notions of justice emerge in the fieldwork chapters as significant explanations of the differences between residents and expert-professionals.

4.4 Other Stakeholder Perceptions of Risk

4.4.1 Policy & Decision-makers
Taylor argues that there are four broad perspectives that policy and decision-makers tend to take with regard to differing perceptions of risks (Taylor 1999). They see differing perceptions as being caused by a) the lack of objective information and assessment, b) inadequate public communication and education, c) inadequate social structures and institutions to deal with risk and d) differences in moral and ethical values.

Most public and private policy- and decision-makers tend to cluster around the first two perspectives which leads then to two broad strategies to deal with risk firstly, undertaking more objective risk research and assessments and secondly, undertaking more risk communication and public education on the scientific risk issues. This links with the theoretical perspectives of knowledge and irrationality in Section 3.4.1 on the societal level theories of risk perception. Environmental NGOs and more radical policy and decision makers have moved to the latter two perspectives. They argue that current social institutions need to be made more accountable and that moral and ethical values need to be incorporated into societal decision-making on risks.

4.4.2 Scientists
There is a conventional view that scientists‘ and lay publics’ perceptions of risks are radically different with one based on rationality, logic and science and the other on
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irrationality, intuition and emotion. However, recent work has shown that outside their area of expertise experts have similar views to lay publics and use similar processes of reasoning (Sjöberg, Frewer et al. 2000). What is more, expert-professionals are themselves a heterogeneous group with a range of diverse views. Barke and Jenkins-Smith have looked at the nuclear risk perceptions of a range of different scientists from the physical and engineering to the life and environmental sciences (Barke and Jenkins-Smith 1993). They found in their postal questionnaire survey that nuclear waste scientists were least concerned and differed the most from lay publics and environmentalists while most concerned were life scientists who had risk perceptions that were in between those of nuclear waste scientists and the public. Barke and Jenkins-Smith conclude that there are systematic differences in risk perception between scientific sub-communities and that this is associated with their different knowledge bases, methods and institutional affiliations. They argue, in a similar way to Wynne, that these differences tend to be hidden within risk assessments and that it is these hidden assumptions that lead to conflict.

4.4.3 Media
Media studies is a broad and growing area of research and there is debate about the impact of the media on risk issues (Koné and Mullet 1994; Byrd and VanDerslice 1996; Griffin, Dunwoody et al. 1998; Liu, Huang et al. 1998; Wåhlberg and Sjöberg 1998). The research in this area is therefore mixed and contradictory but most researchers agree that the mass media in all its forms has an important but complex influence on lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks. There seem to be four broad perspectives on the media and risk perception: 1. The media as amplifiers of risk perception being biased, sensationalist and distorting the ‘truth’. 2. The media as amplifiers of risk perception because of journalistic and news values. 3. The media as dampeners of risk perception because they are part of the ruling power structure. 4. The media as both amplifying and dampening perceptions of risks depending on the risk, the media and the social and cultural context.

Three aspects of the influence of the media on risk perception will be explored in this section Ploughmans’ notion of the ‘hierarchy of credibility’, Dunwoody et al’s notion of ‘community pluralism’ and the work of the Glasgow Media Group which argues that lay publics are critical and active in their interpretations of media stories (Dunwoody 1994; Ploughman 1997; Philo 1999).

Ploughman claims that the media reflect the social, economic and political structures within which they are embedded. Media access and news are about power and power relations

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such that the mass media’s criteria for newsworthiness sees certain groups and individuals as more newsworthy than others. There are therefore those who are seen as ‘legitimate’ newsmakers with regular access and those who are seen as ‘quasi-legitimate’ newsmakers with irregular access. Legitimate newsmakers include government officials, industry spokespersons and scientific experts. However, she also argues that individuals and groups can rise in their credibility status as has happened with the residents and local groups at Love Canal. She describes six key factors that influence how the media cover disasters (or risk issues):

1. Type of disaster (or risk). 2. Salience of the victims – cause, speed of effects, severity, social groups affected, local versus global impacts, predictability and duration. 3. ‘Vested interests’ – role greater in events where powerful social elites are affected. 4. Hierarchy of credibility - some actors have greater legitimacy and credibility and hence are reported earlier and more often than others. 5. Proximity of the news media to the disaster (or risk). 6. Type of news medium.

The key implication of Ploughman’s work for siting and planning processes is that local government, developers and other expert-professionals will tend to get greater access to the news media than community groups or residents.

Sharon Dunwoody and her colleagues also argue that news and media coverage are framed by the needs and values of existing power structures and relationships (Dunwoody 1994; Griffin, Dunwoody et al. 1995). Communities where power is located in the hands of a few key individuals or a single organisation tend to be small, homogeneous settings for example towns and villages. Decision-making in these types of communities tends to be consensual, ‘behind the scenes’ and based on tradition with conflicts being resolved interpersonally. In these communities the media act as “legitimisers of community norms”. They tend to support existing power structures and aim to build community consensus and solidarity. They also tend to disseminate positive images of the community and its leaders and either ignore or repackage information that brings into question the actions of those in power.

In contrast, communities with many sites of power tend to be large and diverse with competition between the various powerful actors. Conflict is a normal part of these communities and because of the size and complexity of these communities they need a ‘mediation arena’ where conflicts can be aired and resolved in public. In these communities the media not only play the role of being a communication link between the powerful actors, as in smaller homogeneous communities, but also act as facilitators for diverse and

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conflicting perspectives. The implications of Dunwoody’s work for siting and planning processes is that in rural areas news media are likely to act to enhance community cohesion and portray key stakeholders in a positive light while in urban areas the news media will act as an arena for debate and conflict between stakeholders large and small.

The Glasgow Media Group argue an empirically-based version of the ‘active audiences’ perspective which sees lay publics as actively accepting, rejecting and interpreting media messages using their direct experiences, other knowledges and reason (Philo 1999). In their work they have found individuals and groups changing their views as a result of media stories, rejecting them on the basis of their own direct experiences and other knowledge as well as modifying their views by working through news issues using logic and reasoning. Three key themes emerge from their work: that individuals can and do modify their views because of media stories even where these go against their pre-existing beliefs; that the weaker an individual or group’s experience and knowledge of a given area or event the more powerful the influence of the media; and finally that lay publics use direct experience, other knowledges and reasoning to interpret and make sense of media stories.

These perspectives on the media show that the interaction between the media, lay publics and expert-professionals is complex and dynamic. They show that residents are not simply dupes to media propaganda and that the media, in its turn, is not simply sensationalist or providing a propaganda platform for powerful stakeholders. The inter-relationships and interactions are much more fluid and depend on a wide variety of social and cultural factors. These aspects were also explored in the fieldwork and will be discussed in later chapters.

4.5 Environmental Impact Assessment and Risk Perception
Gismondi argues that EIAs should not be seen as a technical, objective and value-neutral policy tool. He asserts that EIAs are suffused with political, social and ethical issues that need to be debated openly (Gismondi 1997). He critiques current EIA practice on five fronts: the exclusion of social issues, a lack of critical social science input, the social construction of impact assessment science, the circulation of the same set of EIA consultants between public and private projects, and the unequal power and communication relationships in planning and siting processes.

Gismondi argues that EIAs focus on the potential negative physical impacts and their amelioration. They tend to actively exclude wider social, political and economic issues that form the context of a proposed development. There is little social science input which would ensure that, in Wynne’s words, ‘naïve’ social assumptions are not made within EIA calculations of risks and benefits or left uncriticised. He also argues that there is an inherent

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conflict of interest in the movement of consultants and scientists between different projects as in many cases the same people who are employed on a business development project are then employed by governments to help draft environmental regulations. Finally, EIAs and the resulting public hearings tend to be sites of unequal power with professionals and experts on one side and the public on the other. Interactions can therefore be unfair as the language used, who gets to talk and the structure of the forum are designed to legitimise the authority of scientists, bureaucrats, lawyers and business people.

A number of other issues have also been identified and these have been grouped here by the stakeholder or area concerned (Wathern 1995; Barrow 1997; Weston 1997; Harrop and Nixon 1999):

Developer: • The financial and time costs of public consultations are key issues for developers. There is also the issue of commercial confidentiality as many developers do not want their competitors to know about their future plans. • • They tend to perceive community and environmental groups as pursuing ideological and political ends. They can be concerned about the expense and negative publicity of litigation and direct protest action.

EIA Consultants: • EIA consultants have to bid to undertake EIAs and for commercial reasons want to ensure that their bid is competitive so that the level of public involvement tends be reduced as consultation tends to be both expensive and time consuming. • As EIAs are paid by the developer there is a concern that the resulting environmental will be slanted in favour of the developer.

Public & Interest Groups: • • • • • Public and community groups tend not to have the resources or time for deeplyinvolved consultations and negotiations. Those who are less articulate and socially-disadvantaged tend to be left out. The public tends to view participation as cynical public relations exercises designed to push through planning decisions. The public tends also to distrust developers and sees them as motivated by greed and profit rather than community safety. The public, particularly with regard to WDFs, tends to see the local planning authority as being on the side of, or working with, the developer.

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Local Planning Authority (LPA): • • • • The LPA has to balance local and short term issues with national and long term ones. There can also be potential conflicts of interest because LPAs can be both the proponent and the decision-maker in some planning applications. LPAs can sometimes see the public as hostile and ‘the enemy’. LPAs can also see public participation as a threat to their professional role and competence to make decisions and can feel they are losing control during the process.

EIA and Planning Process: • • • There are no EC or UK regulations providing specific guidance on how to undertake public involvement. In the UK public participation has followed the DAD model, Decide-Announce-Defend, creating an adversarial arena at planning meetings and public inquiries. The whole EIA and planning process is inherently political therefore manipulating the process can be seen, by developers and community groups, as the best way of achieving desired outcomes for both. • • There is a general lack of background knowledge and information on the part of the public. There tends to be poor project communicators, facilitators and mediators to help inform and guide the public through the rationale of the proposed project.

Environmental Statement (ES): • • The ES tends to be written in a technical and formal style that is difficult for the general public to understand. It is not widely or freely available.

Many of the themes that are described in this section are picked up again in the fieldwork and discussion chapters.

4.6 Summary
The literature on residents’ perceptions of risks around existing and proposed WDFs shows that they have a range of concerns and issues about the facility and the siting. These include environmental and health concerns that exacerbate pre-existing worries about their neighbourhoods. However, communities are diverse and residents can be placed on a continuum of awareness and ignorance as well as concern and unconcern about a particular facility.

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More importantly this literature points out that residents can undergo a variety of psychological, social and cultural changes that can have profound and long-lasting effects on the way they think and feel about themselves, others and the way they live their lives. Studies on hazardous waste facility sitings emphasise the importance of trust relationships, the differing values held by the stakeholders and role of the planning and consultation process in shaping and influencing lay public’s and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks. The work on other stakeholders’ perceptions suggests that the separation of risk expert and lay perceptions of risks is a false one. There is a spectrum of views and perspectives both within and between expert-professionals and lay publics which overlap and merge into each other. There is also some evidence that risk and other planning experts in their everyday lives and in areas where they have no professional expertise have very similar views to lay publics.

Finally, while residents and communities may not articulate the sophisticated perspective developed in the risk society thesis there are key aspects of Beck’s, Giddens’, Douglas’, MacGill’s, Wynne’s and Rayner’s perspectives (described in Chapter 3) which have an important bearing on siting and planning processes. Five issues from this chapter are worth highlighting, firstly, that technological risks and dangers act as symbolic omens that can play a key role in destabilising communities and breaking down individual and community ways of living. Secondly, communities tend to feel helpless as environmental risks and the resulting uncertainty, ‘invade’ and are imposed on their neighbourhoods heightening their perceptions of being at risk and making experts and expert institutions the focus for anger, mistrust and community opposition. Expert-professionals enact a professional role, which involves the use of scientific language and rational ways of thinking and working, that distances them from residents so that they do not fully comprehend residents’ sense of threat. Thirdly, lay publics tend to have a simpler and much more fluid notion of risk tending to think of it simply as danger and threat. So, their concerns centre around the uncertainties and possibilities of danger that are embedded in the general notions of risk and uncertainty. Fourthly, differing values and notions of equity are a key cause of differences in perspective between lay publics and expert professionals. Lastly, the way siting and planning processes are undertaken can and do heighten and reduce residents’ perceptions of risks.

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5. Research Methodology
5.1 Research Problem:
As stated in the introductory chapter the aim of my research project was to understand residents’ and other stakeholder groups’ perceptions of risks in a community setting as they manifested themselves during a policy and decision-making process that has direct effects on local residents. The specific objectives were:

a) To describe how each stakeholder group perceived the risks and develop an understanding of why stakeholders held these ‘risk worldviews’ during the EIA, siting and planning process for a domestic waste transfer station. b) To follow the stakeholders over time to see whether their perceptions of risks changed and to identify the contextual factors that led to changes in risk perception. c) To undertake an inductive analysis of the resulting data and produce a thematic risk perception framework using the participants’ own concepts, ideas, phrases and words. d) To develop a conceptual-analytical framework from the literature that will enable the inductive thematic framework to be linked to existing perspectives, theories and understandings of lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks. e) To use the resulting findings to point towards a community and stakeholder approach that elicits residents’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks, concerns and values in a form that can be incorporated into the EIA, siting and planning process.

From the literature review three key research gaps can be seen. Firstly, there is a need to integrate the various perspectives on risk and risk perception into a conceptual framework that explains risk perception in the context of siting and planning processes. Secondly, there has been no work on following a siting and planning process, involving an EIA, for any kind of waste disposal facility in a densely populated urban area. Thirdly, there has been no qualitative research on the risk perceptions of stakeholders during the siting of a waste transfer station. Waste is an important area of study because in the past it has been seen as low risk and unlikely to cause lay concerns compared to hazardous wastes such as those from the chemical and nuclear industries. However, as the strategy to manage domestic waste has changed, as simply dumping it in a remote hole in the ground is no longer sustainable, there has been increasing concern and protest about the siting of incinerators and landfills near existing human settlements in rural and urban areas even though the health impacts have been difficult to ascertain.

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5.2 Research Approach
In this research project I take a qualitative methodological approach to understanding this research problem. The definition of qualitative research I use is from Denzin and Lincoln (Denzin and Lincoln 1994) pg3-4:

“Qualitative research is an interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and sometimes counterdisciplinary field…It is multiparadigmatic in focus. Its practitioners are sensitive to the value of the multimethod approach. They are committed to the naturalistic perspective, and to the interpretive understanding of human experience. At the same time, the field is inherently political and shaped by multiple ethical and political positions. Qualitative research embraces two tensions at the same time. On the one hand, it is drawn to a broad, interpretive, postmodern, feminist, and critical sensibility. On the other hand, it is drawn to more narrowly defined positivist, postpositivist, humanistic, and naturalistic conceptions of human experience and its analysis.” I have therefore based this thesis on a number of core tenets: • • • • • a commitment to a naturalistic, situational and interpretational approach to understanding the world, an emphasis on the socially constructed nature of reality, an understanding of the interactive relationship between the researcher and the researched, an understanding of the deep influence of contextual factors on research and an awareness of the value-laden nature of all research.

5.3 Study Design
In this study I undertook a process case study where I followed the EIA, siting and planning process, for a WTS, in Islington, London for a period of fifteen months. The process as a whole involved the siting of a new stadium, a range of private and social housing, some community facilities and a waste transfer station. My study was restricted to those aspects that related directly to the siting of the waste transfer station. My key assumption was that while every siting and planning process is different, in important ways, they have characteristics in common which should allow conclusions to be drawn about the siting of waste disposal facilities in general (Kuzel, Engel et al. 1994; Stake 1994).

I explored a number of different study designs including following up an EIA and siting process, in two communities, at three points in time, i) at the time of the EIA, ii) at the time the decision to accept or reject the siting application was made and iii) after the waste
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disposal facility was built and operational (or not built as the case might be). As well as having a small quantitative questionnaire element, similar in design to that used in the existing literature, and having a large qualitative component made up of semi-structured indepth interviews, some focus group discussions, some participant observation at public consultation meetings, some local media analysis and the analysis of the EIA report (environmental statement) and other planning documents.

The rationale for potentially including a quantitative element in the research was to link into existing work on siting waste facilities and see how similar or different the particular communities studied were in terms of their quantifiable perceptions of risks. It would also provide a means of data triangulation by adding to and enhancing the results of the qualitative part of the research. The qualitative in-depth interviews would give a detailed understanding of residents’ and other stakeholders’ worldviews and their perceptions of risks. The focus groups, with the interview participants, would show how group interactions influenced and modified the issues and ‘worldviews’ identified during the in-depth interviews. Similarly, participant observation during the public consultation meetings would also provide data on the interactions of the different stakeholders and their perceptions of risk in a live policy and decision-making setting. Finally, some media and document analyses would add to the understanding of expert and lay risk perception, the role of the media and the way information was perceived and disseminated in the communities studied. The idea behind using a multiple methods approach was to ensure that all key aspects of risk perception were taken into account and to add rigour to the overall methodology.

However, after careful consideration of the human, financial, time and analytical constraints I faced in completing this study I decided to investigate just one community at two periods in time only; 1) during the siting and planning process and 2) just after the siting decision was made so that there was no follow-up during the construction or rejection stage (see Fig. 5.1). The quantitative aspect was excluded, partly given the constraints listed above but also because given the extensive quantitative literature, a structured questionnaire survey would add little to the single case study under investigation. The focus group aspect was excluded from the qualitative methodology as being difficult to undertake, time consuming and while providing interesting insights, its exclusion would not adversely affect the aims of the study. It was also found during the fieldwork that comments and statements written by objecting and supporting residents were available for analysis. The final qualitative-only methodology therefore included: a community profile, the collection of written public comments, in-depth interviews at two points in time, participant observation at public consultation meetings, and relevant media/document collection.

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Fig. 5.1: Outlining the siting and planning process with the key stakeholders and the stages at which they usually become involved
(Overlapping stakeholders indicate where the community in particular is made of multiple stakeholders with potentially different perspectives. For clarity the dotted lines highlight only the significant relationships between key stakeholders. Stakeholders involved at the early stages continue to be involved at all subsequent stages)

Strategic Planning & Technical Assessment of Potentially Suitable Sites

Planning Proposal & Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for one favoured

Consent & Construction Environmental Statement Planning Consultation & Consideration

Site

Refusal & EITHER Re-application/ appeal OR Consideration of another Site

Industrial Developer

EIA Consultant s Environmental NGOs Community Residents (heterogeneous)

Protest Community Group/s

Local Voluntary Sector NGOs

Local Authority (Waste Planning & Environment)

Local Landowners

Local Business & Associations Judiciary (Judges, Lawyers)

Local Authority (Other) National Government (DETR, Environment Agency)

Local Media (Newspapers , Radio, TV)

Health Authority (Public Health Dept.)

M I N I M U M

2 4

M O N T H

T I M E L I N E
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5.4 Fieldwork Siting & Participant Selection
The fieldwork for this study was undertaken between December 1999 and June 2002.

The three main criteria for the selection of the case study site were: • • • accessibility to the area and the siting and planning process, a siting and planning process for a WDF, involving an EIA, that had just started or was about to start and the co-operation and consent from local community residents and as many of the ‘professional’ stakeholders as possible including EIA consultants, the local authority and the developer.

For this study the key attributes of a good informant were (Kuzel, Engel et al. 1994; Baxter 1997): • • • • having a stake in the community undergoing the siting and planning process, willingness to participate, having the time to be interviewed and being able to reflect on and articulate their views of the world and the siting and planning process.

Like Baxter in section 4.2.2, in the previous chapter, resident interviewees could have been randomly sampled using the electoral register and stratified according to distance from the potential waste transfer station site. However, unlike Baxter’s rural community this was an urban area with a highly mobile population. This would have meant that representativeness was unlikely to be achieved as key groups tend not to be on electoral registers for example ethnic minorities and young people. Furthermore, urban residents already receive a lot of unsolicited mail, including survey questionnaires, and so many of them were likely to ignore or refuse to participate. The aim therefore was to ensure as much heterogeneity in the people interviewed and to talk, both formally and informally, to as wide a range of stakeholders as possible during the siting and planning process. Fig 5.1 (see previous page) shows graphically the range of stakeholders involved, the point in the EIA and planning process at which they usually become involved and the relationships between them. Residents were therefore invited to participate via a leaflet mailshot throughout the neighbouring streets around the proposed sites (see Appendix 5). A range of homes were targeted including owner-occupied houses, rented accomodation, housing association flats and council housing estates. Invitation letters were also sent to the key organisations involved in the consultation process including statutory agencies and community groups. Individuals were also approached at the local neighbourhood forum and at other public meetings in the area.

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5.5 Study Methods
5.5.1 Community Mapping and Profiling
The aim of the community mapping and profiling exercise was to understand the community and the study area in its historical, geographical, demographic, economic, cultural and social contexts (Craig 1990; Barrow 1997). I spent as much time as possible in the neighbourhood and visited local shops, the local neighbourhood forum and local community projects. I also made some visual and written records of the characteristics of the area and the community around the proposed site for the WTS.

5.5.2 Written Public Comments
The Council as part of its public consultation exercise sent a multi-page A4 leaflet, with a comment form attached, to all residents in Islington so that they could feedback their concerns about the proposed developments. The Council also accepted written letters and emails. These comments, as well as the environmental statement and other planning documents, were publicly accessible at the Council’s planning office. All the opposing and supporting comments about the siting of the WTS were collected.

5.5.3 Interview
This study used a semi-structured approach with broad thematic questions (see Appendices 2, 3 and 4). A semi-structured approach allowed residents to articulate their views and perceptions in their own ways and ensured that key issues concerning the siting and planning process were not forgotten (Fontana and Frey 1994).

Three sets of interviews were undertaken with each stakeholder where possible. The first two interviews were done during the siting and planning process and the last one after the decision to approve or reject the WTS was made. The first interview involved a semistructured conversation about the neighbourhood and the individual’s perceptions and concerns about the siting. General first round interview themes included: • • • • • • •

background information and personal and neighbourhood concerns, experiences and views on statutory, voluntary and private sector organisations, views on how able they felt about effecting change in their neighbourhood, the range and depth of their social networks – family, friends and employment, the key sources of information at family, neighbourhood and national levels, their views and concerns about the WTS being sited in their neighbourhood - what images, feelings and words came to mind and their views of the siting, planning and consultation process.
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The second interview involved a set of exercises to explore in more detail the individual’s perceptions and wider worldview (see Appendix 6). The first exercise asked them to pick out their likes and dislikes from a range of potential siting developments (e.g. gas-fired power station) and the reasons behind their choices. The second set of exercises asked them to articulate their understandings of risk, science and the values that informed the siting process through a set of word association games. The third exercise used a stakeholder matrix to get them to talk about their views on the other stakeholders involved in the process and the power and influence they wielded. Finally, the third interview, after the planning decision was made, asked residents whether, and in what ways their perceptions and views, had changed since the first and second interviews.

5.5.4 Observation
All the public meetings that were observed were written up and where possible the meetings were tape-recorded. The aim was to observe the interactions between the various stakeholders including those between individuals within the same stakeholder group. This was done by taking a strategic position within the venue ideally near the middle and to one side so that all the participants could be seen and heard as clearly as possible. The kinds of themes explored were: • • • • • • •

What kinds of issues and concerns were raised ? How did the stakeholders treat each other in terms of manner and demeanour? Who were the influential individuals within each stakeholder group? How did the interactions change over time and was there an increase in conflict? What kinds of words and phrases were used and when did misunderstandings occur between stakeholders? In what way were the different perspectives and ‘worldviews’ leading to

misunderstandings and poor communication? How was any resulting conflict and concern resolved?

5.5.5 Media and Other Documents
The aim here was to collect all the articles relating to the siting of the waste transfer station from the two main local papers: the Islington Gazette and Highbury & Islington Express. Other sources of information about the process and stakeholders’ views included the website and press releases of the Council (planning authority), Arsenal (the developer) and objecting community groups. Finally, key documents like the environmental statement, the minutes of key meetings and the special planning report for councillors were also collected.

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5.6 Data Collection and Analysis
Data from the public comments were transcribed directly onto a computer. The interviews and the public meetings were tape-recorded and some separate notes were also made. The taped interviews and notes were then transcribed onto computer. The documentary materials were collected through subscription to the local newspapers, regular checking of websites and the collection of documents as and when they were disseminated by the relevant stakeholders.

Data analysis used both close reading of the text and the NUDIST qualitative software package. The analysis was both an inductive and deductive. Initially, an inductive approach was used whereby thematic categories were created as they emerged from the data using respondents’ own words and phrases. This was developed into a broad inductive thematic framework. A deductive analysis was then undertaken using a conceptual-analytical framework developed from the literature. Finally, this conceptual-analytical framework was referred back to the understandings and perspectives described in the literature review.

All the public comments, interviews and observations were transcribed onto computer, the raw data was closely read a number of times and a thematic analysis was undertaken using either an electronic or manual approach. For the public comments, NUDIST was used to structure themes in relation to each other creating a layering of themes at three levels. These were enumerated in terms of how often themes appeared and how many and what types of stakeholders used a particular theme. Themes were then related across objecting residents, supporting residents and key organisations and areas of similarity and difference highlighted. For the in-depth interviews a visual thematic framework was used to structure the data. This allowed a diagrammatic representation of each stakeholders’ worldview to be developed and for key differences between the various stakeholders to be elicited including those between objecting and supporting residents, between residents and expertprofessionals and between expert-professionals themselves. Finally, the transcriptions from the public meetings, the documents and media materials were also read closely and key themes and issues drawn out.

5.7 Ensuring Study Rigour
The rigour of this study was enhanced by using a number of techniques (Inui and Frankel 1991; Kuzel, Engel et al. 1994; Devers 1999):

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Reflexive Approach I ensured that any researcher-influenced effects were kept to a minimum by adopting a critical self-awareness of the influence of my personal beliefs and my role as a researcher during the process. Specifically, I was open and honest when asked about my personal views and understandings but did not take sides, apportion blame or give the impression that I thought one stakeholder group was right and another wrong. I also kept a research notebook during the study design, literature review, fieldwork and analysis stages and wrote down key thoughts, ideas and issues that I had during that time.

Credibility • Subject Review: A summary feedback of the interviews was sent or given to the participants for them to review to ensure that I had understood the meaning of their words and perspectives. Where participants felt that there were inaccuracies these were revised and changes made to the interpretation. • Prolonged Engagement: During the EIA and the planning stages that lasted over a year I spent a significant amount of time researching in and exploring the study area and community. • Multiple Methods: This study used four techniques - written public comments, in-depth interviews, observation and media/documentary analyses. Alongside this there were inductive and deductive analyses of the data collected. • Searching for Disconfirming Evidence: The public comments written by supporters as well as objectors were collected and a range of stakeholders and community residents were interviewed formally and talked to informally. The analysis also explored disconfirming and contradictory statements made within the written comments and interviews.

Transferability • • Study Context: The community mapping provided a detailed description of the local neighbourhood around the proposed site. Researcher’s Role: A research notebook was kept detailing important aspects of the fieldwork.

Dependability: • Audit Trailing: All interviews were transcribed as soon as possible. Field notes were kept of key aspects of the fieldwork. The analytical process and the results of the analyses were also written done in notebooks similar to the ones kept during the early research and literature review phases.

Confirmability: • See ‘Multiple Methods’ in the Credibility section.

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• • •

See ‘Subject Review’ in the Dependability section. See ‘Search for Disconfirming Evidence’ in the Credibility section. See Reflex and Self-Reflexive Approach section.

Coherence • The findings of this study were compared and contrasted with existing understandings on risk perception and the ‘fit’ and coherence of the research findings and the methodological approach were related to the wider literature.

5.8 Addressing the Ethical Issues of the Study
A number of specific ethical issues arose during this study which included informed consent, confidentiality, trust issues and the possibility of the researcher increasing residents’ concerns and worries (Klockars and O' Connor 1979; Bulmer 1982; Punch 1994).

Research Ethos The over-riding ethos I had during this study was to view all the stakeholders as legitimate, worthy of respect and deserving a hearing during the siting and planning process. This framed how I saw stakeholders and I made every effort to avoid forming any strong opinions of the stakeholders involved. This however did not preclude statements expressing the importance of residents’ views being listened to and for them to have an important influence on the siting and planning process.

Informed Consent Each interviewee was given a leaflet outlining the aims of the study, the voluntary nature of their participation and the steps taken to ensure confidentiality (See Appendix 5). Most of them then completed a written informed consent form. This was obviously not possible for the public meetings where a range of residents and expert-professionals stood up and spoke. However, attendees were told by the Chair of the meetings that comments and issues raised during the meetings would be written up by the Council and made available as part of the public consultation process. In some of the meetings local journalists and TV crews were also present.

Trust Issues To ensure that participants felt that their views were accurately and appropriately represented a summary of their views was sent to them for review and any changes incorporated into the final analysis. A brief research report would also be sent to each of them after the final thesis was completed. This was felt to be particularly important in a situation where residents had expressed distrust of the developer and a sense of betrayal

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by the local authority. This was also a practical way of showing participants that their views were valued and respected. All the data was kept in a lockable cupboard and all respondents were disguised as much as possible. Furthermore, any statements made in confidence were not reported verbatim or quoted directly.

Raising Residents Concerns and Anxieties In a situation where residents were already expressing concerns about the environmental and health effects of the proposed waste transfer station it was important not to further heighten their worries and anxieties. As the literature on the environmental and health effects of waste transfer stations is non-existent, it was ethical and appropriate to say, when asked about a personal opinion, that there was no firm scientific evidence on this issue but that this did not mean that residents’ concerns weren’t important as the siting process should ensure that residents concerns were properly addressed. I also obtained ethical approval from the London School of Hygiene’s Research Ethics Committee.

5.9 Summary
All study designs are a compromise between what is ideal and what is practical. In this chapter I described how I developed my study design and the reasons for my final choice of study methods. I also detailed the approaches I used to enhance the rigour of this study and how I addressed the ethical issues raised by my research.

The next chapter develops a community profile of the study neighbourhood in the context of London and the borough of Islington.

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6. Community Profile & Fieldwork Context
6.1 Introduction
In this chapter I provide key socio-economic, historical, political, health, and demographic information about London and Islington. I also provide a fieldwork context and ethnography/personal perspective of the neighbourhood where the proposed WTS was to be sited and the siting and planning process.

I collected information from a variety of sources including the Office of National Statistics, Government Office for London, the London Research Centre, the London Borough of Islington and Camden & Islington Health Authority. Most of the figures are from surveys and assessments made in 1998-99 unless otherwise stated. Islington, as an inner London borough, has many socio-demographic similarities with the London region as a whole. However it has significant deprivation, large disparities between rich and poor, substantial ethnic minority and asylum seeker populations and one of the lowest levels of open and green space of any London borough. It also has one of the highest levels of chronic illness and disability.

6.2 London

6.2.1 Population
London is one of the largest and most populous cities in the world with over 7 million residents. It is the EU’s third most densely settled area after Brussels and Paris. The population dynamics of London are typical of a mature city that has a declining centre and expanding outer suburbs. The inner and outer boroughs of London are shown in Fig. 6.1.

Compared to other British cities, London has an average birth rate and a slightly higher proportion of women than men among its resident population. The population is younger, on average, than the country as a whole. In terms of age, 41% of London residents are between the ages of 20 and 44 compared to only 36% of the UK population. London also has proportionately more children under 5 and fewer persons aged 5 to 15 and over 45 than the UK as a whole. Approximately, 25% of the city’s population belongs to an ethnic minority group. Whilst only 12% of the total population of Great Britain lives in London it has nearly half of the country’s minority ethnic population. Of these, 42% are Black, 36% South Asian and 22% of mixed ethnic origin or other ethnic groups.

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Fig. 6.1: Map of the London boroughs and a map of the administrative wards that make up the borough of Islington (Office of National Statistics & Islington Borough Council)

Borough Wards of Islington

Proposed WTS site on Lough Road/ Eden Grove

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London has one of the lowest average household sizes in the country at 2.32 and of these approximately 37% are married couples, 9% cohabiting, 8% lone parents, 34% one-person and 12% other multi-person households.

6.2.2 Environment
Although London is predominantly an urban area, it is not entirely built up; over a third of its total land area is semi-natural/mown grass, tilled land and deciduous woodland. Since the majority of land in London is already under some form of urban use, most of the changes in use involve brownfield developments (i.e. replacing existing buildings with new ones or putting old buildings to new uses). Around 1% of the land has been so damaged by industrial and other contamination that it is incapable of new uses without remedial treatment. Road traffic is increasingly a big contributor to air pollution creating nearly 76% of the total emissions of oxides of nitrogen, 97% of carbon monoxide, 86% of benzene and 77% of PM10 emissions. Other contributors to air pollution include aircraft using London’s airports and the region’s power stations.

6.2.3 Waste Generation & Disposal
In 1998-99 each household in London produced approximately one tonne of waste. Together the thirty-three London Councils acting as waste collection authorities collected approximately three million tonnes of municipal waste from local households. Municipal waste is collected by each of the London boroughs separately and four statutory waste disposal authorities and twelve non-aligned authorities dispose of this waste. Waste not reused, recycled, composted or converted to electricity through incineration is disposed of by controlled landfill. Nationally around 85% of municipal waste is disposed of by landfill whereas in London approximately 70% of municipal waste is dealt with like this. Of this 70% around 90% is deposited in sites outside London.

A waste strategy for England and Wales and national targets for municipal waste have been put in place by national government through the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (formerly the Department of Environment, Transport & Regions). The Environment Agency controls the storage, transport and disposal of waste. It also monitors and regulates the implementation of the national waste strategy. The Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority (GLA) considers waste contracts and draft recycling plans from the London boroughs and ensures that due regard is paid to the national and to the GLA’s waste management strategies.

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6.2.4 Living in London
The proportion of families with incomes over £600 per week is approximately 31% compared to 23% in the UK as a whole. The proportion of families in middle income groups is slightly lower and the proportion of families with less than £100 per week is, at 12%, the same as for the rest of the UK. However, the relatively high cost of housing in London has a significant influence on standards of living particularly for those on low incomes. In terms of social welfare, 18% of London residents receive income support compared to 15% in the UK as a whole and this rises to 25% for the inner London boroughs. Altogether, fifteen of the top thirty most deprived districts in the country are in London. Of these, ten are in inner London with Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Islington in the top ten.

Infant mortality rates in London have followed the same pattern as those for the UK as a whole. Death rates have been slightly lower and though the common causes of death circulatory diseases and cancers - are the same as for the rest of the UK; Londoners are more likely to die from respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis. There is also a higher rate of HIV and AIDS in London than elsewhere in England and Wales. One in six Londoners report a limiting long-standing illness compared with one in five in the UK as a whole. In other words Londoners, as a whole, are slightly more healthier that the rest of Britain. In London, and across the country, women report a higher prevalence of ill health than men.

While the crime figures are complex, showing declines in some areas and increases in others, women are generally more worried about crime, especially violent crime, than men and this pattern is repeated across the rest of the country. London women and men are more concerned about racial attacks which may reflect the large ethnic minority population resident in London. Overall, Londoners are only slightly more concerned about becoming the victims of crime than the rest of the UK.

6.3 Islington

6.3.1 Overview
Islington is one of the smallest, most deprived, most densely populated and ethnically diverse boroughs in London. See Table 6.1 for key facts about Islington.

6.3.2 Population
There is a long settled resident population as well as a transient one. The population is relatively young and mobile. Typically, people move into the borough when they are

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younger and move out when they become older and have a family, similar to London as a whole. Over 15% are of pensionable age, and of these 42% live alone. Nearly 20% of the population is made up of black or ethnic minority groups and newly arrived asylum seekers and refugees. Approximately 75% of the local ethnic minority population was born in the UK.

Table 6.1 Key Facts about Islington Aspect Area Population 1997 Age Structure 1997 0-14 15-34 35-39 60 and over No. of Households 1997 Average Household Size 1997 Single Parent Households 1997 % Ethnic minorities 1996 (Irish, Greek, Turkish and Cypriot not classified in these figures as ethnic minorities) Car ownership 1991 Economically Active Adults (Working & Unemployed) 1996 Unemployed Jan 2000 No. of people employed in Islington 1997 No. of businesses

Statistic 6 square miles 177,682

34,187 (19%) 62,895 (36%) 52,455 (30%) 27,195 (15%) 79,020 2.19 8,976 22,400 (24%)

40% 90,100 7991 (10%) 130,100 8000

For most of the last century Islington’s population has been declining. In 1901, the number of people living in the area now administered by Islington Council was over 436,000. By the early 1980’s this had bottomed out at 162,700 but since then the population has been rising steadily to stand by 1997 at 176,000. The male to female ratio is 48% to 52% which is similar to the findings for London as a whole. Islington also has a similar age structure to the rest of London. Key trends include a projected decline in the number of young children, an increasing number of young adults, a decline in the number of adults in their late 20s and early 30s, an increase in the number of adults in their late 30s and early 40s and a decline in the number of older people.

Up until the early 1980s, the number of households in the borough also fell but as of 1997 stood at 79,000 households with an average household size of 2.19. The types of households found are approximately: 29% married couples, 8% cohabiting couples, 11% lone parents, 11% one-person and 13% other households. There is projected to be an

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increase in the number of households, a fall in the number of married couples, a rise in the number of cohabiting couples and an increase in lone parent, single person and other households. Islington therefore has a population which reflects the diverse, mobile and changing population of London as a whole.

6.3.3 Environment
Islington has very little green space, containing just 1% of London’s trees and a minimal amount of allotment land. Air quality in Islington is sometimes extremely poor and trains carrying nuclear waste flasks pass through Islington nearly every week. About 50% of the land in Islington is in residential use and houses and flats are mixed with commercial and industrial buildings. Shops and businesses tend to follow the borough’s major roads with the two key shopping areas found at the two major road intersections.

The approximate breakdown in land use is as follows: 54% residential, 13% commercial, 9% public buildings, 7% open space, 7% vacant and 9% other uses. Islington experienced considerable development pressures during the 1980s due to the growth of ‘city’ offices and its increasing attractiveness for new residential developments. However, there was a marked slow down in the scale of new development in the early 1990s due to an economic recession at the time. Since then there has been a steady growth in the number of planning and development applications. Islington’s attractive residential environment combined with its accessibility to Central London has led to escalating property prices and an influx of high income residents. There has also been recent development pressures from commercial developments in the areas bordering the City, at Angel and at Kings Cross and St Pancras.

There are a number of negative environmental factors in the area including: too much traffic, a poor quality ‘street scene’ with noise, graffiti, vandalism, dereliction and blight, poor quality older housing, a lack of green and open public space and some recently built large and poorly designed developments. The local authority has identified thirteen problem areas in the borough including the area around Lough Road/ Eden Grove, the proposed site for the WTS, which they describe as derelict and vacant land with a poor quality street scene.

As we will see in the subsequent chapters residents were very aware of the problems that faced Islington, and their neighbourhood, and articulated many of the same issues that have been identified by the local council.

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6.3.4 Waste Generation and Disposal
Islington Borough Council collects waste from each household and in 2000-01 this was 112,000 tonnes. This waste is taken to the existing Ashburton Grove municipal waste transfer station for compaction and then freighted for disposal to landfill sites in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. A small amount of waste is sent to the waste-to-energy incinerator at Edmonton. Ashburton Grove also receives a proportion of Camden and Hackney’s municipal waste. Recycling is on the increase but there is as yet no systematic door-to-door collection of cans, glass and paper though there are public recycling bins on major roads, on council estates and other publicly accessible sites. The existing municipal WTS is currently situated in a light industrial area alongside other warehouses, workshops and businesses and is the site on which Arsenal, the developer, propose to build their new stadium.

Again, as we will see in the subsequent chapters many residents were aware of the existence of a WTS in the neighbourhood, its old and dilapidated nature and the constant flow of large lorries to and from the facility. The lack of a comprehensive recycling programme was also an issue raised by the residents objecting to the WTS siting.

6.3.5 Living in Islington
Islington is ranked fourth amongst the most deprived inner London boroughs, with 57% of residents living in the most deprived wards yet most outsiders imagine Islington as a rich area made up of young urban professionals. Instead, there are enormous contrasts of rich and poor that have always been apparent and show little sign of changing. Islington has lost many of its traditional businesses and despite investment in housing, employment and amenities poverty and inequality continue to persist. House prices are now beyond the reach of the average family with 60% of families in council or housing association accommodation. The last housing survey in 1995 classified over 19% of the housing stock public, private and housing association - as being unfit for human habitation.

In 1994, 25% of the population aged under 60 was on income support, 17% were disabled, 27% were lone parents and 45% were unemployed. Of those aged 60 years and over 25% were on income support. Islington has the third highest rate of disability in London and 60% of disabled adults are over 60 years of age. Unemployment rates in Islington exceed the national average. In 1996, 23% of minority ethnic groups were unemployed compared to only 16% of white people. In 1996, Islington had the second highest crime rate compared to other North London boroughs and was ranked first in terms of violent crime and robbery. Falls in mortality rates are significantly less than for England and Wales. Rates of infectious and parasitic disease, cancer, endocrine disorders, mental health disorders and injuries

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(including poisonings) are much higher in Islington than in London as a whole. Islington also has twice the average London rate for admissions to psychiatric units.

As we will see in the subsequent chapters residents were acutely aware of the wider social problems that the neighbourhood faced both in terms of crime and safety and poverty and deprivation. Another issue that also emerges in the subsequent chapters is the number of objecting residents who cited deprivation, disability and health issues - personal and community - as key reasons for not having the WTS sited in the Lough Road/ Eden Grove area.

6.4 Fieldwork Context & Ethnography
The fieldwork for this study was undertaken between December 2000 and May 2002.

6.4.1 Background to the Development and Planning Process
Arsenal Football Club, the developer, began life when a group of workers at the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory, in South-east London, decided to form a football team in late 1886. In 1891 the Club turned professional and changed its name to Woolwich Arsenal. They joined the Football League in 1893. The Club has been in Islington at its current stadium site in Highbury since 1913. It is the biggest and most high profile organisation in the borough being a lead club in the English Football Premier League.

The 1990 Taylor Report, reduced the capacity of the current stadium by making all-seater football stadiums mandatory throughout England and Wales. The resultant reduction in ticket income and the increasing competition from other Premier League clubs meant that Arsenal needed to do something to increase seating capacity. Arsenal were keen to stay in Islington, and retain their historical roots, so in 1998 they explored the option of increasing the capacity of their existing stadium. However this proposal aroused strong community protest, and after initial Council and community consultations this idea was abandoned without proceeding to a formal planning application.

The Club then went on to explore other potential sites and found twenty-seven sites in and around London including a greenfield site on the outskirts of the city. These they narrowed down to four after screening against a range of criteria including size, accessibility, planning considerations and availability. The Club finally chose Ashburton Grove as their best option and submitted a formal planning application in November 2000. Ashburton Grove is currently a business and light industrial estate, with an existing municipal WTS, and Arsenal’s aim was to relocate the existing businesses either to the Lough Road/Eden Grove site, which is currently derelict, or to appropriate sites elsewhere. So, the Club wanted not

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only to buy the land at Ashburton Grove but also the derelict land near Lough Road. Within the proposed developments they also had to propose the relocation of the existing municipal waste transfer station (WTS) to Lough Road (see Fig 6.2 which shows a map of the area). This WTS was owned by the North London Waste Authority, a consortium formed by seven inner London boroughs, including Islington that has councillors on its management board. Arsenal also proposed to build Islington Council a new vehicle depot and offices at Lough Road. Finally, a third proposal was also submitted to redevelop the existing Highbury stadium into new housing. The full Arsenal proposals were therefore large and complex involving three parcels of land and a series of interlinked moves, by businesses and other organisations, in order for the whole development to be successfully realised.

Arsenal first contacted Islington Council about Ashburton Grove in the summer of 1999. The Planning Committee agreed draft planning briefs for Ashburton Grove and Highbury Stadium in January and February 2000. There was no planning brief at this stage for the Lough Road site. The Council undertook community consultations for the planning briefs, in April and August 2000, by forming a design review group made up of residents’ association and community group representatives. In November 2000, the Club formally submitted its proposals for planning permission. Fig. 6.3 gives a diagrammatic representation of the timeline for the process.

Islington Council then undertook a formal public consultation process to gather the opinions of local people between December 2000 and January 2001. This included an information leaflet and stamp addressed forms for comments, letters to community groups and statutory agencies, adverts in local newspapers, public meetings, a mobile exhibition trailer, a drop-in centre at the planning office and their website. The Club also undertook its own information and public relations exercise during this process using brochures, pamphlets, exhibitions at the current stadium and their website. The first set of exhibitions took place in December 2000 but the major public meetings took place in January 2001 with the deadline for comments being the end of January. However after requests at the public meetings and in the comments and letters sent to the Council, the Council agreed to extend the deadline and included all the comments they received regardless of whether they arrived before the deadline or not.

The original timetable was to have a decision on the proposals by March-April 2001. However, after this first stage of consultation, Arsenal were asked to revise their proposals in light of the issues raised by local statutory agencies and residents. This revised proposal was submitted in June 2001 and had a second smaller round of public consultation. Following this there were three lesser supplementary revisions in September, October and

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November 2001 which, except for the design review group, did not involve a formal public consultation process.

Fig. 6.2: Map of the location of the current stadium, the proposed new stadium at Ashburton Grove and the proposed new WTS at Lough Road/ Eden Grove.

Existing Stadium

Existing WTS & Proposed Site for New Stadium

Proposed New WTS

(from http://www.streetmap.co.uk)

On 10 December 2001 at a special council meeting, where the public had another opportunity to voice their objections and support, Islington councillors voted and approved the Arsenal proposals by a large majority. In all, the planning process took over two and half years from the early site proposals to the granting of planning permission and just over a year from the formal submission to the granting of planning permission. The application was then sent to the Mayor of London and the Secretary of State for their approval.

During this time there were a number of key political events. There were national elections in May 2001 where the Labour Party won by a historic majority and gained an unprecedented second term of office. There were also some local borough council elections during that time. Hence, during this time many residents spoke out against the councillors and said that they would not be voting for them should the Arsenal proposals be approved.

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Fig. 6.3: Timeline of the actual siting and planning process for the WTA in Islington with the key stakeholders and when they became involved
(Overlapping stakeholders indicate where the community in particular is made of multiple stakeholders with different perspectives. For clarity the dotted lines highlight only the significant relationships between key stakeholders. Stakeholders involved at the early stages continued to be involved in later stages)

May 2001

May 2002

1998 Strategic Planning & Technical Assessment of Potentially Suitable Sites

Nov 1999

Nov 2000

Dec ‘00-Jan ‘01

National Elections

Jul ‘01

Dec 2001

Local Elections

Planning Design Brief Developed

Planning Proposal & Environmental Environmental Statement Impact Assessment

Planning Consultation 1

Revision of Proposal

Smaller Planning Consultation 2

Planning Consideration by Islington Council

Consent Given
Referred to & Consented by GLA & DEFRA Judicial Appeal Lodged by ISCA (Community Group)

Arsenal FC

EIA Consultants Review Group

Residents Association (RA)

ISCA
(umbrella community protest group)

Islington Borough Council
(Planning Dept.)

made up of RA Representatives around stadium (Not Lough Road)

Community Residents INCLUDES
Lough Road area Representatives JUN 2001

Local Businesses

Other Local Organisations Islington Council Lawyers
(e.g. churches, historical society)

Judiciary
(The Courts, Judges, Lawyers)

National Government
(1990 Taylor Report)

Local Media
(Newspapers, Radio, TV)

Railtrack & Sainsburys
(owners of the Lough Road land)

Police & Fire Brigade & London Transport

Other Statutory Consultees
e.g. GLA

Health Authority
(Public Health Dept.)

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6.4.2 Ethnography, Informal Observations and Key Reflections
I spent a significant amount of time in and around north Islington and this section provides a personal perspective on the neighbourhood and the planning process. The derelict site where the proposed WTS was to be sited is bounded by two major roads: Caledonian and Holloway Roads (see previous Fig.6.2). In the daytime the Caledonian Road is busy with cars, buses and vans (see Photos 6.1 and 6.2). On a typical weekday young students walk to the nearby University of North London and older people, some with wheelie bags, wait for buses that will take them into town to do their shopping. Other residents visit the local shops for newspapers, milk and cigarettes. On the other side, Holloway Road is even busier with the main university building and major retail stores such as Waitrose and Argos situated on it. The area has some run down areas and there are two major prisons Holloway and Pentonville - in the neighbourhood. This is in contrast to south Islington where Upper Street is a fashionable and vibrant road that acts as a cosmopolitan hub with restaurants, cafes, antique shops, fashion boutiques, a cinema and a design centre as well as the Town Hall and other Council offices.

The neighbourhood to the south of the derelict site is made up of a number of large council estates and blocks built in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The estate nearest to the site, the Ringcross Estate, was built in the 70’s and is well maintained with inner courtyards that have personal gardens on the ground floor, communal green space and communal pathways criss-crossing through it (see Photo. 6.3). Outside school hours children play in and around the estates - on their bikes, with a football or just milling around. Other blocks of flats are less well-kept and some are quite run-down with dirty and smelly communal spaces that have graffiti scrawled on their stairwell walls. There are also some 1980’s built well-maintained terraced housing, with well kept front gardens, along the busy Mackenzie Road. In both the well-maintained and badly-maintained blocks some individual families and residents have created their own little green ‘oases’ along their communal landings and balconies with potted plants and other decorations.

Around a third of council-flat residents, in most of the blocks, have iron gates to enclose and protect their parts of the communal balconies with some residents having iron gates directly outside their front doors. These parts of the neighbourhood give the distinct impression that residents are worried about crime and safety. Though walking around in the evenings the area both to north and south of the site did not feel unsafe. Most of the streets are fairly clean and tidy though on some back alleys and side roads there is rubbish and the occasional burnt-out car. There is also a sense of community in some parts of the neighbourhood with people stopping to talk to each other, children laughing and playing, active local churches advertising youth projects and a nearby local primary school. There is also a well-maintained local park - Paradise Park - with a well-regarded urban farm situated within it.

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To the west there are a mixture of owner-occupied housing as well as a run-down estate. The park in that area - Caledonian Park - is known for its burnt out cars, vandalism and the unruly behaviour of the children playing there (see previous Fig 6.2). There are also some businesses, light industrial facilities, an Age Concern community centre, some council terraced housing and some university buildings in that part of the neighbourhood. To the east of the site and Holloway Road there are a mixture of residential housing and a large industrial park, Ashburton Grove, in which three waste transfer facilities are sited. Of the three WTSs two are small private ones while the third is the large municipal one which is to be sited on the derelict site (see Photo. 6.5). These WTSs are 15-20 minutes walk away from the Lough Road neighbourhood and are set well within the industrial park. There are regular dustcarts, and other large trucks, manoeuvring through the narrow roads within the area. The area around the facilities smells of rubbish for a distance of 30 metres or so.

To the north of the site the area is made up of privately owned terraced houses and flats with some new housing association and council flat developments from the 1980s (see Photo. 6.4). This part of the neighbourhood is more prosperous and well-maintained with some active residents’ associations creating ‘micro-communities’ that have regular community events including summer barbecues, jumble sales and neighbourhood gardening projects. However, the newer housing developments, while tidy and well-kept, feel much more deserted and have less of a sense of community. This part of the neighbourhood also has a couple of active, community-focused local churches that also acted as focusses for community opposition to the WTS siting.

Informally talking to local residents and shopkeepers many were aware of the proposed developments and many had strong concerns. The concerns were similar to those raised in the chapters that follow with one elderly woman feeling that the Council and Arsenal were “jack-booting” the residents. One counter-position raised by a local Asian shopkeeper was the notion that the developments would probably increase the house prices in the area and that this was a good time to buy before prices shot up. She saw the WTS and new housing as a stimulus to the local area and an opportunity for anyone who had a house or could afford a house in the area to make money. This notion was founded on a perception that the Council would do what they wanted and as they wanted the Arsenal developments it was bound to happen and so residents should just make the best of it.

The Council had a local Neighbourhood Forum (due to changes in the Council’s departmental structures these have now been turned into area committees) for residents to raise their concerns and feedback on council services, housing, crime and health issues to the appropriate agencies and officers. At most meetings there are twelve to sixteen regular attendees, aged between 40-65 years, who are largely from the west and south of the

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neighbourhood. The two local ward councillors are also present along with a council officer who writes up the minutes of the meetings. The meetings are held at a number of venues including the local Age Concern community centre and local churches.

I also spent a considerable amount of time in the public area of the planning offices where I wrote up the written public comments. Most of that time was uneventful, with few residents coming in to look over the proposals or the EIA report, but one partially overheard informal conversation between the design professionals of the Arsenal development is worth describing. As these professionals waited for a planning officer they discussed the designs and plans for the stadium. One of the design professionals began talking about how he could not understand the residents concerns and how some of their concerns seemed to him to be over-hyped. His colleagues seemed to agree and expressed similar feelings however as the conversation progressed the original design professional began to reflect on his personal experiences and described how ‘thinking about it’ he could understand the residents’ concerns. He recounted how his next door neighbour had recently undertaken a home extension and that he had been very angry and upset about the proposal but it had got planning permission and he had found that he was now quite comfortable about it.

The active residents’ associations to the north set up their own protest website called “Cally Nightmare”, they asked residents to put flyers in their windows, organised a number of local protests which stopped traffic on the Caledonian Road and petitioned passers by, in cars and on foot, to object to the siting of the WTS (see Photo 6.7). They also helped organise, alongside the broader umbrella objecting group ISCA (Islington Stadiums Communities Alliance), a residents’ march to the final public meeting (see Photos 6.8 to 6.12).

Attending the first set of public meetings in January 2001 was insightful because my early expectations were that few residents would attend and little concern would be expressed because there was already an existing WTS in the area. Added to this the facility was not like an incinerator or landfill as waste was simply compacted and then sent elsewhere. The emotion shown by residents at the meetings shattered this preconception. There was a palpable sense of fear, worry and distrust of the WTS, the Council and Arsenal. The meetings showed the diversity and range of opinions in the neighbourhood with conditional and unconditional support for the siting as well as strong objections.

In many respects, residents were talking to each other as much as to the Council and Arsenal. The meetings acted as a dialogue between objecting residents themselves as well as between objecting and supporting residents. One incident that epitomises this involved an elderly woman who got up to protest that the rubbish lorries would have a dramatic impact on her and her daughter who already had health problems. She was so angry and

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upset she told the council “Would you live there? Would you want to live here?”. The woman ended her appeal by looking at the councillor and council officers sitting on the podium and saying “You are the weakest link. Goodbye” a reference to a TV quiz show. The public meetings also showed how expert-professionals found it difficult to engage with and understand local residents. In some cases, there was incomprehension and bewilderment on the faces of expert-professionals when they talked with residents. In particular, they found it difficult to deal with the range and intensity of emotions expressed by residents.

This background fieldwork context and ethnography provides a personal perspective of the neighbourhood and the planning process that feeds into the analysis chapters on the written public comments, in-depth interviews and public meetings. It also links into the data and descriptions provided in the previous section on Islington and its socio-demographic, economic and cultural characteristics.

6.5 Summary
In this chapter I have provided a community profile of the neighbourhood in the context of London and Islington as a whole. I have also described the background social, environmental and health issues facing London, Islington and the specific neighbourhood where the WTS was to be sited. The fieldwork context and ethnography section provided key background details on the developer and the planning process as well as giving a personal perspective on the neighbourhood and the siting and planning process. As we will see in the coming chapters residents though they did not give quantitative statistics such as those in this chapter, did recognise all the key issues highlighted here and their key neighbourhood concerns echo those identified in the more formal surveys undertaken at the levels of London and Islington. It is therefore in this wider context that residents attempted to understand and come to terms with the potential impacts of having a WTS sited in their neighbourhood.

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Photo 6.1: The derelict site on which the proposed WTS was to be sited

Photo 6.2: Caledonian Road, the major road running to the left of the proposed site for the WTS.

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Photo 6.3: The major council estate to the south of the proposed site for the WTS. In this photo the site lies at the far end on the other side of the wall.

Photo 6.4: One of the typical side streets running off the Caledonian Road to the North & North West of the proposed site for the WTS.

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Photo 6.5: The existing WTS on the Ashburton Grove industrial area

Photo 6.6: An artist’s impression of the proposed new WTS and new housing

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Photo 6.7: A local newspaper article showing local residents protesting against the proposed WTS.

Photo 6.8: A protest flyer from one of the local residents’ associations.

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Photo 6.9: Protesters outside the Union Chapel Public Meeting in Jan’ 2001.

Photo 6.10: Local residents marching along the streets towards the Union Chapel public meeting in Dec’2001.

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Photo 6.11: Local residents showing their support for the proposed developments outside the Union Chapel public meeting in Dec’2001.

Photo 6.12: Local residents waiting inside the Union Chapel for the public meeting to start in Dec’2001.

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7. Public Written Comments
7.1 Introduction
In this chapter I focus on the issues and themes that emerged from the public written comments. My aim in this and the subsequent chapter is to do an inductive analysis using residents’ own words and ways of understanding. This inductive analysis will feed into the deductive analysis developed in Chapter 10.

Comments were sent by both objectors to and supporters of the siting of the waste transfer station (WTS). Most of the commentators were residents of Islington. Residents showed a range of concerns about the siting and operation of the WTS and their views about the developer, Arsenal Football Club, the local planning authority, Islington Council, and the consultation process. These concerns made them more distrustful of these stakeholders and the whole EIA, siting and planning process. The comments were, on the whole, very structured and many showed strong emotions by explicitly describing their negative and positive feelings towards the development and through textual emphasis.

The results show that residents’ perceived risks in five broad categories that carry forward into the next chapter where the themes reappear in the interviews with local residents. These were:

1. existing concerns about their neighbourhood and the current WTS, 2. direct concerns linked to the WTS and its operation, 3. preferred uses and developments for the derelict site, 4. concerns about the other stakeholders, their values and their actions and 5. concerns about the EIA, siting, planning and public consultation process.

This chapter has many common threads with the themes described in Chapter 4 on the specific understandings of risk perception. The themes found in this chapter show similarities to Burnley’s attitudinal survey results on people living near waste disposal facilities, Baxter’s work on rural residents and Edelstein’s work on environmentally contaminated communities. It also parallels the siting process and trust issues explored in Chapter 4’s sections on hazardous waste facilities, the differences in perceptions between different stakeholders and EIAs and risk perception.

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7.2 Background to the Comments
As part of the consultation process, Islington Borough Council asked for comments and feedback on the proposed developments. They provided an A4 information leaflet with an attached stamped addressed form for residents and accepted both letters and e-mails throughout the consultation process.

There were over 2,000 written comments sent to Islington Council. Out of these only 484 comments made some mention of either the waste transfer station or the Lough Road site where the WTS was to be sited. Fifteen others were from organisations and one other was from a local councillor. The remainder of the 2,000 comments were excluded from this analysis as they mentioned only the proposed new stadium or the redevelopment of the old stadium. These excluded comments like the ones for the WTS were made up of a large number of local residents who objected to the building of the new stadium on the grounds of traffic, crowds, noise and the negative impacts on their quality of life. Out of the 484 written comments, concerning the WTS, 152 comments were copies or duplicates of 12 original letters. In other words, the contents of these 152 were exactly the same as one of the 12 originals with only the names, signatures and home addresses being different. Over two-thirds (105) were copies of just two letters from two residential streets that were very near the proposed site.

Before moving on, it is important to note that the residents who sent in public comments were unlikely to be a representative sample of Islington residents as a whole or of the neighbourhood and hence the following quantitative analysis has limited validity but it does give a sense of the kinds of people who wrote in.
3

Of the 332 original unduplicated comments sent by residents , 42% were written by men, 25% by women and 11% by couples (22% of the comments did not have the first name of the writer or had an ambiguous first name and therefore could not be distinguished in terms of gender). Fig. 7.1 shows the breakdown of these comments by area of residence and gender. The majority of the resident’s comments (95%) originated from within Islington with most coming from the two postcode areas nearest the proposed WTS site - N7 and N5. All the women and couples and 91% of the men who sent in comments were from Islington. Of the 4% of comments from outside Islington all came from men.

Of the 90 supporters who wrote in 15 were not residents of Islington. However for the sake of simplicity all those who wrote in have been termed residents in this chapter as the key aim of this chapter is to understand the perceptions of risks of the objectors and supporters of the WTS siting.
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Fig. 7.1: Breakdown of gender by area of residence
250

Female
200

Male Couples Gender Unknown

150

TOTAL
100

50

0 N1, N2 & N4 N5 N7 N8, N9, N19 Other London Boroughs Outisde London Postcode Unknown

Islington (Postcode Areas)

Most of the comments were sent between October 2000 and March 2001 with the majority sent in Dec 2000 (18%) and January 2001 (71%). Finally, 45% (151) were sent by council form, 37% (123) by letter and 17% (58) by e-mail.

7.3 Themes emerging from the Comments
The emerging themes, structured in NUDIST, fell into two broad thematic groups. These were as shown below:

PRIMARY THEMES 1 OBJECTORS’ PERCEPTIONS

SECONDARY THEMES 1 Perception of the Neighbourhood 2 Perceptions of the Current WTS 3 Concerns about the Future WTS 4 Preferred Use of Site 5 6 7 8 Perception of the Developer Perception of the Council Perception of the Other Objectors’ Opinions Perception of the Supporters of the WTS

9 Perception of the Planning Process & Consultation

2 SUPPORTERS’ PERCEPTIONS

1 Perception of the Neighbourhood 2 Perception of the Current WTS

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3 Benefits of the Future WTS 4 Conditional Supporters of the WTS 5 6 7 8 Perception of the Developer Perception of the Council Perception of the Other Supporters’ Opinions Perception of the Objectors to the WTS

9 Perception of the Planning Process & Consultation

In terms of objectors and supporters (see Fig. 7.2) over two-thirds (69%) of residents objected to the siting, less than one-third (27%) supported the siting while a very small fraction (4%) wanted more information before making up their minds.

Fig. 7.2: Breakdown of objectors and supporters of the WTS siting by gender
250 Object 200 Support Need more info 150

100

50

0 Female Male Couple Gender Unknow n TOTAL

In terms of gender, 86% of couples and 78% of women objected to the siting compared to 57% of men. Just under twice the number of men (39%) supported the siting compared to women (16%) and couples (5%). In the subsequent analyses the 13 residents who wanted more information have been amalgamated with the objectors because they are a very small group and though they did not explicitly object to the siting, they did express concerns and reservations about having a WTS sited in their neighbourhood.

In terms of postcode area, all the 242 objectors (this includes those who wanted more information) came from within Islington with 81% from N7 and 14% from N5. The 90 supporters came from N5 (29%), N7 (27%), N1 (14%), N4 (6%), N19 (6%), N1 (1%) other London boroughs (4%) and outside of London (11%).

As stated earlier these figures are not a random or representative sample and conclusions based on them need to be treated with care. However, they show themes that tie into the geographical and hazardous facility siting work described in the literature review. Women
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(and couples) had higher perceptions of risk and danger than men. Conversely, there were proportionately fewer objecting and many more supporting men than women or couples. Those who lived nearer to the proposed site were more concerned and more vocal than those who lived further away. Lastly, while the objectors were fairly well concentrated in Islington and in the two postcode areas nearest the proposed site the supporters were much more widely distributed both inside and outside of Islington.

7.4 Structure and Textual Emphasis of Comments
The way commentators, objectors and supporters, wrote their comments showed them using a structured and reasoned argument about why they did not want the WTS to be sited in Lough Road. They were emotional (evoking fear, anxiety and dread), imaginative (ability to picture future possibilities) and reasoned (high-level cognition and judgement) in expressing their arguments.

The written comments had seven key elements, though individual comments did not always have all seven elements present. These elements were:

1. an explicit formal statement of objection or support for the proposed developments, 2. description of their place in the local neighbourhood and community, 3. their existing concerns about the neighbourhood, 4. the specific reasons why they objected or supported the WTS siting, 5. for objectors, their preferred development for the derelict site (e.g. green space), 6. their perceptions of the other stakeholders (council, developer, other objectors, other supporters) and 7. their perceptions of the EIA, siting, planning and consultation process and their preferred process (i.e. independent planning inquiry).

The letters and emails were very polite with a beginning salutation of ‘Dear Planning Officer’ or ‘Dear X’ where X was the name of the head of the planning department, the lead planning officer or their local councillor. The end salutation took the form of ‘Yours sincerely or faithfully’ and a signature. The comments sent on the Council form were polite but generally did not have beginning or end salutations. The majority of people gave their names and addresses and in only one instance did a resident explicitly refuse to give his/her name because s/he felt they might be threatened with violence.

Commentators constructed and structured their comments in the form of a personal narrative that explicated their perception and understanding of what was happening to them and their community. They started with a formal statement of objection or support for the

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development. They described their place in the neighbourhood by detailing where they lived, how long they had lived and/or worked in the neighbourhood and their personal and family status for example whether they had children or an existing disability or health condition. This part of their narrative seemed to be their way of showing their connection to the local area and, at least for them, the basis for the legitimacy and reasonableness of their concerns about the WTS. They then explicated the existing problems in the neighbourhood and their views of the existing WTS, highlighting their direct lived experience of the local area, and used them to develop a logical argument about how the WTS would exacerbate existing problems and concerns.

This led them on to comment on their own preferred views of what could be built on the proposed site. These preferred developments linked into residents existing concerns about the neighbourhood and the potential of these preferred developments to generate greater and wider community benefits than the WTS. Residents then moved onto their perceptions of Arsenal (the developer), Islington Council (the planning authority), other stakeholders and these stakeholders motives and values during the siting and planning process. They were particularly concerned and worried about the motives, priorities and power of these stakeholders to influence the process to suit their own selfish needs at the expense of the wider community. Finally, they wrote about the siting, planning and consultation process and how it was not run properly and raised issues of there not being enough time, not enough detailed information, a lack of transparency and a limited opportunity for residents to influence the process.

Residents provided logical arguments and wrote down the feelings and images that the WTS evoked in them in terms of the damage and destruction it would cause to the life of the community and the local environment. This was expressed by using both textual emphasis (e.g. bolding, CAPITALIZATION, underlining and italics) and vivid words to describe how they were feeling for example they used words like horrified, unbelievable, angry, misery, overwhelm, frightening, nightmare, appalled, disaster, distress, toxic, insult and blight.

Commentators rarely used the word risk and the seven that used it in the context of the WTS linked it specifically to health i.e. ‘health risks’. Many of the commentators (93 out of 229 objectors), as well as the interviewees and the residents at the public meetings, described the waste transfer station as a ‘dump’. There was a strong emotional emphasis when commentators used this word which highlighted two implicit images that commentators had about the WTS: firstly, they saw the WTS as a place where unwanted things would be dumped and by association that this was a community that would be dumped on as well; and secondly, as the unwanted things were waste and rubbish this

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added a further negative connotation that the community and its residents were themselves rubbish and waste and therefore of little worth and value.

7.5 Objectors Views and Concerns
This section describes the views and perceptions of the 229 objectors to the siting. The key themes that emerged from objectors comments were:

1. Objecting residents start from a ‘risk baseline’ that incorporates the existing concerns they have about their neighbourhood. 2. There is a clash of images between what they know about the old and dirty state of the existing WTS and the image of the clean and modern new one (see previous Photos 6.5 and 6.6). 3. They assessed and took into account a wide range of direct and indirect impacts of the proposed new WTS. 4. They had a ‘vision’ or ideal about what their neighbourhood should be like and what developments should occur within it. 5. They saw the developer as powerful and motivated by profit and personal success at the expense of the wider community. 6. They saw the planning authority as powerful, not representing the community, selfinterested and swayed by fame and financial considerations to the detriment of the local community. 7. They saw other residents as supporting their point of view and saw those with opposing views as a small, selfish and uncaring minority. 8. Finally, they saw the siting, planning and consultation process as unequal and inequitable. Unequal in terms of time, information and resources between the more powerful stakeholders and residents. Inequitable because the development was seen to be imposed and forced onto the community particularly on those who lived immediately adjacent to the proposed site.

7.5.1 Objectors’ Current Perceptions of the Neighbourhood
Of the 229 objecting residents, 110 commented on the current state of the neighbourhood (194 mentions in this category ). The objectors saw their neighbourhood as having a range
4

4

Mentions refer to the total number of times an issue has been referred to in the public written comments as whole. One writer may refer to traffic 3 times while another may do it 5 times making a total of 8 mentions by two writers, see Fig. 7.3.
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Fig. 7.3: Objectors existing concerns about the neighbourhood as it currently is broken down by gender

30%

25%

% number of mentions

20%

15%

Female Male Couples Gender Unknown

10%

5%

0%

Po llu tio n

Tr af fic -C on N ge o G st re io en n O pe n Sp ac e

a

lth H iC ou nc il Ta x

w di ng

riv ed

N ee

Su ffe r

D en

se

Type of Concern

-O ve rc ro

Im

C

om

in g

D ep

ds

Po si tiv es

pr ov in g

N oi se

un ity

Ar e

C rim

e

m

H ea

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of problems see Fig. 7.3. These included traffic flows, congestion, lack of open green space, pollution, overcrowding, noise and crime.

Objectors were concerned about existing levels of traffic and the resulting congestion, air and noise pollution. They felt that there was a lack of open and green space for residents which resulted in children playing in the streets where they were exposed to traffic. Many also felt that the area was suffering, overcrowded, deprived and needed improving. To a much lesser extent they were concerned about crime, health issues, local services and local taxes. Lastly, some of the residents highlighted the positives of living in an inner London neighbourhood citing the central location, the peace and quiet, the strong sense of community and the diversity of people.

The following quote was from a woman who had lived and worked in Islington for 43 years and had expressed health and quality of life concerns about the WTS,
“We already live with all the inner city problems of dirty streets, pollution, uncertainty with our, and our properties safety. Poor schools, overcrowded Doctors' Surgeries. The list is endless. However, we do live in a very good borough, centrally located etc.” Woman, N7, (667) see footnote .
5

Similarly, this extract is from a man living opposite the proposed WTS site who wanted a more “imaginative” solution for the derelict site,
“… We are a residential area. The area of land at Lough Road/ Piper Close is in need of regeneration ... we already experience high traffic levels and high levels of carbon monoxide pollution. Also, living adjacent to the Kings Cross mainline rail link our living circumstances are very noisy. … We have no open space - apart from the derelict land at Lough Road ….” Man, N7, (730).

Residents had a good, and in some cases deep understanding, of the negatives and positives of living in their neighbourhood. Residents were well aware of and concerned about the existing problems and challenges that their local physical and social environment posed. They also made causal linkages between high levels of motor traffic and congestion, air pollution, noise and the potential for accidents. It was upon this ‘risk base’ that objecting residents assessed the negative impacts of the proposed WTS.

7.5.2 Objectors Perceptions of the Current WTS
Alongside the recognition of the problems of the neighbourhood some residents were also keenly aware of the negative impacts of the current WTS. Of the 229 objecting residents, 29 commented on the current WTS. This was seen as an old and out-of-date facility which
5

Numbers refer to the comment code used to identify quotes and authors.
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was acceptable because it was based in an industrial area and so did not have a large negative impact on the surrounding residential community. The following is an extract from the comments of a professional architect, resident in the neighbourhood, who was concerned about both the WTS and the stadium development,
“This unfriendly urban facility currently operates at Ashburton Grove without adverse effects to the local community. To consider moving it is an act of sheer folly.” (see footnote)
6

Man, N7, (717).

This is echoed by another man living in the area who was very concerned about the nearness of the WTS,
“I have use the existing rubbish tip at Ashburton Grove, and for this reason I am fully aware of how bad the smell will be, and how many rubbish lorries will be driving up and down my surrounding streets.” Man, N7, (711).

Alongside the existing neighbourhood concerns the negative perceptions of the existing WTS added to residents anxieties and direct concerns about the proposed new WTS. They saw the existing facility as a dirty, smelly and old site with a heavy flow of large, dirty and smelly lorries throughout a large part of the week. So, for some residents there was a clash of images between their direct experience of the existing WTS and the image and presentation of the proposed new clean and modern WTS.

7.5.3 Objectors’ Concerns about the Proposed WTS
All of the 229 objector residents showed concerns about the proposed WTS and these fell into 20 broad categories as shown in Fig. 7.4 (926 mentions). Of the 229, 64 were women, 83 were men and 32 were couples (50 could not be distinguished for gender). There were no obvious major differences between the concerns expressed by women, men and couples. Their top ten concerns were that the increase in lorries would make the existing traffic worse, that this was a residential area, that there would be increases in air pollution and noise, that it would degrade and blight the area, that there would be general adverse environmental effects, smells, future operation concerns (long operating times, poor regulation and the large amount of waste processed), the unsightliness of the buildings and health concerns particularly of children.

Where necessary the quotes in this thesis have been edited in order to make them easier to read. Words that have been added are enclosed in square brackets. Where other text has been removed this is shown by three full stops between words. Careful attention has been paid to ensuring that the meaning of quotes has not been altered.
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% number of mentions 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20% 0% Traffic Residential Area Pollution Noise Degrade-Blight Area Environmental Effects Smell Future Operation Unsightliness Health No-Little Community Benfits 2% 4% 6% 8%

Fig. 7.4: Objectors concerns about the proposed WTS broken down by gender

Type of Concern

Quality of Life

Children

Disruption- Disturbance

Wider Strategic Issues

Loss- Lack of Open Space

Dust- Dirt- Litter

Male

Female

Couples

Gender Unknown

Property Values

Vermin

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Economic- Business Effects

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The following quote was from a resident couple who were concerned about the WTS’s negative effects on health and property values,
"We are HORRIFIED by the health and environmental hazards and resulting DAMAGE which this scheme will inevitably bring with it...The waste processing plant and council depots are TOTALLY UNACCEPTABALE in this residential location as the health and environmental consequences will be CATASTROPHIC (storage of hazardous chemicals and inevitable leaks, fleets of lorries transporting waste from Islington, Camden and Hackney with their inevitable fumes and smells, etc.)" Couple, N7, (019).

Similar concerns were expressed by a local woman who wanted more public green space in the neighbourhood,
“Moving a waste plant to Lough Road would bring it into a residential area. The massive increase in heavy lorries, vans and other traffic using the plant would bring an equally massive increase in noise, pollution, road damage…” Woman, N7, (350).

Some of those who were concerned were Arsenal fans like the couple who were worried about the nearness of the WTS, the traffic and the adverse effects on their children’s play environment,
“We have paid large amounts for our properties and our children should be able to live in a healthy environment not having to put up with a rubbish tip at the bottom of our garden.” Couple, N7, (62).

Similarly, in the following excerpt a woman who wanted more green space and was also worried about the short consultation period expressed her concerns about the potential effects on children’s health,
“There is a very high incidence of asthma amongst children in Holloway already. They are extremely concerned about the implications of having a huge waste facility near to a school and in an area which is already densely populated with a lack of green sites.” Women, N7, (298)

Residents had a wide range of concerns about the siting of the WTS and its future operation. They linked their concerns to existing worries that they had about the neighbourhood notably traffic and air pollution. Many felt that the proposed WTS would exacerbate existing problems making the neighbourhood almost intolerable to live in. While some were concerned about financial and economic issues the majority of concerns centred around environmental and health issues. Many objectors were very forceful in stating that this was a residential area and by implication that WTSs should only be sited in designated industrial or business areas. Residents described the proposed WTS as being sited in or near a residential area with some residents talking about this unwanted facility
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“on their doorsteps”. At some deep or symbolic level the WTS siting went against their notions of what a residential neighbourhood and community should look like and have within it.

What worried them most was not the WTS itself but its operational consequences: the large lorries leading to high traffic flows, the congestion, the increased potential for accidents, the air pollution and its impact on children’s health, the noise, the smell and the unsightliness of the facility and lorries. There was a strong feeling that the WTS would be a “blight” on the environment and would cause widespread and long lasting degenerative effects on the neighbourhood. Though residents were quite specific about some of the potential risks for example traffic problems leading to accidents and health problems like asthma, they were less specific about the potential environmental risks simply using words such as blight and degradation. This may have been because residents were writing as many potential objections as imaginable or more likely they linked to residents’ broader concerns about the less tangible impacts on residents’ quality of life an issue that will be taken up in Chapter 10.

Residents also commented on the potential financial and economic implications of the siting especially the lowering of property values. However, these were mentioned by few residents and were stated after residents mentioned their environmental and health concerns. The potential fall in property values was also linked to calls for compensation but these were on the whole half-hearted claims made more with aim of making the developer pause for thought than in wanting a direct financial benefit from the siting. There was no mention of benefits instead objectors felt there were no community benefits from siting the WTS in this area.

Residents were therefore assessing and making a judgement on the potential benefits and risks of the siting. They considered and seemed to take into account a wide range of direct, indirect, large, small, short term and long term effects of the WTS being sited in their neighbourhood.

7.5.4 Objectors’ Preferred Use of the Site
Of the 229 objecting residents, 72 described a preferred use for the site (80 mentions). There were five key themes which emerged here: open green space (35% of mentions), a mixed residential-leisure-business use (28%), a shopping centre or supermarket (10%), a clean and peaceful environment (5%) and a more imaginative development that had greater benefits for the community (21%).

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In the following extract a local woman who recognised the need for regeneration but was worried about the traffic, pollution and the increase in child accidents expresses her desire for a public park,
“As far as the space near Lough Road is concerned it would be far more community minded to turn this space into a public park.” Woman, N7, (765).

Similarly, a couple resident in the area who felt that the whole set of proposals were of no benefit to the community also argued for more community facilities,
“I agree that the Lough Road site does need developing but it must be something that enhances the local community i.e. Badly needed children's facilities, school, nurseries, young mothers/family centres, library, community centre, job training, small business units etc” Couple, N7, (752).

Residents preferred uses of the site linked to their existing perceptions of the neighbourhood and showed that they had an image, or range of images, about what their neighbourhood could and should be like. They realised the need for the derelict site to be developed but had their own ‘dreams’ or ‘visions’ about what could be built there. These ‘visions’ were linked to their notion of what a residential area should be like and what would most benefit themselves and the local community. So, in residents’ minds the issue was not one of replacing an old and dirty WTS with a modern and clean new one but of having a WTS instead of an imaginative residential, leisure and light business development with wider personal and community benefits.

7.5.5 Objectors’ Perception of the Developer
Of the 229 objecting residents, 57 (86 mentions) described their views of the developer and thought the developer was dishonest (24% of mentions), selfish (20%), imposing (19%), greedy (14%), hypocritical (9%) and disrespectful of the community (8%). There were only two objecting residents (2%) who mentioned that the developer had been a good neighbour.

The following quote is from the comments of a man, living further away from the proposed site, who objected to all the proposals and who was concerned about the use of road rather than rail to transport the waste away from the site,

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“In conclusion, I find Arsenal FC's proposals a cynical attempt to develop the maximum amount of profit-generating accommodation with the minimum amount of improvement to the area, its transport infrastructure or its existing residents. Far from being a strategy of urban regeneration for the benefit of a wider community, the entire package of proposals is selfish, shortsighted, irresponsible and unsustainable.” Man, N4, (816).

A local woman again worried by all the proposals and the lack of care shown by the developer and local authority has parallel views on the developer,
“…so it looks like greed and profit rules, and human stress and pain do not matter, so no matter what you say at the end of the day it is the money we can just be pushed aside, left to get ...knowing you wont be affects by it, KF well he could not care less all he wants is the big pat on the back and the golden handshake, …” Woman, N7, (833).

However, a couple living near the existing stadium who were concerned about the proposals express their positive views of the developer in the following extract,
“…we can live with the current levels of disruption on match days. We are supporters of Arsenal and up to now they have been good neighbours.” Couple, N5, (777).

Many of the objecting residents showed a profound distrust of Arsenal. This distrust was based on the developer’s power, both financial and political, and their values of self-interest and profit-making. Arsenal was seen as powerful, remote, uncaring and an organisation that would use its power to impose and force their developments onto the wider community for its own sporting and financial success. Many residents also had previous direct and indirect experiences of the negative impacts of Arsenal and their lack of care in dealing with local people’s complaints both in their handling of football crowds and in previous construction work they had carried out on the existing stadium.

7.5.6 Objectors’ Perceptions of Council
Of the 229 objecting residents, 86 mentioned the council in some way (135 mentions). Those who wrote about the council thought that the Council should be but were not representing and serving the community (47% of mentions), were only looking out for their own self-interest and could be pressured into making a decision that was favourable to the developer (16%), were hypocritical (7%), playing God and abusing their power (7%), biased in favour of the developer (7%) and dishonest/ untrustworthy (5%).

The following anonymous quote shows the deep distrust and power that the Council were seen to hold,

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"Who are the residence __? they are nobody's = they have no say = Only the officials = The overlords = they rule Money not Residence Who are Islington residents especially Council tenants They are second class citizens of the society." Anonymous, extract is the whole comment (055A).

A local couple who opposed the whole plans also express their concerns about the bias of the Council and their disregard for the needs of local people,
“And I hope the Council i.e. Planning officer and councillors take of what people are saying as that what you are employed for to have resident needs + welfare at the top of your list. But it seems these days that money talks and people are soon forgot, and you convince yourself you are doing the right thing. It sad to say But this seems to be a Pattern in all council's Planning officers not listening to Residents and Playing god with people's lives this has to stop... I will Be writing to the Lord Mayor and many more. I do hope your decision is not clouded and listen to what we want." Couple, N7, (266).

Similar to their comments about Arsenal, residents were concerned about the power of the Council and their public sector values of accountability, probity and transparency. The Council were seen to be so in awe of and beholden to Arsenal that they were in danger of losing sight of their duty of care to local residents. Many also saw them as self-interested and motivated by the financial gain they would make from selling council-owned land. Underlying these comments was a deep fear that the Council was not interested in the needs and wishes of the ‘less powerful’ local residents. Residents saw themselves as powerless and helpless against the financial and political power of both the developer and the planning authority.

7.5.7 Objectors’ Perceptions of Other Residents - siting objectors & supporters
Only 24 objecting residents commented on what other residents felt about the proposed siting and described how other residents agreed with their own views and concerns about the WTS. There were few comments about supporters’ perspectives and motives with regard to the WTS.

The following is an excerpt from a woman resident in the neighbourhood, concerned about the WTS traffic, accidents and the effect on “underprivileged” residents,
“I, along with every single resident in the area with whom I have discussed this issue, am adamantly opposed to these plans” Woman, N7, (732).

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Similarly in the excerpt below a woman concerned about the whole set of proposals, the financial aspects and the potential “hidden agendas” of the developer and the Council writes about her perceptions of other residents,
“This unfortunate proposal has little support from people who have taken the trouble to look at it in some depth and very sadly it has divided our community and no doubt will divide it further in the months to come. The residents who oppose these proposals are in a very unequal fight.” Woman, N5, (840).

However, a local man concerned about the WTS traffic, noise, smell, potential health impacts and effects on property prices shows his and others support for the proposals,
“At the same time, I and others in the area are keen for the Arsenal to remain in the Borough, and recognise that alternatives might include building on greenfield sites, which would be even less desirable.” Man, N7, (340).

Where objecting residents commented on others it was to emphasise the size and strength of the opposition. They believed and seemed to want to believe that the silent majority in the neighbourhood, and in Islington, were on their side. Where objectors, especially those objecting to the other non-WTS aspects of the proposals, talked about supporters they saw them in a ‘villainous’ light describing them as a minority, that did not really understand the negative implications of the development, were not part of the community, did not live near the proposed site, were selfish and only interested in football at the expense of the wider community. Many objectors did not seem to understand or comprehend the supporters of the WTS. This may have been part of the rhetoric used to ensure that their objections got across forcefully but there did seem to be a real sense of incomprehension on the part of objectors about the perceptions of supporters. This incomprehension manifested itself in the public meetings as intense hostility and antipathy between objectors and supporters and is discussed further in chapter 9,.

7.5.8 Objectors’ Perceptions of Planning and Consultation Process
Of the 229 objectors, 130 commented on the planning and consultation process (a total of 254 mentions). The key issues that emerged were that the Council was breaching the unitary development plan rules which it had produced to guide future planning decisions (14% of mentions), the process was unfair (13%), the need for an independent public inquiry (11%), the need for more information (10%), the inadequacy of the traffic and environmental impact analysis (9%), the need for more consultation time (8%), queries about how this site was chosen and which others were considered (7%), the conflict of interest/ partiality or corruption of the council and developer (6%) and the feeling that the most adversely affected parts of the community had not been properly consulted (5%).
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The following is an extract from a local woman concerned about having a WTS in a residential area and worried that the Council was not representing residents,
“None of us can believe there can be any benefit from it except to the DIRECTORS of Arsenal FC, and perhaps a few corrupt people in the council...There has been a lot of local comment on this - we have the distinct feeling that corruption smells, too. It all feels rigged.” Woman, N7, (873).

Similarly, a local couple concerned that the WTS and wider plans would degrade the neighbourhood and not benefit the community show their concern about the way the planning guidelines were being broken in the following excerpt,
“The plans blatantly contravene so many of the stated intentions of Islington Council's Unitary Development Plan it isn't possible to list them here. But they include failures to conform to your published guidelines on the height, scale and massing of new buildings, …traffic impact protection …, not siting industrial developments in residential areas, pollution, noise, air quality and protection of existing local communities.” Couple, N7, (658).

Objecting residents were deeply concerned about the bending and breaking of the guidelines developed in the strategic unitary development plan. Residents felt that Arsenal as a powerful stakeholder was forcing and persuading the Council to bend and break guidelines which were more strictly enforced for less powerful stakeholders such as residents. This ‘collusion’ and the council’s potential financial gains through the selling of land to Arsenal made many residents ask for or demand an independent public inquiry to decide on the siting. There was therefore a strong sense of inequality and inequity. Inequality in the time, information and resources available to residents to look properly at the merits and demerits of the proposed developments as compared to the more powerful expert-professional stakeholders. Inequity because of a flawed siting, planning and consultation process that did not give them the power to genuinely influence the final outcome and put at risk the lives of local residents without fully informing and engaging with them.

7.6 Supporters’ Views and Perspective
This section describes the views and perceptions of the 90 supporters of the siting. Supporters constructed their comments in a very similar way to objecting residents. The key themes that emerged were:

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1. Supporting residents did not describe the broader concerns of objecting residents but did mention the derelict and deprived nature of the area and its need for improvement. 2. They also saw the existing WTS as old and dirty and felt the need for a new one. 3. They felt that the new WTS and other developments would help regenerate and improve the area. 4. They did not have a ‘vision’ of ideal about what the neighbourhood could be like and what developments should occur within it. 5. They saw the developer positively as prestigious, a symbol of Islington and an economic asset to the whole community. 6. They saw the planning authority as representing the community and working for its benefit. 7. They saw other residents as supporting their point of view with objectors being a small, selfish and uncaring minority. 8. Finally, they saw the siting, planning and consultation process as reasonably good with no major flaws.

7.6.1 Supporters’ Current Perceptions of Neighbourhood
Of the 90 supporters, 43 talked about the area where the WTS would be sited (43 mentions). The majority (90% of mentions) described the area as derelict and underused with the rest talking equally about the lack of green space and children’s play areas (5%) and the fact that it had been an industrial area in the past (5%).

The following is an extract from a man, resident in the neighbourhood, who was supportive of the stadium and WTS and who saw Arsenal as a prestigious part of Islington,
“The Lough Road site has been a 'dump' as long as I can remember.” Man, N7, (207).

A similar view was expressed by a man living in south Islington, who saw Arsenal as the “pride” of the borough, supported the stadium and WTS proposals feeling that they would have economic benefits for the area as well as benefits for fans,
“Eden Grove-Lough road is a waste land a complete mess.” Man, N1, (464).

The supporters had very similar perceptions of the neighbourhood as the objectors. However, their focus was largely on the site and the need for it to be redeveloped and not on the wider problems of the area. This was probably due to the fact that most of the

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supporters were not resident in the neighbourhood around the proposed site and so did not have a direct lived experience of the area.

7.6.2 Supporters Perceptions of Current WTS
Only nine supporters commented on the current WTS and they directly and indirectly commented on the old and dilapidated nature of the current facility. The following is a quote from a local man who felt that the derelict site needed regeneration and that the proposed new link road would reduce the existing and future levels of traffic,
“The current 'Dump' at Ashburton Grove is so old + out- of-date that replacement should have been a local authority priority for some time” Man, N7, (124).

Again supporters had the same views about the existing WTS as objectors. However they tended to focus on its out-of-date nature and the need for a new modern facility. They did not mention the rubbish lorries, the consequent heavy traffic or the long operating times of the WTS. Like their views on the neighbourhood this was probably because most of them did not live in the immediate area of the existing WTS and the site for the proposed WTS.

7.6.3 Supporters’ Perceived Benefits of the Future WTS
All 90 supporters talked about the benefits of the future WTS (126 mentions) see Fig. 7.5. 55 were men, 12 were women and 5 were couples (16 could not be distinguished in terms of gender). The benefits mentioned were the regeneration of the area (37% of mentions), that it would be a modern facility compared with the current old one (21%), that there would be general neighbourhood and community benefits (17%), that it would be environmentally friendly (5%), that there would be no additional disruption to the community (4%) and that there would be economic benefits (2%).

The following is an anonymous quote from someone who supported the plans, felt the stadium would bring prestige and business to the borough and who thought the objectors were NIMBYs,
The area is derelict and a blight on the area. The designs for the redevelopment will regenerate the area, improving it enormously. There will be extra traffic - of course there will be! It is currently derelict. Anonymous, (471).

A woman resident in the neighbourhood and supportive of the proposals as an improvement on the current situation expressed an analogous point of view,

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% number of mentions

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Fig. 7.5: Supporters perceived benefits of the future WTS

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7. Public Written Comments

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“The proposals have the potential to regenerate an otherwise derelict wasteland and help provide much needed affordable housing and light-industrial facilities" Woman, N7, (646).

Supporters’ perceived a wide range of benefits from the siting of the WTS that were explicitly linked to their earlier observations on the nature of the proposed site and the existing WTS. There reasons were on the whole less specific than the reasons given by objectors for example they mentioned community benefits but did not list any specific ones. One reason why supporters saw fewer concerns could have been because most of them lived further away from the proposed site than the objectors so that negative impacts like traffic, noise, smell and vermin were less likely to affect them and therefore less easily brought to mind. Other reasons for support were that they wanted the new stadium or else gave conditional support (see next section). Like objectors, supporters were thinking through the potential risks and benefits of the WTS siting and this is exemplified in the next section on the supporters who gave conditional support.

7.6.4 Supporters’ Expressions of Conditional Support
Just over one-fifth (19) of the supporters of the WTS siting gave their support on condition that other measures were put in place for example ensuring a safe facility, investing in the area and reducing the consequences of the potential increase in traffic.

The following quote is from a man, not an Arsenal fan, who supported the plans because they would benefit and improve the area,
I am concerned that the new Waste Disposal Unit is sealed, and environmentally safe, and would hope that the club look to invest in and support the local neighbourhood, particularly the Ringcross Estate. Man, N5, (304).

A local woman concerned about the traffic problems, lack of green space and play facilities shows her conditional support in the excerpt below,
"As residents of Mackenzie Road, we fully support the development of the Eden Grove/ Lough Road site PROVIDED this involves the building of the Holloway link road AND reduction in traffic on Mackenzie Road,” Woman, N7, (396).

While many supporters and objectors found it difficult to see each others views there were some supporters, see the first extract in this section, who did understand the concerns of objecting residents and wanted these concerns addressed before the proposals went ahead. For others, their willingness to accept the WTS was linked to getting specific

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benefits such as a through road that would reduce existing and future traffic near where they lived.

7.6.5 Supporters’ Perceptions of Developer
Of the 90 supporters, 16 spoke about the developer and all expressed positive views with regard to the developer’s importance to the area and to their investment and community activities in Islington.

The following is an extract from a local man living near the proposed WTS and new stadium sites, who supported the plans and felt that they would increase business and improve the area,
“Arsenal for such a long time now has been a prestigious part of the Borough - let's keep it that way.” Man, N7, (207).

A woman, living in the north of the borough, who felt that the new stadium would bring benefits and that objectors were ignorant of the benefits of the new WTS describes her positive views of Arsenal’s community activities in the following quote,
“Arsenal's involvement in the community is second to none e.g. the after schools clubs for local children and also the provision of good sports facilities and coaching which supplement those provided by the Council at the Sobell Centre, the swimming pools, the outdoor football pitches, the tennis centre and many other facilities.” Woman, N19, (701)

Whereas objectors focused on Arsenal’s negative impacts the supporters of the WTS focused on the positive impacts of Arsenal and largely ignored the negative aspects such as crowds and the rowdy behaviour by fans. Many saw Arsenal as the ‘heart and soul’ of Islington and identified themselves very strongly with Arsenal feeling that it gave Islington international prestige and a positive focus for the dreams and aspirations of local children as well as being a financial and economic asset. Supporters also saw Arsenal as having deep historical roots in Islington that gave Islington and its residents a positive sense of identity, place and continuity.

7.6.6 Supporters’ Perceptions of the Council
There were only two supporters who commented on the Council and they were positive.

The following quote is from a woman who raised issues about the whole set of proposals and wanted a public recycling facility attached to the WTS,
“Thank you for giving residents the opportunity to express their views about these important matters.” Woman, N5, (842).
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Similarly, an anonymous person, living outside London, who was supportive of all the plans and felt that the new stadium would “enhance” Islington expressed a similar viewpoint,
“In ALL cases a great deal of effort appears to have been made to ascertain peoples views and conduct environmental surveys." Anonymous, outside of London, (403).

7.6.7 Supporters’ Perception of Other Residents - objectors and supporters of the siting
There were only four residents who talked about the views of other supporters. The following is an excerpt from the comments of a local man who supported the proposals and described the diversity of views at a local residents’ meeting,
“I was reassured that outright opposition to the development was not the goal of the association or the delegate and would not be the stance, which was taken. The assurance I was given seems to have been false. There were at least two persons at the meeting who were very much in favour of the development. Most people did not have strong views. A small, but vocal minority were very much opposed to the development…There are a wide range of opinions held by members and some including myself believe that the investment of a substantial sum of money in this immediate area can only benefit the residents, especially if well known concerns are tackled constructively.” Man, N7, (875).

Of the 90 supporters, 21 talked about the objectors to the developments and they described objectors as motivated by their own selfish interests which had little to do with the environmental and health effects of the WTS. This is illustrated by the following quote from a man, writing on academic headed paper, who was strongly supportive of the plans because they would benefit the whole borough,
“The points of objection that have been raised by opponents to the scheme have conclusively been shown to be scaremongering, and people with such selfish motivations should not be allowed to ruin a plan that will benefit the wider area and its population so much.” Man, writing from academic institution, (245).

A woman from the south of the borough who felt that the new stadium would bring benefits describes her perceptions of objectors in the following extract,
“I believe that the NIMBYs who are protesting about this part of the proposals do not know what the new facility will be like - a vast improvement on the current arrangements which uses out of date technology.” Woman, N19, (701)

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Just as some objectors saw supporters in a negative and almost ‘villainous’ light so supporters viewed objectors, in a ‘villainous’ and self-serving light, seeing them as selfish, ignorant football-haters who did not see the regeneration and economic benefits of the development proposals. They also did not fully understand or comprehend the objectors. Supporters, particularly of the wider set of developments, described objectors as a small vocal minority, middle class (Yuppies ), newcomers who were not part of the real community, selfish, NIMBYs, small-minded, scaremongering and concerned about making money from rising property values but not concerned about the wider community.
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7.6.8 Supporters’ Perceptions of the Planning and Consultation Process
There were only two supporters who commented on the planning and consultation process. The first was thanking the council for allowing people the opportunity to comment while the second wrote about the size of the applications and the difficulties encountered in terms of the projector used to display graphics during the public meetings.

7.7 Organisations’ & Councillors’ Views and Perspectives
There were two statutory organisations, the Greater London Authority and Camden & Islington Health Authority, ten NGOs which included six residents’ associations and one neighbourhood forum (one of set of community forums organised by the Council in different parts of the borough) and three private businesses (a print company, an environmental consultancy and a company letting out workspace to small businesses).

Of the 15 organisations, 11 thought the siting was a bad idea, 2 supported the siting with one having some reservations and 2 wanted more information. Of the 11 who were concerned about the siting 8 were NGO’s, 2 were private local companies and 1 was the GLA environmental unit. The following is a quote from one of the residents’ associations who were generally concerned about the health and safety implications of the WTS,
Can it really be reasonable to impose this on a residential community? Arsenal Football Club does not NEED a new stadium, it WANTS one. On the other hand, residents in the streets surrounding the development NEED clean air, we NEED safe streets for our children, we NEED protection from insensitive, impractical and inappropriate development. This application offers almost nothing to the local community and everything to the developer. It must be refused. Local residents’ association (766).

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Yuppies is an abbreviation for Young Urban Professionals, who are usually newly arrived, confident rich, and mobile young people.
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This was echoed by the local businesses objecting to the WTS who felt that it would degrade and destroy the local neighbourhood,
When the Lough Road site was ear-marked for a new supermarket and other development we were heartened. However, for good or ill, the local people did not want that type of development and it was turned down.

How much worse, then, is this truly dreadful proposal to site a huge rubbish depot in the area? What benefit will it bring to a part of Islington that already has far more than its fair share of social problems and urban decay? What message of hope does it give out? Local business, based near the proposed WTS site (677).

The one clear supporter of the siting was an NGO, the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (AISA), who supported the whole set of developments including the WTS,
Much of the hysteria generated by the re-siting of the waste transfer station (WTS) and Council depot to this site from Ashburton Grove ignores the fact that the vehicles complained of currently pass through our streets already. The waste wagons will continue to roll for as long as a society we continue to jettison ever-increasing amounts of industrial and domestic waste. In the short-term there is no alternative to these vehicles on our streets.

The new WTS will be so unlike the old that flats will be sited immediately around it. Similar facilities already exist in London and can be viewed. AISA representatives went to look at one of these facilities. We were impressed. The new style of WTS is fundamentally different from that at Ashburton Grove. The new facilities can only be an improvement. Arsenal fan club (AISA) (760).

The health authority gave conditional support to the siting subject to systems being in place to ensure that the facility reduced potential environmental and health impacts,
We support the proposal for modernisation of waste disposal, which is necessarily a public health concern. The EIA should evaluate current waste strategies in London, including the pressing need to increase recycling and reduce waste production.

We suggest that the EIA should address the possibility of collaboration between the Council and the Health Authority ( and with public involvement) in the planning and management of the new waste facilities to minimise their health impact through best technologies. An estimate of the impacts should be made within the EIA. Director of Public Health (856).

One NGO, a historical conservation society, wanted more information before deciding and the one councillor who wrote in, gave conditional support to the siting subject to local community concerns being addressed.
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Whilst accepting that refuse disposal trucks are an essential part of urban living at current levels of technology, we need to make sure that economic disincentives to recycle are not simply dumped at Islington's door in the form of excessive numbers of rubbish disposal truck journeys.

An audit of the recycling record of clients of the North London Waste Authority is required to make sure that they are meeting the Mayor's environmental objectives and the government's recycling targets. Those found wanting could be charged a local environmental levy to compensate for the additional caused to the Islington environment because of excessive refuse truck journeys. Councillor, representing neighbouring ward (801).

In summary the organisational stakeholders, depending on their stance, used similar arguments to those provided by objecting, supporting and conditionally supportive residents.

7.8 Summary
In this chapter I analysed the written public comments sent by residents and organisations to Islington Council and developed an inductive thematic framework. The analysis showed that residents near the site of the proposed WTS were much more concerned than those who lived further away. Men, women and couples had strong concerns about the WTS but there was a larger percentage of men who supported the siting. This ties in with the work described in Chapters 3 and 4 which showed that gender and proximity are two key determinants of residents’ perceptions of risks.

Both objectors and supporters perceived the derelict site and neighbourhood where the proposed WTS was to be sited as in need of regeneration and improvement. However, objectors felt that there were a large number of negative impacts and few, if any, community benefits compared to supporters who saw this development as a regeneration opportunity and a chance to replace an old WTS with a modern new one. Objectors also described a number of alternative preferred developments that could be sited on this derelict land that they felt would be of greater community benefit. Objectors had largely negative views about the motives and actions of Arsenal, seeing it as greedy and selfish, while supporters had very positive views of Arsenal. Finally, objectors also saw the council in negative terms as self-interested, overawed by the fame of the developer and ineffectual in the face of a rich and powerful private business.

What emerges from this analysis is that objecting and supporting residents were emotional, intuitive/imaginative and reasoned in their assessment of the risks and benefits of the WTS. They assessed the risks of the waste transfer station not only in its own terms but in terms
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of their knowledge and experience of the existing problems faced by their neighbourhood and their experiences of the current WTS. Some also had a ‘vision’ or ideal about what the neighbourhood should look like and what it should contain. Their perception of being at risk was heightened by the way the siting, planning and public consultation process was run and by their relationships and interactions with other stakeholders.

Supporters also followed a similar lay assessment process but took into account different issues to reach different conclusions. This seemed to be due to a number of factors: seeing the regeneration benefits of the WTS and the other developments as a whole, living further away from the site; being men and hence feeling less vulnerable and at risk generally; having a passionate interest in football and seeing the developer and council as trustworthy and community-minded.

Most supporters and objectors, apart from those supporters who gave conditional support, did not seem to understand each other. Each group felt that there was significant support for their points of view amongst the majority of Islington’s residents. Each saw the other side as small in number, selfish and uncaring. Each side also had difficulty in comprehending and accepting the reasonableness and validity of the other side’s perspective. This could have been a deliberate tactic during the consultation process to delegitimise the other groups views and perceptions but more likely it was easier to see the other side as totally wrong and ‘villainous’ rather than to understand the complexity of the situation. This also formed part of some residents’ constructions of their personal narratives which showed them as the unwitting ‘victims’ of powerful ‘villains and evil-doers’.

Many of the themes discussed in this chapter tie in strongly to Chapter 4 and the work on the concerns of residents, the impacts of environmental risks, the siting of hazardous facilities and the differing perceptions of stakeholders. It also links up with the work in Chapter 3 on trust, fairness and community knowledge including MacGill’s work, Sandman’s outrage model, Rayner’s fairness hypothesis, Giddens’ work on trust and Wynne’s work on the value of lay knowledges. The themes emerging from the written public comments correspond to those that emerge in the in-depth interviews and observations at the public meetings discussed next. The three chapters together will be analysed further in Chapter 10, the discussion, where a conceptual-analytical framework will be used to develop a deeper understanding of stakeholders’ perceptions.

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8. In-depth Interviews
8.1 Introduction
In this chapter I deal with the themes that emerged from the in-depth interviews with residents, living around the proposed WTS site, and the expert-professionals involved in the EIA, siting and planning process. In total nine residents were interviewed (six women and three men) and five professionals (all men). The professionals were a local councillor, a waste authority officer, a planning/EIA consultant, a public health doctor and an ethnic minority community centre manager. Other people in the neighbourhood were also informally engaged in conversation and some of them have already been described in the ethnography in section 6.4 of Chapter 6.

Most, though not all, were interviewed at two points in time with two interviews before the planning decision and one after the planning decision was made. The pre-planning decision interviews involved a general discussion during the first interview and a deeper focussed discussion on specific themes during the second interview (e.g. exploring interviewees likes and dislikes concerning other types of developments and their understanding of risk). The post-planning decision interviews involved ascertaining whether and in what ways resident’s perceptions had changed after planning permission was given for the proposed WTS .
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The analysis of the interviews involved extracting key verbatim quotes from the original interview transcripts. These were then categorised around the key topic areas used to structure the interview questions. These key verbatim quotes were then summarised into ‘partial worldview’ maps in order to create a holistic and visual way of understanding residents’ and professionals’ views and perceptions. A simplified generic template for residents is shown in Fig 8.1. Detailed ‘partial worldview’ maps for each interviewee are found in Appendix 7.

As in the last chapter the analysis showed that residents’ perceived risks in five broad categories: 1. existing concerns about their neighbourhood and the current WTS, 2. direct concerns linked to the WTS and its operation, 3. preferred developments and uses for the derelict site, 4. concerns about the other stakeholders, their values and actions and 5. concerns about the siting, planning and public consultation process.
Not all residents had the post-planning interviews either because they were not contactable or were unable to find the time to meet within the study period.
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Fig. 8.1: Partial worldview mapping framework used to summarise residents’ indepth interviews

Residents’ perceptions of their neighbourhood and their ‘visions’ of preferred alternative developments were strongly linked to their notions of what their community was and ought to be and to their ideal notions of what makes up a good community and neighbourhood. Finally, their direct concerns about the WTS were strongly influenced and shaped by their perceptions of other stakeholders and the way the siting and planning process was undertaken. The key thing to emerge was that all stakeholders, including community groups
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and associations, were scrutinised in a similar way by residents. Interviewed residents assessed the power that these stakeholders had, their motives and values and how they related to and interacted with local residents.

This chapter parallels the research described in Chapter 4 on the specific understandings of risk perception. The themes found in the in-depth interviews show similarities to Baxter’s work on rural residents, Edelstein’s work on environmentally contaminated communities and Burnley’s attitudinal survey results on people living near waste disposal facilities. They also link into the siting process and trust issues explored in Chapter 4’s sections on hazardous waste facilities, the differences in perceptions between different stakeholders and the asocial nature of EIAs. Chapters 3 and 4 mentioned some of the literature that shows how women and members of minority ethnic communities can show greater concerns than white men (Cutter 1993; Flynn, Slovic et al. 1994). Therefore, despite the small sample size, differences between women and men were explored in the analysis, though in many areas there were no clear differences between them. The differences that were found were more to do with residents as unique individuals than because they were female or male. This chapter therefore describes the views and perceptions of residents as a whole without separating women and men’s viewpoints, except where clear differences were seen to emerge due to interviewees roles and experiences for example a mother’s concerns about air pollution and her child’s health.

8.2 ‘Partial Worldview’ mapping
The professionals’ partial worldview maps differed in that they did not have a separate ‘Perceptions of the Neighbourhood’ category but instead had a ‘Professional and Organisational Issues’ category, reflecting their unique perspective as shaped by their institutional affiliations and their professional roles. Professionals were also asked to say what they thought the general public’s concerns would be in the ‘Development Concerns’ category as well as their own views. Lastly, professionals were not asked about their personal social networks; instead they were asked to comment on their professional networks and the role of the media during the siting and planning process.

As the categories represent one person’s understanding and perspective on the WTS siting and planning process they are intertwined and interconnected. Firstly, in the ‘Perceptions of Neighbourhood’ category, people’s notions of what a good community should be were likely to affect how they perceived their neighbourhood and what they saw as the positive and negative features within it. These perceptions of neighbourhood feed into their ‘Development Concerns’ and what general developments they liked and disliked. This in turn fed into the concerns people had about waste disposal facilities in general and the

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proposed WTS in particular. General views on how society worked in ‘Views on Society’ and how society should manage its waste in ‘Societal Waste Management’ fed into the perceptions of the ‘Planning & Consultation’ process and again into concerns about the different types of waste disposal facilities in ‘Development Concerns’. Finally, the ‘Information and Social Network’ and the ‘Understand’ key concepts categories connect to all the other categories and influenced how people understood and viewed the different stakeholders, the process, their neighbourhood and the different types of developments.

8.3 Characteristics of Residents
Nine residents were interviewed, six women and three men. A more detailed background table is provided in Appendix 1. The residents’ ages ranged from the mid-20s to mid-50s and they had lived at their current addresses for between six months and twenty years. Chapter 5 gave details on how these residents were recruited.

Six residents, three of the women and all three men, owned their own homes; two of the other women lived in housing association accommodation, and one woman lived on a local council housing estate. Most of the residents were in good health except for three of the women who had long-standing health problems and disabilities. Geographically, these residents lived between 200 and 1500 metres from the proposed WTS site. Most of the residents interviewed lived to the north-west of the Lough Road site, one directly north, one east and two south and south-east of the site.

The majority of residents were full-time employed with two women not working because of health issues and one woman because she was retired. Most of the residents came from a middle to high socio-economic background with the exception of the young woman who lived on the council estate. Their occupations ranged from teaching and graphic design to journalism and youth work. The interviewed residents’ ethnic background was mostly White British with one woman being Black British. Two of the residents had families with young children and one was about to have her first child.

8.4 Characteristics of Professionals
The five professionals ranged in age from their early-30s to mid 50s. They had worked in their current occupations for between three and ten years and had been in their respective fields for many more years. Their ethnicity was White British with two of them – the public

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health doctor and the community centre manager - being British Asian. None of the professionals lived in the area around the siting though the councillor did live in Islington.

8.5 Residents’ Interviews
8.5.1 Perceptions of their Neighbourhood
8.5.1.1 Negative Features These concerns were very similar to those expressed by residents in the written public comments described in the previous chapter (see Appendix 8, A8.1). Key unprompted and prompted concerns for residents included crime, traffic, lack of green space, lack of children’s play facilities, air pollution, abandoned cars and neighbourhood deprivation. Some of the women also mentioned poor health services and housing issues such as poorly maintained estates and the high cost of housing. Rachel in the extract below describes some of these concerns, “We've experienced car vandalism, the basement flat in our building has been broken into several times, we haven't we're up higher. Attempted burglary and our car has not been stolen but it's been broken into about three times…there's brick walls with little pillars on them and we've just this year, three times they've been knocked over. So that kind of vandalism.”
(see footnote)
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Rachel

8.5.1.2 Positive Features Here again the positive attributes were similar to those mentioned by residents in the written public comments. In terms of what residents liked about the area, both the women and men highlighted the mix and diversity of the area, easy access to a wide range of amenities and good public transport links as key positive attributes of the neighbourhood.

“It’s wonderful yes, very mixed, very lively, very different….All sorts of social, ethnic [mix], it’s a big melting pot of people and attitudes.” Alan

“I enjoy the diversity, the fact that I have a Kurdish neighbour who comes in and helps me, I have Sri Lankan neighbours. That richness, that diversity is great.” Janet

Where necessary the quotes in this thesis have been edited in order to make them easier to read. So, words like ‘sort of’, ‘kind of’, ‘right’, ‘I mean’, ‘you know’, ‘umms’, ‘ahs’ and repeated words have been removed. Words that have been added are enclosed in square brackets. Where other text has been removed this is shown by three full stops between words. Careful attention has been paid to ensuring that the meaning of quotes has not been altered.
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8.5.1.3 General Overall, residents, both women and men were happy with the general features of the area, though there were varying degrees of satisfaction with the sense of community found in the neighbourhood. All, except Rachel, specifically commented that they liked the social mix and ethnic diversity of the area. Of the women, both Susan and Judy felt that there was a sense of community where they lived however this was limited to the shared balconylanding on Susan’s housing estate and the floor of Judy’ block of flats. Interestingly Diana and Janet, though they felt little sense of community, lived on roads that had active residents’ associations.

In the extract below Janet, when prompted to expand on what she liked about the area besides the diversity, her neighbours and the amenities of London; provides a good example of this lack of a sense of community,
“In a way there is a lack of community. You see I was brought up in a village, I still carry on my village practice where I will meet people on the street and after a while when I think they have seen me often enough to [say ‘hello’], and some people don’t see you, some people are very, very shocked when you suddenly say ‘good morning’ to them. And they suddenly think ‘Oh, there’s another person,’ and they’ve totally blanked you out because that is the city way of dealing with the enormous number of people which you come across because you cannot take them all on board.” Janet

Janet explicitly links community with older and more rural ways of living that in her case were based on her experiences of growing up in a village. She argued that, unlike rural areas, there is a lack of community in urban areas because the ways of relating and interacting with others are different. People in urban areas cope with the large numbers of other people that they pass, meet and interact briefly with by actively ‘blanking’ and avoiding attempts to build more deeper friendship and caring relationships. Janet felt this lack of community even though she lived on a road with an active residents’ association. As will be discussed later though many residents saw residents’ association as positive forces in the community some felt excluded and set apart from these local groups.

Of the men Kevin and Alan, who were members of their respective residents’ associations, felt that there was a strong sense of community in their neighbourhoods. Michael also felt that there was a sense of “mini-community” in that part of the road where he lived. Interestingly both Kevin and Michael remarked that this sense of community was not so close as to be an oppressive invasion of personal space and privacy.

In the extract below, Kevin while talking about what he liked about the neighbourhood, exemplifies well the sense of community in his area, its importance to him as well as the

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need for some distance between neighbours with the phrase “…but its not living in each other’s pockets…”,
“Its important I think if you live in an environment you take an interest in the people who live around you because they are to do with where you live. So that when you walk out on your street you know the people in the street and you can see somebody and they are friendly and its kind of a natural area, a friendly area.”

“So that you can pop into somewhere for a cup of tea and a chat or go round there for a meal but its not living in each others pockets. I think its good because its getting back to the whole idea of communities with the disintegration of the extended family….there should be something to replace that and I think that community is important in that respect and its actually nice to see it in an area…” Kevin

Kevin, like Janet earlier, also linked friendliness and community to more ‘natural’ and earlier ways of living with his phrase “getting back to the whole idea of communities”. Kevin further argued that in the past this lack of community was less important because we still had close extended family relationships but with the “disintegration” of these relationships the notion of community has become more important.

Residents, as an every day subconscious activity, saw clearly and juggled with the benefits (positives) and risks (negatives) of urban living. They also had more complicated and ambivalent views about community unlike what were seen as older, simpler and more rural ways of living. Urban residents wanted caring and sharing human relationships with other residents that were dynamically balanced between indifference/lack of care and prying/ over-protectiveness.

8.5.1.4 Notions of Community In various ways all the residents had strong notions about what “neighbourliness”, a phrase used by Janet, ought to be like in a community. Their ideas involved a number of key themes: a friendly, safe and peaceful neighbourhood; a place where residents knew their neighbours, said ‘hello’ and talked in the street; a community where they felt connected to others, could ask for and offer help, become involved in community activities and feel a sense of belonging. In the extract below Lisa highlights these issues nicely,
“…I know all the people in my block but I hardly know [other] people, I say hello when I see them and I recognise them now to say hello to them on the street but on the whole there’s no [sense of community], I don’t know, I think community, to me is a sense of feeling that you actually feel you know people and things and get on a deeper level than just saying hello. And if you need help they could come and ask you or if you needed help you could come and ask them. But I don’t feel that here…Yeah I think you need some sort of meeting place…where people can get involved and come and look

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at things that are going on…that people can actually go to that they can connect with community issues” Lisa

Lisa, like Janet and Kevin, talked about community as being made up of caring and sharing relationships between others and these go beyond merely being acknowledged and saying hello. She also related her notion of community to having a meeting place, a focal point, where residents can come together and feel ‘connected’ to other residents and the wider community. Her notion of meeting place has echoes of the village metaphor that Janet used and her notion of ‘connection’ links to Kevin’s idea of disintegrating extended families and the need to re-create and re-construct community to fill the void and lessen the increasing sense of isolation that is felt in urban neighbourhoods. This ‘connection’, deeper sense of a relating and helping community, for Lisa living on her own, also linked to feeling safe and being cared about and cared for.

Michael on the other hand highlights the idea that a sense of community also comes from having an active and diverse street life,
“Now funnily enough one of the things that used to make me feel safe no longer exists. There was an old cinema opposite Caledonian Road station which they only pulled down a couple of years ago, and it was a bingo parlour…as a librarian I often have to work in the evenings. So I'd often be coming home 10 o’clock, 10.30 that sort of thing and there were always lots of old ladies waiting at the bus stop….there was never anyone hanging around in a bad way in that area, around the tube, which actually now, I think, is a bit more lonely than it used to be.”

“…there are always people walking round, quite late at night, who I usually know…there are a lot of women walking around who are local and you see women, walking their dogs, late at night and, I feel, all of that builds up a sense of confidence which I like. And there are convenience stores…which are open quite late and so local people go out to those.” Michael

Michael, living with a partner, argued in a similar way to Lisa that having people undertaking everyday outdoor activities at various times of the day and night and having shops, entertainment and other amenities where people could meet up helped to create a sense of safety and “confidence”.

The key thing that emerges from this analysis of residents’ perceptions of their neighbourhood and their ideal notions of community was the importance of the idea of community to them. It was important to them because having a sense of community seemed to lessen their sense of being at risk. Therefore the stronger the sense of community felt by residents the more safe, or the less at risk, they seemed to feel and the
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more likely they were to cope with changes and disruptions to their neighbourhoods and communities.

8.5.1.5 Perceptions of Society Some of the women and men when talking about their local neighbourhood and community also brought up their wider views on society and community. Three key themes emerged: • • •

residents needed to act and take responsibility for their neighbourhoods, political and economic power were key drivers in terms of what happened at the local level and local people’s voices weren’t heard by big and powerful stakeholders like government and business.

This is exemplified by Diana in the excerpt below,
“But you know there's a history in this country like there is in any other country of local councils being very much under the sway of big business because they threaten to pull out or you know…they're very, very powerful. I'm sure Arsenal isn't more or less

powerful than other big capitalist organisations within a public council.” Diana

Lisa and Janet also felt that this not listening made people feel excluded and led to either apathy or social conflict. Linked to this Diana also commented that professionals tended to be distant because they were actively discouraged from empathising with local people as this was seen as unprofessional. In the extract below, Lisa shows the sense of alienation felt by residents towards democratically-elected representatives and expert-professionals,
“Because there’s… a big question mark over a lot of people in these sorts of processes I think…I mean, nobody can speak for them, you can’t represent what you don’t know in a sense. And a lot of politicians do that in fact (laughs) there’s all the element who don’t vote…and these things need to be considered as to why are they happening. I don’t think its because people don’t want to take part, I think they become disenfranchised…I mean I think everybody needs to have a voice…older people… they’ve got a voice too, and they’re not heard…” Lisa

Residents perceptions of the wider society though expressed in very general terms fitted into their notions of community. The key themes described above weakened the sense of community at the wider societal level and exacerbated residents sense of a lack of community at the local level. Residents felt the need to take responsibility and control of their lives, their communities and their neighbourhoods because they saw themselves being “disenfranchised” and not heard by the more powerful economic and political actors in society. They saw those who were there to represent and protect them, the council and

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government, failing and this made their desire to create or re-create a sense of local community and “neighbourliness” more urgent as one way to protect themselves from these powerful actors and forces. One further point to note in the later section on the siting, consultation and planning process is the sense from Lisa that no one - not governments, community groups or other residents - could really speak for or represent other residents. In other words, residents were not only concerned by government representation but the claims of any group or individual that claimed to speak for and represent the interests of others.

8.5.1.5 Social & Information Network One marker of community integration is the range of social networks. Social networks constitute an important source of information and tend to work alongside more structured mechanisms such as local newspapers and other media (Elias 1984; MacGill 1989).

Of the women, all had good friends and neighbours in the area, with Susan who had been born in Islington, having other family in the neighbourhood and Rachel, though a long-time resident but working abroad most of the time, having only recently made some close friends. Judy had only recently moved into the area and felt that as a single woman it had initially been difficult to form new friendships in the area as the most common routes were not always safe such as going to the local pub on your own. Most were currently involved in either local community activities or national organisations with only Rachel not at the time involved in either local community or national groups. Only half the women, Lisa, Susan and Judy, bought either of the two local newspapers. Janet and Rachel mentioned friends and neighbours as key sources of local information and Judy had used the Internet. Susan did not make a specific comment but the rest of the women felt that the media tended to have an agenda or bias and hence needed to be looked at closely in terms of who was saying what and why.

Of the men, all had friends in the area with Alan having other family in the area. Of the two who had residents’ associations in their road, Kevin was vice-chair of his road’s residents’ association and Alan was an active member of his association. Kevin and Alan were also members of the design review group set up by Islington Council to get community input into the designs and reports presented by Arsenal and its planning and EIA consultants. Michael was not at the time involved in any local or national groups. Michael was also the only one to look at the local newspapers regularly and he felt that they provided reliable and accurate information about local issues. Kevin did not make a specific comment and Alan felt that the local newspapers had a biased point of view and supported Arsenal.

For the interviewed residents family, friends and other residents were the key sources of information about the siting with the local media especially the local newspapers being
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secondary sources. This is another finding that emphasises the importance of community to residents.

8.5.2 Residents’ Perceptions of Stakeholders
8.5.2.1 Importance and Influence of the Stakeholders Residents made both unprompted and prompted comments about the various stakeholders they felt were involved in the process (see Appendix 7, for individual matrices, and Appendix 8, A8.7 for a table of collated results ). Seven of the residents undertook a stakeholder mapping exercise in which they placed stakeholders into a two-by-two grid based on the perceived importance of the siting to each stakeholder and the perceived influence they felt each stakeholder had on the siting process. This is a technique borrowed from policy analysis used by researchers to visualise who the key players are in a process and their actual and potential impacts on a particular policy process (Crosby 1992). The difference in this context was that residents and professionals were asked to construct their own stakeholder maps to discern the similarities and differences between interviewees.
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Fig. 8.2 illustrates how residents, as a whole, perceived the influence of the various stakeholders in the siting and planning process. The key themes emerging from this ranking were that all the residents, women and men, given this exercise unanimously put residents, residents associations, local shops and local businesses in the high importance/low influence category. They placed Arsenal Football Club (the developer), Islington Council (the planning authority), EIA consultants and councillors in the high importance/ high influence category. They placed the local newspapers, the GLA and the Judiciary in the Low importance/ High influence category. Lastly, they placed the School of Community Health, a non-existent stakeholder, as low influence and low importance. This stakeholder was created to see how interviewees saw the role of health researchers in the siting and planning process. For individual stakeholder matrices, see the residents’ partial ‘worldview’ maps in Appendix 7 (see A7.1 to A7.16).

Residents therefore saw themselves, residents’ associations and local businesses as powerless, helpless and lacking control in contrast to the planning authority and the developer who were seen as powerful and in control.

The collated tables of results are not meant to be seen as a quantitative analysis of the data collected but as another way of getting a flavour of the kinds of themes raised by residents and expert-professionals.
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Fig. 8.2: Stakeholder mapping by residents
(figures in brackets give the number of residents who placed the stakeholder in that category – 7 residents undertook this exercise)

High

A. HIGH importance / LOW influence Residents (7) Residents’ Association (7) Local Shops & Businesses (7) ISCA (6) FoE/ Greenpeace (4) Environmental Health Dept (3)

B. HIGH importance / HIGH influence Arsenal FC (6) Planning Dept. (5) EIA Consultants (paid by council) (5) Councillors (4) NLWA (4) PH Dept (3) EIA Consultants (paid by developer) (3) D. LOW importance/ HIGH influence H&I/ Gazette (4) GLA (3) Judiciary (3)

IMPORTANCE

C. LOW importance / LOW influence School of Community Health (2)

Low

High INFLUENCE (in terms of the siting and planning process and the eventual decision/ outcome)

8.5.2.2 Islington Council All the residents had broadly negative views about the council and its role in the siting process. The key perception of the Council prior to the siting and planning process was that it was not responsive or effective in tackling local neighbourhood issues for example abandoned cars and dirty streets. Janet, Rachel and Judy did mention that they had also had good experiences with the council in terms of helpful and informative staff. The extract below from Rachel illustrates this view well,
“…the Council has, it’s almost like been, I don’t know if it’s benign or malignant neglect of this region. I mean just to compare it with Highbury and the area around that, you know it's like night and day.”

“Well there was one very well informed, extremely sympathetic man who retired so he's no longer there who I'd had hours of conversations with and he's very illuminating, not terribly satisfying but at least illuminating. And other people are less so, I mean it seems everything comes down to no one is willing to take any responsibility because of being caught in a bureaucratic web. And there's always excuses and half-baked explanations for why things can't change.” Rachel

Lisa and Diana who mentioned dirty streets as a cause for concern in the area felt that if the Council could not handle what people thought were much simpler issues then how could the Council be trusted on the more complex matter of the WTS siting. A strongly articulated concern raised by a number of residents was a feeling that the Council was or
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could be, easily swayed by the money and power of “big business”. A quote from Judy illustrates this point,
“I don’t know the whole dynamics of the situation but the fact that Arsenal is a huge corporation which has gone to the Council and said ‘This is what we want to do’ Islington has gone ‘Fantastic, throw money at us, we’re a London Council … that hasn’t got a lot of money. This is really going to raise the profile of Islington and also we’ll be getting new business into the area’ and so on. But I actually find it disgusting that the Council is prepared to let a big business then dictate repercussions throughout the community where it affects people’s health and safety.” Judy

Lisa, Diana and Susan also felt that the Council had a lot of power in this process though Janet felt that, like national and local government in general, the Council had little power in the face of business though they tended to get the blame. Finally Lisa, Susan and Janet, were concerned that the Council were not communicative enough and not listening to local people though Janet did mention that the Council had fairly recently undertaken a good consultation exercise with local people on local needs.

Kevin and Alan, in contrast, felt that the council did respond to active local people who organised themselves and worked with the Council to improve the local area while Michael felt that council staff were doing their best. In terms of the siting process Kevin, vice-chair of his residents association and involved in the review process, felt that the Council had done a good job of the consultation process but that they were deciding on something that they stood to gain from financially. Alan wasn’t sure about the ultimate value of the public consultation. Michael, like Judy, also felt that the Council were easily swayed by the “glamour” of Arsenal and were more concerned about keeping Arsenal happy. Alan and Michael were also concerned about the “vague” and “cagey” nature of the councillors’ and officers’ communications with regard to the proposals with both having had previous experiences with councillors from which they had formed negative views about their effectiveness and ability.

The residents writing in the public comments saw the council as not representing their interests and not protecting them from the dangers and risks of the WTS. The interviewed residents also expressed a distrust of the Council but also showed the Council in a positive light with officers who listened and cared and an organisational approach that did respond when residents got together and worked with the Council. Residents who had weak and intermittent links with the Council had more caricatured and sharply delineated negative views than those who had stronger, long term and more continuous relationships with the Council. Lastly, interviewed residents’ general perceptions of the Council had a strong influence on how the Council was perceived during the siting, planning and consultation process.
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8.5.2.3 Arsenal FC (Developer) Almost all the residents (Susan did not specifically comment on this) described Arsenal, the developer, as dominant, powerful and having money, influence and supporters. All of them, including Susan, felt that Arsenal was motivated by self-interest and the desire to become more successful and make even more money. This self-interest was felt to be at the expense of the needs and interests of the community at large. However Janet did qualify her remarks by saying that the experts advising Arsenal were also likely to have been pushing Arsenal to get the most money out of the proposed developments. The following is an extract from Lisa and links to the views expressed by Diana in the previous section,
“Arsenal has got a lot of money and it’s got a lot of power and their supporters,…I mean although I said I felt sort of intimidated by the one they had there, I think they do have a very strong voice.” Lisa

Kevin and Alan also felt that Arsenal were being unfair in siting the WTS in a poor neighbourhood and using this siting to subsidise the stadium development. There was also a concern among some of the residents that Arsenal was being dishonest by trying to hide their self-interest under the guise of being altruistic and community-minded. The following extract from Kevin exemplified well how Arsenal were regarded, and illustrates their perceived dishonesty, abuse of power and lack of regard for the local community,
“They haven’t been as open and honest as they could have been but then may be that’s the way you have to do things. Maybe you can’t be open and consult with everybody first cause you never actually get it done, but I actually don’t think [so]…[They’re] pretending that they are as proactive in the community…but its not major, its to their benefit what they do…do they go and build a street of houses as a way of thank you or whatever? They don’t do anything, or open a park?…what they are doing is what you expect them to do as a big Plc that’s involved in the community…it smacks of big business and little regard to the community.

It will be built and they will having nothing more to do with that, other than rake in whatever profit that subsidises it. [It] means they don’t have to dig as deep into their pocket because they’ve built this huge site at Lough Road. That’s the way it comes across, lots of housing, and everything else, goes on Lough Road and subsidises Ashburton Grove [where the proposed stadium was to be sited] that’s the way it looks like.” Kevin

Kevin while agreeing with Lisa and Diana about the malign influence of big business on local councils and communities also recognised that being open and honest in such processes can be difficult and that being ‘open and consulting’ might lead to ‘not getting anything done’. However he intensely disliked the impression Arsenal were trying to create

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that their community involvement was totally altruistic and solely for the benefit of the community when in reality their community activities had direct and indirect benefits for their profitability and footballing success.

Interviewed residents, like those writing the public comments, saw Arsenal as a private business motivated by profit and greed at the expense of the community. They distrusted the developer and found it difficult to see them as altruistic or having an enlightened selfinterest in the community activities and initiatives they were involved with. As with the Council, their previous experiences, interactions and history with the developer shaped and influenced how they viewed Arsenal in the context of the siting and planning process. Finally, as Kevin argued the only way for this perception to change would have been for Arsenal to do something altruistic and self-sacrificing in contrast to their primary motives of profit and football success for example by building social housing, a park or something else that would have no tangible benefits for Arsenal itself.

8.5.2.4 Planning & Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Consultants Of the residents who commented on this all felt that the consultants paid for by the developer would be biased in favour of the developer. Janet and Rachel did comment however that their expertise was vital in the planning and siting process as they could provide more details on the potential negative consequences of the WTS.

Kevin and Alan who had direct experience of working with the EIA consultants on the review group also felt that they were dishonest and dismissive of residents views both in terms of presenting figures and conclusions and in not correcting mistakes pointed out to them by the residents on the review group. Kevin mentioned that there was only one consultant who came across as honest and listening, owned up to the fact that his calculations were based on certain assumptions and acknowledged that the issues raised by residents were valid and important. Both commented that the consultants were surprised to find that residents were interested, knowledgeable and able to comment sensibly and usefully on the designs and impact assessments.
“…I think they’ve tried to hoodwink us by not being honest, by saying crass things about the traffic lights on Caledonian Road and the amount of traffic. The local communities proved them wrong, as we actually went out and proved their plan didn’t add up…statistics actually mean nothing when you put [it] into practice…you suddenly start thinking [this] assessment is actually not correct, its been prepared by their people and they’ve said what they want to say that there is going to be impact but its not going to be very much…and the difference between the reality of what they’re saying and the reality of what will be is two different things. So I don’t have much faith in that and I think the Council are right to put it out to independent assessment and find out what’s [going] on from people who maybe could put a more honest appraisal on it. Arsenal

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want this to go ahead so they can, in the proposal, say whatever they want it to say.” Kevin

“There’s a carelessness and there has been carelessness in some of the studies done and the figures presented within there which they, even when pointed out, will say ‘Oh, well it actually doesn’t matter’” Alan

Both Kevin and Alan had direct and long term contact with the EIA consultants and saw, even in the consultants own terms, a lack of professionalism, objectivity and neutrality. Through their behaviour and attitude when working with and dealing with the public both at the review group meetings and at the public consultation meetings consultants lost their credibility and standing as objective, non-partisan professionals assessing the

environmental and health risks of the proposed developments. For Kevin only one consultant had the courage, confidence and respect for residents to listen to residents points of view and recognise their value and legitimacy.

The siting, planning and consultation process was a dynamic process where in each and every interaction, meeting and conversation expert-professionals were scrutinised and needed to demonstrate and prove their expertise, independence and professional values to residents. Residents recognised their expertise and the value of their expertise but this was not enough they also wanted expert-professionals to listen to residents’ knowledge and expertise, recognise that they could be wrong and respect the needs and wishes of local people.

8.5.2.5 Residents All the residents knew either neighbours or other residents who were opposed to the development. Rachel, who had a young child, and Judy specifically commented that children’s health was a key concern of other residents. All the residents felt that local people did not have a big influence on the siting and planning process.

Alan described three groups of residents involved in the process: those resident “fans” who supported the proposals unconditionally, those resident “fans” who supported the stadium development but had concerns about the scale of the wider developments and those residents who were opposed to the whole set of developments.

Lisa and Judy, however, pointed out that while many other residents expressed concerns few seemed willing to take an active part in the protests or go to the public meetings. Janet was the only one who talked about supporters and that in the context of good neighbours falling out because they disagreed on the siting issue. Diana also talked about the notion
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that rubbish lorries meant rubbish in people’s mind which in turn meant a ‘rubbish’ environment. As can be seen in the extract below, she also remarked that the impact of stories about ”leaky” landfills and “toxic” facilities as well as the negative experiences of the current WTS were likely to heighten residents’ concerns about the proposed WTS,
“I'm also sure it’s difficult to disentangle an incredibly deeply held view that rubbish lorries equal rubbish wherever they are. But it would seem to me that if people were persuaded that their environment was going to improve, I don't think it would make any difference where the siting of it was. But it's difficult when you see leaky landfill sites, you see incinerators poisoning the air; and you feel you’re constantly seeing all these ways of waste disposal producing toxicity and you add that up with people's perceptions and reality of the way their current waste disposal creates a more uncivil environment. How do you untangle all that from an issue which one might consider to be just moving an operation from A to B.” Diana

Interviewed residents, like the residents of the written public comments, felt that most of their silent and not actively protesting neighbours also objected to the siting of the WTS. Some also recognised that their were supporters who conditionally and unconditionally supported the developments and that many opposers did not seem willing, or able, to actively protest. Interviewees also recognised that residents taking differing stands on the siting issue could lead to long term division, conflict and bad feeling. Finally, as Diana argued, one of the crucial issues about the WTS was its negative effects on personal and community identity and how the waste itself and the media stories about ‘poisoning’ and ‘toxicity’ created a negative predisposition to the WTS. She also argued that if residents saw environmental improvements in the neighbourhoods where these waste facilities were built then perhaps they would be less concerned about having WDFs in their own neighbourhoods. Implicitly, she raised the notion of deliberately building in some kind of sustained environmental improvement programme during the siting, planning and operational phases of any WDF, especially in areas with existing environmental damage, such that there were widely perceived positive environmental benefits and improvements to the neighbourhood concerned.

8.5.2.6 Community Groups The term community groups was used broadly in this study and included the key grassroots groups involved in the planning and siting process. These were the local residents’ associations, ISCA the umbrella objector group (made up of residents associations, local businesses, the local Friends of the Earth and some trade unions), and AISA the main Arsenal fan club.

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Most of the residents, women and men, felt that the community groups were doing a good job in representing residents’ views, bringing people together and acting as a focal point for information and action. Judy illustrates this well,
“I think its important for all the different groups…to join together on local issues. There’s no point people saying well you’re from the estate and you’re from that party and you’re the local black community and you’re the local church, you’re the local primary school, I think the fact that people are prepared to say well look we’re all actually fighting for the same thing here is very important on any local issue. “

“And yes it has a very important part to play in it because it gives local people a focal point and a case to air what they think and [that] they’re not the only people who are sitting there going what’s happening here?! and what can I do about it? It gives people a sense that they can do something about it. I think it’s important to show that there is a presence there and to get up and shout about it and then for people to stand up in meetings and say what they think.” Judy

However Lisa, Diana and Susan did have reservations about the community groups in terms of not feeling clear about what they were trying to achieve and feeling excluded because they did not receive regular information, were not asked to help and got the impression that they were for a select group of local people. Diana, did not feel left out, instead she saw many of the members of these community groups as NIMBYs who were “living in their own little worlds”, only interested in not having these developments near them but not interested in tackling the wider societal issues involved. The extract below is from Lisa,
“And I’ve put down my name,…went to be put on a database and I’d said I’d do things practically and do actions or whatever was needed, but nobody actually got hold of me so I didn’t really feel [involved],…and I saw posters down the one way part of Caledonian Road…I would’ve liked to have had a poster and things like that.”

“I got leaflets…but often it wasn’t really clear and they weren’t explanatory enough…I thought the information isn’t quite right, there’s something not very clear and they need to attract people from all sorts of [backgrounds]…”

“And ISCA [the coalition objector group] I think I sent…I’ve sent copies of letters to them. But not once did I get a response just even to say thanks or over the telephone they could’ve left a message…that you’re …we’re sort of getting somewhere…I did all these things in a letter because I thought I’ve done all I can and as I said got no response from the neighbourhood community. And I was rather hoping, I thought ‘Oh well, this is good’ because I feel I’d like to get involved…and they were disappointing as well.” Lisa

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Alan also raised concerns about the major umbrella objector group feeling that it had perhaps come to its decision to object a little too quickly. He also commented on the nature of representing others and the uncertainty he felt about his own efforts at representing the residents of his own road. The only way he personally could ensure that he had the mandate of local people was by feeding back and talking informally to other residents.
I'm full of admiration for the amount of time they're spending on it, I do wonder a little bit about the agenda sometimes. I think it's virtually genuine, I think, they like me, now feel that it would be damaging to the area. Whether that's through more knowledge at the beginning, they came to that decision very quickly, I suppose I'm slightly uneasy that may be it was too quickly. But certainly they would appear to be very effective at the moment in pulling together responses and co-ordinating a global or a larger residents' response to the whole process.” Alan

Michael also felt ambivalent about local community groups and like Alan raised the issue of genuine versus less genuine concerns such as children’s health versus drops in property values with regard to a local demonstration organised by objectors. Michael, similar to Kevin’s earlier concerns about being ‘in each others pockets’, also had concerns about the power of these groups to affect other residents’ lives. This is shown in the extract below,
“Now something that really worries me about local, about resident's associations is that they start telling other residents what to do. And I slightly get the feeling with Penn Road that they're taking slightly too much interest in what other people do in their front gardens and offering to go round and do the weeding for them and that sort of thing. And I don't like that aspect of it because I do think people should just be allowed to do basically what they want to do…I think there's a possibility of it all coming down to the level of gossiping about other people in the street.

But I got the impression from the people that I met at the demonstration that their main concern was for their children, you know for the pollution and the traffic and I thought that was nice. I thought those were worthwhile reasons rather than worrying about the property prices which obviously is something that everyone is going to be concerned about as well. Whether it will actually affect the value of the area in financial terms didn’t seem to be their main concern, it seemed to be quite genuine good reasons for protesting.” Michael

Community groups acted as a focus for opposition and protest and in turn generally created and strengthened the relationships between residents and their sense of solidarity and community. Residents, overall, respected and trusted their actions and motives but this was not unconditional. They recognised that community groups, like the Council and Arsenal, could also act in their own self-interest, pursue their own agendas and attempt to control and impose their own values on other residents. Therefore, the trust, respect and approval

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that community groups engendered in residents was based on their proving and demonstrating that they worked for the community, listened to residents and subsumed their own narrow concerns for the benefit of the wider community. One demonstration of this was the way some residents assessed community groups by whether they pursued genuine (children’s’ health) versus less genuine concerns (property values). The other demonstration was the way some residents reflected on whether these groups were genuinely representing local people or simply a small group of other active protesters. Community groups were therefore subject to the same relationship dynamics that other powerful stakeholders had with local residents and subject to the same scrutiny and wariness in terms of their power, motives and actions.

8.5.2.7 National Government/ Environment Agency/ Greater London Authority (GLA) Most of the residents, women and men, felt that government, government agencies and the GLA could have a great deal of influence on the process but that this siting and planning process was not an important concern for them. Susan felt that they had a part to play while Janet and Judy felt that government had limited power. Most of the residents were not clear about the role of national government, the Environment Agency and the GLA and how they fitted into this siting and planning process. There was therefore considerable ambiguity and uncertainty about the role and responsibility of national actors in this local process but strong agreement that they had power and should they intervene considerable influence.

8.5.3 Residents’ Concerns about Different Types of Developments
8.5.3.1 Concerns about the WTS Key concerns for women and men included nearness to a residential area, traffic, air pollution and health concern. These were in line with the concerns and issues raised by residents in the written public comments.

Alan also mentioned the loss of amenities and the radical alteration in the nature of the area such that many of the reasons why he and his family had moved there in the first place would disappear,
“So you think, well hang on a minute, all the conveniences that you make a choice on are now turned on their heads. You know its happens all the time but you know it’s a cumulative thing.” Alan

For Alan the issue is one of choice and control and how the siting of the WTS took away choice and control. Residents had made a choice to live where they did and assessed a range of positive and negative attributes of their neighbourhood before deciding to live

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there. This assessment and the balance reached between the positives and negatives - the risks and benefits - was disturbed and their perceived control over their neighbourhood taken away in a single instant with the potential siting of the WTS. This perception of lack of choice and control not only affected the compromises and calculations they had made to live there but made them question their investment, commitment and identification with this neighbourhood and community. This issue of choice and control is taken up and expanded upon by Diana and Alan in Section 8.5.4 on the planning process.

Finally, the health status of residents also plays a part in raising their perceptions of being at risk. Lisa, Janet and Diana all had existing health conditions that made them feel even more vulnerable to the potential negative effects of the WTS. Residents with existing health problems or children were sensitised and sensitive individuals who felt more threatened and responded more strongly to potential dangers in the neighbourhood than other local residents. They also provided, as will be seen in the section on the consultation, powerful and emotive stories that had a strong impact on other residents’ perceptions. Residents therefore not only felt for their plight but in some sense also recognised that this could happen to themselves and their families. In other words, that these vulnerable residents were like the proverbial ‘canary in the coal mine’ that alerted miners to the dangers of mine gas and imminent danger.

8.5.3.2 Concerns about the WDFs in general Residents were asked to talk about four different types of waste disposal facilities: landfills, incinerators, WTSs and recycling facilities using a set of randomly ordered prompt cards (see Appendix 8, A8.2 for a table of collated results).

Looking at incinerators, landfills, WTSs and recycling facilities Diana and Janet mentioned that all had their problems. Only recycling facilities came out as having the least negative consequences, with Lisa seeing them as a very positive facility, though Judy was concerned about the chemicals that might be used in the recycling process. Landfills were seen as horrible, toxic, smelly, and leaking into water supplies and agricultural land. Incinerators and WTSs were seen to generate air pollution and smell with Lisa describing the ‘hidden and closed’ nature of the facility as being scary in itself.
“[Landfills] Yeah, sort of horrible and smelly and polluting and toxic as well yeah can’t think of anything nice about a landfill.”

“[Waste Transfer Station & Incinerator] I imagine everything being kind of closed in and not being able to see a lot. It doesn’t fill me with great joy.” Lisa

All the men felt that these facilities were necessary. Again only recycling facilities were seen to have the fewest adverse effects with Michael seeing them as positive. Landfills

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were seen as smelly, noisy, a mess, with no control over what goes in, and having the potential to leak. Incinerators were seen to produce air pollution, traffic and noise. Alan who had previous knowledge of WTSs in his professional life saw them as clean and contained. Most of the women and men had no personal experience of living near an industrial facility of any kind except Rachel who had lived in an area with a lot of industrial air pollution and Michael who had lived near a smelly gas works and a marshy area.

None of the women but all the men felt that the facilities were necessary and this was possibly because all three had previous direct or indirect experiences with industrial facilities which made them more accepting of these facilities. Michael had less concerns about living near a landfill as during his childhood he had lived in a marshy and boggy area, Alan had direct experiences of WTSs through his professional work and Kevin had accumulated a deep knowledge of waste disposal facilities during his time on the design review group. Lastly, women were more concerned and less accepting of the technology both in terms of its safe operation and its inner ‘hidden’ workings. In some sense there was a deep symbolic concern and distrust of the WTS, its machinery, technology and its potential to cause harm.

8.5.3.3 Concerns about other types of developments Residents were asked to choose at least two developments that they would actively like to live near to, two that they would actively dislike living near to and any developments they were unsure of and to explain the reasoning behind their choices. This was done using a set of eighteen prompt cards with a specific development written on each one (see Table 8.1 and Appendix 8, A8.3 for a table of collated results). These eighteen developments were chosen very deliberately so that nuances of likes and dislikes could be picked up for example a primary school was presented as opposed to a secondary school with older, more noisy and bigger children and a gas-fired power station as opposed to a seemingly more polluting coal or oil-fired power station.

Of the four women who undertook the task of picking out their likes and dislikes from a range of different developments, Diana and Janet felt that all the development options had positive and negative aspects while Lisa also mentioned problems that could occur with her most liked developments.

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Table 8.1: Developments used for likes & dislikes exercise
Gas-Fired Power Station Chemical/ Plastics Factory Large Hospital Engineering Works Waste Incinerator Pesticide Manufacturer Low Security Prison Recycling Facility Through Road Large Car Plant Computer Manufacturer Football Stadium Small Housing Estate Sports/ Leisure Centre Waste Transfer Station Domestic Landfill Sewage Works Shopping Centre

Women liked the public park and shopping centre as well as the primary school, sport and leisure centre and small housing estate. The key reasons for liking these developments fell into one of four categories: direct personal benefit, a community benefit, both a personal and community benefit or perceived to cause the least amount of disruption. Women disliked the gas-fired power station, incinerator, large pub, paint factory and engineering works. The reasons given for their dislikes were health and safety concerns and the potential for significant neighbourhood disruption (e.g. pollution, noisy behaviour and chemicals).
“I don't think there's any such thing as a safe power station of any kind. I think that there's all sorts of carcinogenic and unsafe side effects. Whether or not the power station actually catches on fire, blows up, whether they're internal on safety or whether they're intrinsic on safety I think that, I know that somebody has got to live next door to a power station. I would rather my taxes went to safe forms of energy or actually trying to make those power stations safe which I don't think my taxes do go to.” Diana

Diana, like Lisa in the previous section, argued that technology had inherently harmful sideeffects that could not be removed completely. However she also recognised that people do have to live near them thereby creating a tension and ambivalence in the use and value of technology that is resolved, in this case, by arguing for more money being put into newer and safer forms of energy production. Implicitly, with her statement that her taxes did not go on newer and safer technologies she develops the argument that it is not the technology itself but how it is developed and used that is the key to reducing technological risks.

Of the men, all saw the positive and negative aspects of most of the developments. Men liked the public park, sports and leisure centre, primary school, small housing estate and computer manufacturer. For the men also the key reasons for liking these developments involved a direct personal benefit, a community benefit, both a personal and community

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benefit or was perceived to cause the least amount of disruption. Kevin in the following extract shows what he felt the neighbourhood and London should look like (i.e. his vision or ideal of an urban community),
“Public park, well I think that you should have a lot of open space within urban development. I actually think it's good to have open space, green space. It's for, a) for the environment so you haven't got always densely packed housing [and] b) it's

somewhere where people can go and relax. And also I think it's actually good to have green, to see green because there's not a lot of green, particularly in London, as much green as there should be.” Kevin

Men disliked the gas-fired power station, incinerator and football stadium. Again, like the women, the reasons given for their dislikes were health and safety concerns and the potential for significant neighbourhood disruption.

While overall there were more similarities than differences between women and men some differences did emerge. Women chose the shopping centre as one of their likes while none of the men picked it out. Women also picked out large pubs as active dislikes because of the noise and potential personal danger they felt pubs would bring. This exercise showed that interviewed residents saw all modern developments as having positives and negatives (risks and benefits). Similar to the residents who wrote the public comments the interviewed residents reasoned and imagined their way to what their likes and dislikes were, used their direct and indirect experiences to assess the potential risks and benefits and importantly linked this to the kind of community and neighbourhood they wanted to live in.

8.5.4 Residents’ Perceptions of the Planning & Consultation Process
8.5.4.1 Initial and Subsequent Reactions Initial reactions among the women and men to the news of the siting were ones of anger, upset and disbelief. Rachel, Diana and Alan had no views initially except for the desire for more information. However over time, as they heard more about it, their perceptions changed from neutral to negative. Residents’ reactions involved not only direct emotions about the WTS but also strong emotions about the powerful stakeholders who were seen to be behind the siting of the WTS. Importantly they attached moral and ethical standpoints to both Arsenal as the developer and Islington Council as the planning authority. These were very similar to the views and emotions expressed in the public written comments.
“Oh I was really angry when it happened, that’s why I did all this stuff because I wanted to fight a bit and use my anger so I wouldn’t sit here boiling on my own [thinking] ‘Those wicked people they’re trying to kill me!’ (laughs) and all that kind of stuff. I just felt really affronted you know on my doorstep, in a residential area…” Lisa

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Michael illustrates beautifully the complex range and nature of emotions that the WTS invoked in some people,
“…I do feel angry about it partly there’s the, not in my back yard, but I don’t want the waste refuse station there…I don’t deny that that’s part of it but I think my feeling is what a waste of a really, really good site. And I just can’t understand why a better use for it isn’t carried out.”

“Well actually guilt because I thought guilt and a feeling well doesn’t this just serve me right for being so smug about buying a really lovely flat in a nice area so they’re now going to stick a waste station in the middle of it and apprehension over what the result would be and how it might change the nature of the area for the worse.”

“…a slow gentrification process which I felt would benefit everybody who lived around there…So yes, I mean the feeling of sadness and just, I don’t know sort of bewilderment that they picked on that area to dump the dump on in a way. I just feel, without any clear strategy that they would just move [it there], it’s just a piece of a [bigger development] jigsaw when it had a lot more potential.” Michael

Michael goes through a range of emotions from a sense of NIMBYism, anger, guilt, apprehension, sadness, and bewilderment. Residents during the siting, planning and consultation process displayed and passed through a number of emotional states. They seemed to move through some or all of five broad emotional stages: from initial shockdisbelief-denial; to feelings of outrage-injustice-anger; moving on to, at least for some, a stage of hope-protest-bargaining; then a sense of sadness-loss-depression and finally some sort of resignation-fatalism-acceptance.

8.5.4.2 Consultation Process All the women had received both the Arsenal and Council leaflets with Judy feeling that the Council leaflet was good and Diana feeling it was simply a propaganda sheet for the developer. Most of the women, while acknowledging the range of efforts made by the Council to inform and involve people, were not impressed by what they saw of the consultation process. Concerns included feeling that it would have no influence and was simply “window-dressing”, getting leaflets very late and a lack of communication on how things were progressing.
“I think it’s all window dressing. I think it's very nice window dressing, but you know contacting groups, consulting, written comments accepted. I mean consultation doesn't mean anything, what really means something is having full knowledge and actually having the power to do something…” Diana

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“And we went to the meetings, all the meetings about it. I mean we’ve not heard anything since but I presume it’s going to go through because they don’t listen to us. They say they do but they’ve already made up their minds that they’re going to do it so.”

“I think we didn’t get the letter until the day of,…we got a letter the same day or the next day about there being a meeting at Union Chapel and then another time we got a letter either the same day or the next day to view the plans, the Arsenal plans at the Town Hall. But we didn’t get them till late so we didn’t go.” Susan

Both Diana and Susan emphasise the sense of powerlessness, helplessness and futility against what they saw as more powerful stakeholders. However, Rachel did raise the idea that her unhappiness with the consultation and planning process may have been linked to the fact that the process was not going in the way that she wished and because the developments proposals had not been rejected immediately.

Of the women who went to either the main public or the neighbourhood forum meetings, both felt very positive about them and felt a sense of connection with others who shared their concerns. In the extract below, Lisa describes the complex undercurrents and issues that were present in the public meetings she attended, her assessment of the perspectives of supporters and objectors and her reactions to the people who stood up and talked,
“…it was good for me to go and hear how people were saying things because I was aware that there was a kind of lefty bunch of people and they were shouting and drowning out the Arsenal supporters…I mean the guy [Arsenal supporting resident] hung himself on what he said. He didn’t have to shout it, he was just being very aggressive and those kind of tactics intimidate people…”

“…the people who moved me, at the public enquiry…there was a young man…who had a small child and he was living on the estate opposite…and he just said his child already had asthma and he was really, really worried about what was going to happen. Those kinds of things were much more important and personal than people standing up and slagging off the council…because that’s what tends to happen when people are in a group…they get a bit worked up, wanted to obviously get out their feelings…the personal is the political and the political is the personal and I do feel that very much. But I think once you’ve made your personal statement you need to be able to have some way of going over into the more political, the wider area…”

“…I feel that at the enquiry in the other meeting there didn’t seem to be a very good connection there. There was people either giving a strong personal feeling, and as I said, those were the real issues for me, but there didn’t seem anyway to take it over and talk about [it]. Your perfect response would’ve been somebody talking personally

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and then being able to talk about the waste and the toxicity and the more kind of scientific thing…”

“And again on the other side was the people who I was meant to be part of [the objectors], who were all supporting the same side of things, were cat calling and shouting at the Council… I just found that a bit like ‘That’s not the way to get things done!’” Lisa

Lisa in the extract above shows how she became aware of the various actors in the process and their views by attending these public meetings. She also highlights the importance of personal stories, for residents, as being more real and more important than scientific facts but that these stories needed to be connected up to scientific accounts and numbers to be effective in changing policies and decisions. She argued for the personal and the scientific to be valued equally and for the integration of expert-residents’ and expert-professionals’ knowledges and understandings. She also showed that, similar to the way residents perceived community groups, she was ambivalent and wary of the motives, actions and behaviours of the people whose ‘side’ she was on as much as of the people whose views she opposed.

All the men also received the Council’s and Arsenal’s leaflets. Kevin and Michael had first heard about the siting from local newspapers. All felt that the consultation had been run well with Kevin remarking that it had allowed residents’ concerns to be raised and for some of the concerns to be addressed. Alan felt that the public meetings had not achieved much except for allowing people to voice their opinions and emotions but these would not be seen as legal and valid objections to the siting. However, he did add that voicing concerns and emotions could be seen as of value in itself something that was also commented on by Lisa. Kevin raised a similar point to Lisa, in the extract above, in feeling that the voices of the poorer and directly affected people were more real and “honest” than educated voices like his. Finally, Alan wondered why the WTS visits were on weekdays and in the afternoon when most people were working and unlikely or unable to take time off. He did though acknowledge that Arsenal had overall tried their best to inform residents about the proposed developments.

Residents recognised that the Council had undertaken a wide and comprehensive public consultation exercise but felt that this was not enough because residents did not have the power and influence to shape the process and the eventual outcome. The public meetings were also a way for residents to get together, talk, understand and listen to each others’ stories and in the process create a sense of opposition, solidarity and community. Residents, at the public meetings, also became more aware of and, at least some extent, to better understood the different standpoints and concerns that other stakeholders had.

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Finally, residents felt that local people’s personal stories, experiences and knowledges were as important as the impact assessments carried out by expert-professionals.

8.5.4.3 Planning Process Both women and men expressed a general feeling that residents had little power in the process and that the Council and Arsenal would and could do largely what they wanted. There was an underlying sense of resignation, a belief, based on direct experience and knowledge about what had happened elsewhere, that despite their efforts the WTS siting would go ahead with only a small hope that this time they would be listened to.

In the extract below, Diana argues that short of radical measures residents had little or no chance of influencing the process in the way they wanted to and yet despite this she still hoped that this time democracy would win out and she would be proved wrong,
“The only way to get anywhere with something like this is to either be very, very powerful in the first place, to know where the political bodies are buried, so you can say to a politician ‘You'd better not do this or I'm going to reveal that you're on the take,’ or whatever. Or to be very media adept and be an investigative journalist and really come up with fantastic reasons why your side should prevail. History tells us that ordinary people on their own in these situations rarely get anywhere. I'm a great believer in democracy and I would like people's voices to be heard, even if they are people's voices that I may have an objection to, I still think they have a right to be heard. I have a right to argue with them as well. But I think in this case, the way the protestors are operating, they're wasting their time. Though I hope they're not.” Diana

Both the women and men felt a sense of unfairness and injustice in the process. Furthermore, not hearing about what was happening during the process - between the first and second rounds of consultations - also made Lisa and Susan think that the planning decision had already been made. This is best exemplified in the following extract from Alan,
“I suppose distilling it, here’s a big company which wants to put its factory and whatever else in the [one] location and the butt end of that decision is the rubbish. And Lough Road is getting the rubbish and that’s where the anger is and also although it hasn’t been explicitly stated and Arsenal or the developers are keeping very wary of the question, the question has been asked where the affordable housing is going? And you know full well where the affordable is going to go; it’s going to go next to the waste transfer station. So there’s social anger in that way, not so much anger about the facility. It’s, we’re being hard done by again, in this deprived area, you know, there’s a lot of that.”

“The people who are trapped, and again this comes back to the anger, the people who are trapped are the people in social housing of some form because it’s very difficult for them to find alternative accommodation. So if they see something being built in an area
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they can’t just move away, it’s not an option and that’s the social division, I think in many ways, which is difficult.” Alan

In the extract above, Alan points out the idea of choice and control and the injustice of taking these away from people especially those who do not have the resources to allow them to move away. This was also remarked on by Diana who felt that having the ability and resources to move was at the heart of why some people were so concerned about the WTS. Residents felt trapped in a situation not of their choosing and over which they had little control.

Diana and Alan also felt that residents were constrained by the fact that they had jobs and families to contend with and so did not have the time or resources to expend on the process. This alongside the complexity and technical detail of the proposals, an issue raised by Michael as well, also meant that residents over time were more likely to lose interest and lose heart in being able to stop the siting. Alan expresses this well,
“And I think the planning process, I mean I can’t think of a better way of doing it, the planning process is flawed in a number of ways, one is that it’s very complicated and it’s difficult to keep people’s interest…over a large time span they get bored with it, I’m bored with it. I just want to get on with my life. So it’s very, it’s cumulatively destructive to the will of the community let’s put it that way and therefore eventually it’s fate that the developer has to [win] I think.” Alan

Rachel and Janet, as well as Michael, also wanted to know more about the previous planning applications for the site and why they were turned down. An issue that was also mentioned in the public written comments. Councillors not being able to discuss issues freely in order not to be barred from voting on the proposals was also noted by Kevin and Michael as perplexing and something that made residents feel isolated from and suspicious of the Council. This issue was picked up by other residents both in the written public comments and at the public consultation meetings. Kevin also picked up on the potential conflict of interest of the Council because it stood to gain directly from the proposed development by the sale of land and the building of two Council facilities – the WTS and a vehicle depot. Again this was a point raised in the written public comments and at the public consultation meetings. Both these issues are illustrated in the extract below from Kevin,

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“… there’s two curious things which I can sort of understand but then again I don’t agree with. The fact that basically all the Councillors were told that if they voiced an opinion too earlier on it might preclude them from actually taking a vote at a later stage… I don’t understand the logic of that…surely they are free to voice their opinion, why should that preclude them from taking a vote….So, if I go in to see a councillor and even if they disagree with your view, I can still sit down and have a discussion with them privately…That’s the way it should work and I think that that was a bad move to silence them because I think that the community felt isolated… not being able to talk with their representative.”

“in terms of the financial aspect…I fully understand that the council are going to talk about the planning but whose gonna tell us about the financial aspects. We should know about this because it does affect us. If there are financial incentives for them, why not be honest and above board. If the council stand to gain out of it then they should say ‘We stand to gain out of this, but you know that’s by way of it actually happening not up front by design. Why shouldn’t we all in the borough stand to gain, everybody would gain as it might reduce this or reduce that, or it might bolster finances or whatever it is, so that it is just an honest piece of business’…” Kevin

Kevin shows that despite his close working on the design review group over many months he was still unsure of the detailed legal workings of the planning process. This lack of knowledge and experience made him uncertain and distrustful of the planning process making him wary of and quick to doubt the actions and behaviours of the Council and Arsenal.

Residents felt and experienced a lack of choice, control and influence during the planning process. This lack of choice and control affected residents in different ways, depending on individual resources and circumstances, generating a sense of injustice and unfairness in those, and for those, who felt trapped in a situation not of their choosing. Finally, there seemed to be a need to fully explain the workings of the planning process, especially its legal intricacies, and a need to discuss the planning history of previous applications.

8.5.4.4 Improving the Consultation & Planning Process The women and men raised similar issues. They wanted more accessible, detailed and understandable information both on the WTS and its future operation. They wanted a longer consultation period, feeling that the original two months was not adequate, and greater ongoing communication during the process so that people knew what was happening. Specific recommendations included an easily accessible central information point with long evening opening hours, a simpler and shorter EIA report and proposal, and

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a developer’s remedy fund to deal with any problems that the development and construction caused.

8.5.5 Residents’ Views on How Society Manages and Should Manage Waste
Residents were shown one prompt card that showed how 70% of London’s waste was landfilled in rural areas outside London and another which outlined one view on managing societal waste that argued for local management and disposal in urban areas (see Appendix 6, A6.6).

Not all residents had thought about these issues but all felt that these were difficult things to deal with and that there were no easy solutions to resolving waste issues or the siting of waste disposal facilities. However, of the women and men who commented, all felt that society needed to tackle the root causes of waste by dealing with packaging, manufacturers and how we consume goods and services in modern developed societies. Most also felt that the methods of disposal needed to be clean, environmentally-friendly and undertaken in clean, environmentally-friendly facilities. A few also felt that more research was needed in this area. Diana, in particular, brought up the whole issue of rich developed countries pursuing unsustainable levels of energy and material consumption at the expense of poorer developing countries and that the creation of waste was part of the wider issue of global inequality and inequity. Michael while saying that he had a slightly NIMBY attitude to the siting of these facilities felt that many of the negatives would be acceptable if there were wider community benefits in having these kinds of facilities. For him having a recycling facility or rail link as opposed to a WTS or road were more acceptable developments despite the disruption in terms of noise and traffic that they would cause.

It was when talking about these larger and more global themes that the double-edged nature of modern science, technology and development appeared. These residents saw that the pursuit of modern technology provided benefits but also generated risks that were difficult to deal with.

8.5.6 Residents’ Understanding of Risk
Chapter 2 explored the literature on differing scientific and lay conceptualisations and understandings of risk. To explore this issue further residents and expert-professionals were asked to undertake a word association exercise. Interview participants were given the key word ‘risk’ and forty-eight other words having potentially positive, negative and neutral associations with it. These were laid out randomly on a table and participants were asked to

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pick up any and all words that they associated with risk (see Appendix 6, A.6.3). The remaining words were removed and participants were then asked to talk about why they associated their chosen words with risk and risk issues (see Appendix 7 for the detailed risk maps).

Overall the residents, who undertook the word association exercise, perceived risk as having both negative and positive aspects. Men, however, saw more positives in risk than women. Women tended to see more of the negatives with Lisa in particular explicitly excluding any positive associations with the word risk. Residents’ understandings of risk were different in that some chose a few words while others chose many, some had many cross-connections between their words while others did not and a few used stories and personal experiences to illustrate how they thought about risk (see Fig.s 8.3 and 8.4).

Fig. 8.3: Susan’s understanding of risk
Gamble – gambling is always a risk Future – is a risk because you don’t know what’s going to happen to the rest of your life and what you do in the future Accident – accident waiting to happen is a risk, you might do something but end up hurt so it’s a risk that you take when you do it Hazard – in the workplace, risk that you take doing something that if you didn’t follow the right procedures Quote: “A full life involves risk” I suppose its true, not thought about it, life involves risk, take risks every day e.g. driving a car

There were three core themes that emerged from their understandings: 1. Hazard, danger, accident 2. Chance, gamble, possibility 3. Future, uncertain/ty, unknown

The first aspect of risk shows that residents, women and men, saw risk as a synonym for hazard, danger, accident and threat. The second aspect of risk was the notion that risk involved the chance of something occurring, negative or positive, but usually negative. Most saw gamble and gambling as largely negative especially when the negative consequences fell on others though two of the men did see the positive aspects of gamble. Both women and men did not differentiate between the words possibility and probability though Janet did feel that probability was more of a negative word than possibility in the context of risk. The third aspect of risk was the notion that risk concerned the future, uncertainty and the unknown. In other words, the idea that the future was uncertain and unknown with potentially negative or positive consequences.

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Fig. 8.4: Kevin’s understanding of risk
Gamble – that’s a risk, it can be good or bad, so the risk might pay off Positive – risk can have a positive outcome Progress – could be considered risky but it’s a question of weighing up what that is but also can be new Potential – that’s potentially good or potentially bad and so that is a risk, Possibility – again that’s good or bad Probability & opportunity – this is just a phrase, probability is again a possibility, its probable so that could actually turn out to be positive Hazard, danger, chance, defect, failure, accident, threat, untested – they’re all a risk, they’re a risk to you, there’s a risk Human error – goes hand-in-hand with everything you do, like accident Fault – if there is a fault it means that it could be potentially risky, Bad – if something is bad then there is a risk that it will do damage Anger – if there’s anger, there is a risk, that they’ll do something without thinking about it, so there’s a risk Uncertain – means that you’re again opening yourself up to the potential of risk Helplessness – if you don’t know what you’re doing you could end up putting yourself at risk Quote: “A Full Life involves Risk” “…because its uncertain, nothing is a given. There’s the other expression ‘You have to go out on a limb to get the best fruit off the tree’. Its also a positive pay off because you might benefit from it, so its not all [negative].”

On the whole, residents talked about risk in the abstract, probably due to the abstract nature of the exercise they were asked to undertake but residents also directly linked emotions such as fear, anger and vulnerability with the concept of risk. Women in particular associated the word ‘fear’ with risk. This suggests that using the word risk (and being put at risk) immediately and ‘instinctively’ arouses strong emotions.

While all the men agreed with the quote offered to them that a full life involved risk, out of the four women who were asked to comment, Susan and Janet agreed, Lisa disagreed completely and Diana felt that it depended on contextual factors such as gender, social

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class and ethnicity. Lisa in the extract below showed how strongly risk can be associated with danger and the notion of putting oneself or others deliberately in danger.
“Oh no I disagree, disagree, disagree…I think there's another word that maybe people could use better but I don't think most people want danger in their life really. Maybe you get the impression because everybody is going for it nowadays, that everybody is doing it or whatever, being risky…[you] could be saying it in the context of a man talking to a woman for example saying "Oh you know you can have an affair with me," or something like that. That's a sort of thing where it could be used and I think it's very, very wrong because you won't have an affair…[with] like a married woman sort of thing. May be risk your marriage and children or whatever…Or having a bungee jump, that sort of thing. I don't think you have to risk anything. I think you can be open-minded and try out new things without involving risk.” Lisa

Residents showed a range of diverse and complex understandings of risk and at the heart of their understandings were three crucial aspects: risk was about danger, taking a chance and an uncertain future. Furthermore, unlike scientific conceptualisations of risk they did not see any differences between possibilities and probabilities but saw risk as a synonym for the possibility of dangers materialising at some time in the future.

8.5.7 Residents’ Understanding of Science
Similar to the risk association exercise, residents were asked to do the same thing with the word ‘science’ (see Appendix 6, A6.4 and Appendix 8, A8.5). The aim of this exercise was to elicit indirectly participants perceptions of the value and need for technical approaches to risk assessment such as EIAs. They were asked to comment generally on what science meant to them and what they thought of it in general. Their conceptualisation of science was complicated but here again residents perceived science to have positive and negative aspects. Key themes that emerged were: • • • science was about research and knowledge, science needed to be ethical and humane but could be unethical and inhumane, science led to progress that could be beneficial as well as dangerous and destructive to society.

Residents showed a complex and balanced view of science seeing both its benefits and dangers. Importantly, all the residents felt that science was necessary, important and positive and was dependent both on the people who undertook it (e.g. scientists in academia versus those in industry) as well as the people who applied its discoveries (e.g. politicians and businesspeople).

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8.5.8 Residents’ Understanding of the Values Involved in the Consultation and Planning Process
Residents were finally asked to choose what key values they thought should drive siting and planning processes in general (see Appendix 6, A6.7 and Appendix 8, A8.6). They emphasised issues that they had commented on earlier with regard to the siting and planning process for the WTS. Key themes included the need: • • • • for honesty, openness and consideration, to involve the community and work in a democratic and participatory way, to explain, inform and help people to understand and for health and safety to be key priorities in the siting and planning process.

Many of the residents felt that these principles and values were ideals to strive for, with some not picking up any words while one person used almost all of them. Most also felt that no planning process was likely to ever achieve all of these in practice because they were difficult to carry out well and because of the tendency for power and politics to distort these processes.

8.5.9 Post-Planning Permission Interviews
Of the four residents who could be contacted and interviewed after the planning permission decision was made all continued to have similar concerns and issues to those commented upon during the pre-planning decision interviews. The issues emerging in these interviews were remarkably similar to those raised in earlier interviews. There were no changes in perceptions and no expressed increases or decreases in concerns about the WTS. Residents felt that their background fears, based on their recent and past experiences, that the proposals would be granted planning permission had been realised while their hopes that residents’ concerns would stop the proposals had been dashed. None of the residents had been more active than they had already been at the time of the pre-planning decision interviews and residents felt that they would do similar things in the future should another such siting take place in their neighbourhood. Finally, they said that they would not have done anything differently knowing now what the issues and outcome of this planning process were. One potential reason why residents had no strong changes in perception was that the WTS was not yet operating and residents were still coming to terms with the decision to allow the WTS to be built. Another, perhaps more likely, reason why residents’ perceptions were unchanged is because they had this eventuality in the back of their minds during the whole process and had to some extent come to terms with this possibility and taken it into account in terms of their concerns and actions.

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8.6 Professional’s Interviews
This section looks at the concerns, perceptions and issues raised by the five professionals interviewed: an Islington councillor, a waste authority officer, a planning/EIA consultant working for the developer, a public health doctor and an ethnic minority community centre manager.

8.6.1 Professionals’ Issues and Specific Concerns about the WTS Siting
Each of the professionals had a different range of concerns that related to their organisation’s objectives during the WTS siting and planning process. For the waste authority officer, the key concerns were to meet their legal duty to manage the waste of the seven constituent boroughs
11

and the strategic nationally-set mandate to do this

sustainably through re-use, recycling and recovery. The waste authority therefore needed a modern WTS and recycling facility, in a central London location, that was close to the borders of a number of the constituent boroughs and in close proximity to rail or canal links for onward transport. For the waste authority officer the current design and legislative framework would ensure that modern waste disposal and management facilities met stringent environmental and health standards that would safeguard the local community’s health.
“We have a legal duty to dispose of the waste collected by the waste collection authorities, seven constituent boroughs and we deal roughly with 860-900 thousand tonnes a year which we dispose of.” Waste Authority Officer

The planning consultant, saw his role as achieving his client’s objectives to the best of his ability while working within the legal framework of the planning system. His specific priorities were to develop the most sensible solution for his client, to have them accepted by the planning system and, with regard to the WTS, to reduce the perceived impacts of traffic, noise, air quality, vermin and visual appearance.
“I suppose I see my role as being to achieve the client's objective to the best of my ability, working within the rules of the system. And not just taking the, taking what the client says as given but questioning whether that's the best way of doing things, whether that's really what they want to achieve…And my objective is to do all of that as professionally as possible. And the next question is what professionalism means well it means doing things in accordance with the rules, written or unwritten and trying to ensure that decisions are based on logic and evidence. It's sort of stripping aside misinformation and misplaced emotion.” Planning/ EIA Consultant

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For the local councillor, the key concerns were that the Council was seen to listen to both the supporters of and objectors to the developments, made decisions on rational grounds and took account of the potential benefits to the borough as a whole. Secondarily, there were legal concerns in that councillors were obliged to not express any opinion on the proposals before the special planning meeting as this could legally bar them from voting. There were also political considerations to make sure that the process was seen to be democratically accountable and included all the residents who were concerned about the siting. Finally, leaving the Lough Road site in its current derelict state was not an option and neither was there any money for the Council to consider undertaking a development on its own account such as a public park.
“But the most important thing for me really is seeing that, well two things in the process, one is that the council is seen to listen to both sides and that the council is, when it takes a decision can be seen to do it on rational grounds, accepting that whatever percentage of the borough is, that whatever 100% of the people who care half of them are going to be happy and half won't be, broadly speaking. So we must have a process where we're seen to be accountable and when we come up for re-election in May people can choose to re-elect us or not on this basis if they want to.” Councillor

For the public health doctor, the key concerns were the health of the local population, ensuring that any potential contamination of the land was adequately treated and any air pollution was within public health guidelines.

For the community centre manager, who provided a range of advice and other community services to the local Muslim community there were no specific organisational priorities about the WTS as the siting of the WTS had not become a community issue.

Expert-professionals’ perspectives were therefore powerfully framed by their professional roles and institutional affiliations and they had a weaker understanding of the perspectives of residents and the other stakeholders in the process. The forthcoming sections will show the community centre manager and councillor having a greater understanding of residents’ perceptions and the local neighbourhood than the other expert-professionals.

8.6.2 Professionals’ Perception of the Lough Road Neighbourhood
Most of the professionals had some knowledge of the area (see Appendix 8, A8.1), with the councillor and the local community centre manager having a great deal of knowledge while

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NWLA was a voluntary waste management consortium made up of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Waltham Forest
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the waste authority officer, planning consultant and the public health doctor having less knowledge of the Lough Road area.

Of those having knowledge all mentioned the mixed nature of the area in terms of rich and poor with the councillor and community centre manager also highlighting: crime, poor local services and the poor quality of life of residents. After prompting, the councillor mentioned environmental issues such as dirty streets, air pollution and lack of green space while the community centre manager felt that environmental issues were not a concern for the local ethnic minority community. The planning consultant, the waste authority officer and the councillor all commented on the need for regeneration and redevelopment of what was currently a derelict site.
“…it's a mixed area, you have a lot of different uses in close proximity, it's socially mixed, you have quite affluent housing quite close to quite impoverished housing. It's an area which I think is in need of, in evident need of more economic activity. It's not severely disadvantaged by UK standards in general terms but there has been a lack of new investment. You can see signs of social stress of many different sorts…” Planning/EIA Consultant

The planning consultant, the councillor and the community centre manager all read the local newspapers with the planning consultant feeling that the papers helped to shape and channel community perceptions and did a good job in keeping local people informed. However both the councillor and the community centre manager felt that, though they had passed on information, the local papers had not undertaken a factual, educational and debating role but had just reported supporters’ and objectors’ opinions and hearsay.

Most of the expert-professionals, except for the locally-based community centre manager and councillor, had a vaguer and less detailed knowledge of the local neighbourhood where the WTS was to be sited. In contrast to residents, expert-professionals gained most of their knowledge about local issues and residents’ perceptions from second-hand sources like the local media. They also had a much more positive view of the neutral, educating and informing role of the media than interviewed residents.

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8.6.3 Professionals’ Perceptions of the Other Stakeholders
8.6.3.1 Importance and Influence of the Stakeholders Professionals made both unprompted and prompted comments about the various stakeholders they felt were involved in the process. All of them also undertook a stakeholder mapping exercise, similar to that given to residents, where they placed stakeholders into four categories based on the perceived importance of the siting to each stakeholder and the perceived influence they felt each stakeholder had on the siting process (see Appendix 7, for the individual matrices, and Appendix 8, A8.7 for a table of collated results).

Fig 8.5 illustrates how expert-professionals, as a whole, perceived the influence of the various stakeholders in the siting and planning process. The key themes emerging from this ranking were that the majority of the professionals placed residents as well as the planning department, councillors, Arsenal, EIA consultants (paid by the Council) in the high importance/ high influence category. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth along with residents’ associations and the public health department were placed in the High importance/ Low influence category. The DETR and Judiciary were placed in the Low importance/ High influence category. Finally, local shops and businesses were placed in the Low importance/ Low influence category. For individual stakeholder matrices see professional’s partial ‘worldview’ maps in Appendix 7 (see A.17-A.26).

Expert-professionals, in contrast to residents, placed residents in the high importance/ high influence category with the planning consultant not placing them anywhere and the community centre manager placing them, like residents, in the high importance/ low influence category. In stark contrast to the interviewed residents, most of the expertprofessionals saw residents as being on an equal footing and having the same level of power and influence as themselves during the process. They, also in contrast to residents, did not see the siting as an important issue for local shops and businesses. Professionals saw local organisations and associations as having their own personal gripes and agendas compared to individual residents even though the residents’ associations were made up of residents and some local businesspeople lived locally. Finally, the community centre manager and councillor had the greatest understanding of residents views and perceptions and this was probably related to the fact that the manager and councillor lived and worked in the borough.

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Fig. 8.5: Stakeholder mapping by professionals
(figures in brackets give the number of professionals who placed the stakeholder in that category – 5 professionals undertook this exercise)

High

A. HIGH importance / LOW influence FoE/ Greenpeace (3) Residents Association (2) Public Health Dept (2)

B. HIGH importance / HIGH influence Planning Dept. (5) EIA Consultants (paid by council) (5) Councillors (4) GLA (4) Residents (3) Arsenal FC (3) NLWA (3) Env. Health Department (3) Residents Association (2) D. LOW importance/ HIGH influence DETR (2) Judiciary (2)

IMPORTANCE

C. LOW importance / LOW influence Local Shops & businesses (3)

Low INFLUENCE

High

(in terms of the siting and planning process and the eventual decision/ outcome)

8.6.3.2 Islington Council (the planning authority) Apart from the community centre manager there was broad agreement between the professionals that the Council was listening to, reflecting and acting on residents concerns. They also felt that councillors were the representatives of the local community and would decide on the basis of the benefits to the borough as a whole. Both the councillor and the public health doctor raised the issue that whatever was decided some people would be happy while others would not be. The community centre manager in contrast, but similar to residents, felt that the Council did not listen to local ethnic minority residents and only approached community groups like his when there was a serious situation in the community like youth violence.
“…Arsenal and Islington planners…will reduce those impacts as much as they possibly can so it doesn’t affect the residents and you know may be they will reduce them to such an extent they, its not considered to be a problem anymore.” Waste Authority Officer

“As you know it's the Liberal Democrat and they are still finding difficulty in settling down. So they're more concerned in securing their position rather than looking after the community. So their first priority, let's secure the position so that we are able to win the next election and then look around which is the best carrot they can throw to the community when the election comes.” Community Centre Manager

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Here again expert-professionals’ perceptions of the Council were broadly opposite to those of residents. One reason for this could have been because as fellow expert-professionals they understood and sympathised with the difficulties and challenges that the Council faced.

8.6.3.3 Arsenal FC (the developer) Most of the professionals, except the public health doctor who did not have a view, felt that Arsenal was good for the borough and acting in good faith during the siting and planning process. The waste authority officer felt that they had listened and changed the designs of the WTS to incorporate a recycling facility and green space while the planning consultant commented that Arsenal was pragmatic and willing to accommodate residents’ concerns.
“…willing to be pragmatic, to try and accommodate people's concerns. It doesn't want to just put down its proposals as a fait accompli and then try and steam roller them through because well a) that probably reduces the changes of succeeding at the end of the day, b) it increases the danger of the application getting called in or challenged in the courts, c) obviously they want to continue to be part of the community, many of their supporters live locally, they want to get on well with their neighbours in the future as they have in the past.” Planning/EIA Consultant

“…and I think a lot of certainly [private] developers…can sometimes think short term, about saving money, cut corners yeah, but that costs them more…” Public Health Doctor

The community centre manager, while feeling that Arsenal was good for Islington, did have reservations about whether siting the new stadium in the area was a good idea. He felt that the disruption caused by the existing stadium would still occur at the new stadium and that perhaps the best solution was for Arsenal to move out of London altogether. The public health doctor commented that from his experience he had found private sector developers tending to think ‘short-term’ and ‘cutting corners’ in terms of safety and design. Finally, most of the professionals felt that Arsenal had a great deal of influence except for the public health doctor and the community centre manager who felt that Arsenal would not have a lot of influence on the planning process.

Expert-professionals therefore agreed that Arsenal had a lot of power but, to an extent disagreed, on the amount of influence it had on the planning process. They also had mixed views on the motives and actions of Arsenal with some thinking that they were listening to residents and others that they weren’t.

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8.6.3.4 EIA Consultants Of the three professionals who commented, all felt that the developer-paid EIA consultants would give a report that was favourable towards the developer compared to the Councilpaid consultants who would be more independent and neutral. A view that echoes what was said by residents. The public health doctor, the community centre manager and waste authority officer felt that the Council funded consultants would provide a more objective assessment. This may have been, at least partially, related to these public and voluntary sector professionals having a different ethos (servings others and the wider society) compared to the private sector developer and consultant.
“Yeah well that shows some neutrality in that they have been hired by, not the interested parties but by the council...” Community Centre Manager

8.6.3.5 Residents The views on residents were mixed and complex. Broadly-speaking, most professionals felt that residents had a big influence on the process, except the community centre manager who, from his experience of other consultation processes, felt they would have little influence.

For the planning consultant, the residents were a diverse group of people with differing opinions and differing levels of influence on the process. Some residents had access to councillors and knew how to work the media, while others didn’t and still others were not concerned about the siting of the WTS at all.
“…I left them [of the stakeholder mapping] out because I think it's impossible to generalise. I mean some residents clearly are very concerned about the issues and some of those people are going to be influential, they'll have the ear of the local councillors, they'll know how to handle the local press and so on. But then there are other residents who certainly don't have that influence.

And even relatively close to both sides there will be some residents who are not particularly concerned about the issues. You know one thing that I am constantly reminded about is the shear sort of diversity of opinions between people in getting me to categorise people I think everybody is different.” Planning/EIA Consultant

For the waste authority officer, residents just wanted the waste removed and didn’t care how this was done. It was therefore natural for residents to be upset at finding that the whole borough’s, and a neighbouring borough’s, rubbish might be sited ‘outside their doorsteps’. So, it was vital to engage with the public and educate them about waste issues and the need for WTSs.

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For the councillor, people weren’t seeing the benefits of the proposed developments, for him, there were supporters and objectors with surprisingly few people in the “non-aligned” middle. He felt that this could have been for three reasons: there weren’t any in this middle group, these residents weren’t participating or that they didn’t care about the WTS issue. For the public health doctor, residents in his experience usually had genuine causes for complaint but there was also an element of fear about whether these facilities would operate safely in the future and ignorance about what these facilities were about. For the community centre manager, the WTS issue was largely a concern for the well-off professionals who were resident in the area. The local ethnic minority community, on the other hand, did not worry about the environment they were more concerned about housing, health and local services. Their sense of economic insecurity made them more concerned about day to day survival than with environmental issues.

Expert-professionals, in contrast to both objecting and supporting residents, saw residents as a very heterogeneous group with actively concerned, passively concerned, not sure and unconcerned residents. They also saw some residents as being rich and well off enough to be concerned for the local environment, actively protest and influence the process through their preferential access to the media compared with others who were poor, had more immediate day-to-day survival priorities and lacked the resources to participate. Apart from the community centre manager they were more unsure and ambivalent about residents and this is underscored in the next section on their perceptions of community groups.

8.6.3.6 Community Groups Most of the professionals felt some ambivalence about the role and status of the umbrella objector group and residents’ associations in being legitimate representatives of local residents’ concerns. There was a feeling that these groups could easily become vehicles for particular individuals to present their own views and work to their own personal agendas.
“ISCA they're a funny group ISCA, I'm not quite sure how to categorise them. I think I'm going to leave them out [of the stakeholder mapping] on the basis that I don't have a clear understanding of what their agenda is.” Planning/ EIA Consultant

However, the local councillor did feel that community groups had allowed people to come together to build a sense of community in their neighbourhoods and that this was a positive. The community centre manager, on the other hand, felt that these groups were doing a good job but were unlikely to achieve their objectives in stopping the development.

Unlike residents, expert-professionals did not put residents’ associations and community groups in the same category as residents. They saw them as political pressure groups who
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were representing the interests of their members rather than as groups that did this but also represented and highlighted the concerns of a wider set of residents.

8.6.3.7 National Government/ Environment Agency/ GLA Of the three who commented, similar to the interviewed residents, all felt that national government and the GLA had power and influence in the planning process but that, on the whole, this was a local government decision-making process.

8.6.4 Professionals’ Perceptions of the Public’s Concerns about Different Types of Developments
8.6.4.1 Public’s concerns about the WTS All the professionals felt that residents would be unhappy about a WTS and would feel that it was smelly, dirty and caused traffic and pollution in their neighbourhoods.
“Waste transfer station, well no one would like to live near Ashburton Grove but people actually do which is always forgotten. I wouldn't like it on my doorstep. The lorries go out six in the morning, make a lot of noise. It's bad enough when they come down the street collecting it let alone having that outside your door all the time. It's dirty, smelly, polluted.” Councillor

8.6.4.2 Public’s concerns about WDFs in general All also ranked the four types of waste disposal facilities presented to them, in terms of which the public would dislike the most, in a similar way to residents, with incinerators and landfills coming top and recycling facilities coming out as least disliked and positively regarded by residents (see Appendix 8, A8.2).

Professionals felt that the public would see incinerators as a health hazard that created traffic and air pollution; landfills as dirty, smelly, pest-ridden, potentially leaking health hazards; and recycling facilities as positive despite their noise and traffic impacts. In terms of their own perceptions the waste authority officer was least concerned about living near any of the four sites while the others - with increasing levels of vehemence - planning/EIA consultant, councillor, community centre manager and public health doctor expressed active dislikes to living near any of the four facilities. All saw that these facilities would not be the first choice of anyone as developments to live near to. None of the professionals had lived near an industrial facility, except for the waste authority officer who had lived near an incinerator. The planning consultant and the public health doctor had visited at least one of the four waste disposal facilities as part of their professional work.

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8.6.4.3 Public’s concerns about other types of developments Overall, professionals were very good at assessing what types of developments the general public were likely to like and dislike (see Appendix 8, A8.3). They also used the four categories laid out in the residents’ section to assess these likes: direct personal benefit, community benefit, personal and community benefit and least disruptive. Most of the professionals also mentioned that the majority of the developments could have positive and negative impacts with the public health doctor additionally noting that it also depended on the type and age of the population asked for example young people with families compared to elderly people.
“All of them have their own different impacts….So yeah you know each one of them have got negatives in certain respects.”

“And looking at some of the other choices we've got here that could actually have a huge impact with regards to where you live for various reasons.”

“So public park, nice local amenity, next door, very nice. Primary school there would be I suppose the least impact with regards to your local area and obviously if you’ve got young children then it's ideal.” Waste Authority Officer

Expert-professionals showed that not only did they understand residents’ perceptions of WDFs and a range of other developments they also highlighted the fact that most of them would also not like to live near WDFs for similar reasons. This does not fit with the earlier findings that experts were unsure of and had ambivalent views about residents and residents organisations. One explanation for this which fits the earlier observations made by residents of experts being remote, unfeeling, disrespectful and disregarding of residents is that in their expert-professional roles individuals distance themselves from their lay selves in order to be objective, neutral and independent professionals. As mentioned in the ethnography in Section 6.4.2 this role or ‘mask’ cuts them off from sympathising with lay publics and their experiences in a direct way but also cuts them off from lay publics and residents by submerging and ‘repressing’ their own lay values, experiences and emotions.

8.6.5 Perceptions of the Planning & Consultation Process
8.6.5.1 Consultation Process Neither the waste authority and the health authority were formally invited to the public consultation meetings but behind the scenes the waste authority was working closely with Arsenal and the Council to change the design of the WTS. The Health Authority was involved as a statutory consultee and wrote formally to the Council about the health issues of the proposed development and the design of the health facilities that were part of the proposals. The waste authority officer felt that the best way forward would have been for
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the key professional stakeholders to have agreed on the design issues and then presented a collective, rational and reasoned argument and explanation to local people as to why the WTS needed to be sited there. This would have reduced many, though probably not all, of their concerns about the WTS.

Both the waste authority officer and the planning consultant felt that lack of information and misinformation were key factors in giving rise to residents’ views and perceptions concerning the WTS. Additionally for the planning consultant, community groups could also distort the facts and encourage other residents to think the worst thereby increasing opposition and affecting experts’ communication of information. The waste authority officer, planning consultant and local councillor felt that the consultation process had been good and had allowed people to voice their concerns.

Both the planning consultant and the councillor raised the issue of how representative the residents who attended the public meetings were, as broadly, the same groups of people tended to come to each of the meetings. The questions for both were did these people reflect the wider concerns of the community or were they simply those who were most concerned, with the rest of the community being largely unconcerned. The planning consultant also made another point that in terms of the smaller design review group some community organisations seemed to be over-represented (i.e. having many more members sitting on the group than others).
“Well it's sometimes difficult to decide how much weight to attach to the views of any given individual. Because I mean you quite often get people who say they are representatives of such and such a group and they probably are but they're probably self selected to a large extent and the views they are espousing may well be very largely their own views. You know there are quite a lot of people like that around, I tend to take their views with a pinch of salt. It's very difficult to identify to be honest a particular people or particular organisations that I would regard as being legitimate spokespeople for any particular part of the community.

And this is, I suppose the root of my question is the review group the council have originally invited various groups to be represented. I think it was a somewhat random selection and then they left each group to decide who should be their representative and again you tend to get the sort of people who have a point of view coming along and you sometimes wonder whether they're really speaking for the people they're meant to be speaking for.” Planning/EIA Consultant

The councillor also noted that council officers talking about the proposals were seen by residents as giving credibility and tacit approval to the proposals and that the public meetings seemed to be an opportunity for the Council to be attacked by all sides. Finally, for the community centre manager the consultation was targeted at the majority white
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community and not for the ethnic minorities living in the area. Only a few users of his centre brought the Council leaflet to him to ask what it was about. For him their had not been enough information or consultation.

Overall, expert-professionals saw the consultation as a very good effort. Here the key experts were concerned about the heterogeneity of residents and the difficulty in getting a truly representative picture of residents’ views about the siting. There was also a strong sense that education and communication - from experts to lay publics - was a key influence on the consultation process with the lack of education and poor communication - from community groups, other residents and the media - causing most of the problems. Finally, there was a feeling that expert-professionals though working closely behind the scenes had not presented a united front and had not developed a joint communication strategy to deal with residents’ concerns and perceptions.

8.6.5.2 Planning process Again, both the waste authority officer and public health doctor felt that their early participation and involvement would have reduced some of the issues and concerns that residents had. All the professionals, except the community centre manager, felt broadly that residents’ concerns should be and were taken into account. The community centre manager felt that the planning process was not open and felt its aim was to ensure that Arsenal succeeded in gaining planning permission rather than listening to community concerns and remedying them. He also felt that a site had been pre-chosen and that residents were being forced to accept it.
“I think by and large it's been handled in the right way, but I suppose in retrospect I would've liked people to have become used to the idea more gradually. Rather than a lot of people suddenly finding out about it...As I said we did try to avoid that situation developing but…I think again something, if I was doing it again I would probably try even harder to communicate the key messages in very simple terms.” Planning/EIA Consultant

“I don't see even the council has any plan for that, let alone talking [to] it, they haven't an agenda. I don't see they have any serious plan of involving the local communities into…issues which concern them. The two areas through different media, through

leaflets, through local Town Hall debates, but leaflets and Town Hall debates doesn't affect the community.” Community Centre Manager

8.6.5.3 Improving the Consultation & Planning Process For the waste authority officer there needed to be greater education of the public and local residents about waste and waste management issues. He also felt that being invited and
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presenting a united front alongside the Council and Arsenal could have reduced many of the concerns residents had about the WTS. For the planning consultant, the key issues were how to provide information in a simple and easy-to-understand way so that there was increased awareness and factual knowledge and less misinformation and distortion. For the public health doctor more direct and early involvement of the health authority on big projects like this was vital to prevent health issues being overlooked.

Finally, for the community centre manager, there needed to be a proper structured process where affected residents debated on an equal footing with the Council and Arsenal. For him this meant giving residents the resources to hire expert-professionals to help them develop their case. He also felt that, after the planning decision, regulation and monitoring were not always enforced leading to complaints from residents.

8.6.6 Professionals’ Perceptions on How Society Should Manage Waste
All the professionals, except the public health doctor who was not specifically asked, felt that waste generation needed to be reduced and that this needed the education of the public and action on the part of manufacturers to reduce the desire and need for packaging. There also needed to be an increase in re-use and recycling. Both the planning consultant and the councillor felt that managing and disposing of waste was not always desirable or feasible in dense urban areas and so there was still an important role for WDFs sited outside urban areas.

8.6.7 Professionals’ Understanding of Risk
Like the residents, expert-professionals articulated simple and complex conceptualisations of risk (see Appendix 8, A8.4). All saw the negative aspect of risk but only the councillor made a strong case for seeing the positive associations of risk.

Here again three core aspects could be discerned: 1. Uncertain/ty, unknown, untested 2. Danger, hazard 3. Gamble, possibility

and a fourth aspect: 4. Blame, failure

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The three core aspects were similar to residents’ notions and understandings of these words whilst blame and failure were viewed from a professional and organisational context as what happens when things go wrong. Compared to the residents interviewed, expertprofessionals picked out very few emotion words. Worry was the most prominent emotion word linked to risk by these expert-professionals.

Professionals’ therefore had very similar core understandings of risk though even here professional roles shaped how risk was understood as evidenced by the prominent place of blame and failure as words that can be associated with risk. Expert-professionals were keenly aware of the way risk issues could lead to experts being blamed when they failed to protect or reduce risks to lay publics because their job was to prevent, contain and manage risks. They saw risks in largely technical ways as identifiable, measurable and containable and so when these risks caused harm it was because of a failure of risk management structures, systems and risk expert-professionals.

8.6.8 Professionals’ Understanding of Science
Here again, like residents, all the professionals saw the positive and negative sides of science, though they emphasised, much more vehemently, the positive and societally beneficial aspects of science (see Appendix 8, A8.5).

Key words associated with science for professionals were: 1. Research, knowledge, logical, rational 2. Ethical 3. Progress, useful, technology, new

The first aspect involved what professionals felt science was about doing research, creating knowledge and using a logical and rational approach. The second aspect involved the notion that science was or should be ethical but that at times it was unethical or could be seen to be unethical (e.g. creating methods of torture, embryo research). The third aspect involved the notion of benefits gained from science in terms of societal progress, new ideas and useful technology.

Most of the expert-professionals, in contrast to residents, seemed to have less reflective and more straightforward modernistic views of science as progressive, constructive and rational with little or no negative aspects and impacts. This again could potentially be linked to their role as expert-professionals and the importance of science and scientific values to their work.

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8.6.9 Professionals’ Understanding of the Values Involved in the Consultation and Planning Process
The key issues for professionals were very similar to those of residents (see Appendix 8, A8.6) and included the need: • • • • for consultation, for health and safety to be key priorities in the siting and planning process, to involve the community and work in a democratic and participatory way and to explain, inform and help people to understand in an open and honest way.

They saw these themes as important and most felt that they did their best to incorporate these values into public policy and decision-making processes.

8.7 Summary
In this chapter I considered the in-depth interviews undertaken with residents and expertprofessionals during the siting and planning process. The themes have been structured under the topic areas used for the interview questions.

Residents had a range of general concerns about their neighbourhood that were very similar to those voiced in the written public comments (e.g. crime, traffic, lack of green space and kids facilities, local services). Residents had a very strong vision or ideal that a good community was one that was friendly, safe, peaceful, provided a strong sense of belonging and allowed for personal space and privacy. They showed similar concerns about the WTS to those voiced in the written public comments (e.g. traffic, pollution, unsightliness) and these concerns connected up to their visions of what kind of neighbourhood and community they wanted to live in. Those with existing health problems or children were more sensitive and alert to the potential risks and dangers of the siting of the WTS. Residents’ key sources of information were family, friends and other residents. In contrast, many expert-professionals had only a vague idea about the current problems of the neighbourhood and their key source of information was the local media.

Residents saw themselves as having relatively little power compared to the developer, planning authority and other expert-professionals. They saw both the developer and planning authority negatively and distrusted their motives and actions. They saw community groups positively and valued their role in opposing the WTS and strengthening community ties. However, this was not unconditional, they judged these groups in the same way that they judged Arsenal and the Council and closely scrutinised their motives and actions. In

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contrast, expert-professionals saw residents as diverse and heterogeneous but having the same power and influence that they had. They saw each other in a mixed light, possibly because of their different professional ethos’, and were more ambivalent and unsure about the role and legitimacy of community groups.

Residents expressed a range of emotions from shock-denial, anger-outrage, hope-protest, sadness-loss and resignation-fatalism. Residents saw that most types of developments that could be sited in their neighbourhood had risks and benefits. They rated incinerators and landfills as greater risks than WTSs and recycling facilities. Knowledge and direct experience of facilities tended to reduce perceptions of risks.

Expert-professional roles and institutional affiliations had an important influence on how risk was perceived during the siting and planning process. Expert-professionals saw developments in similar ways to residents though here again knowledge and direct experience of facilities did tend to reduce perceptions of risk. The closer expertprofessionals worked with residents and lay publics the more they understood their views and perceptions. The general divergence between expert-professionals and residents’ perceptions of risks and expert-professionals understanding of residents’ likes and dislikes about a range of developments can be, at least partially, explained by the professional role or ‘mask’ used by experts which submerges their lay values, experiences and emotions so that they can act in ‘scientifically’ objective, neutral and independent ways. The side-effect of this ‘mask’ is that they seem distant, uncaring and disregarding of lay publics and lay publics’ knowledges and experiences.

In terms of the planning and consultation process residents were concerned about not having enough time, information and transparency during the process. There was also a feeling of powerlessness and unfairness in siting a WTS in a poor and deprived neighbourhood that already had many problems. Expert-professionals on the other hand saw the consultations as an important means of communicating things to residents and saw ignorance, misperception and distortion as key barriers to communication and to heightening residents’ perceptions of risks. Expert-professionals were also concerned about how the views and perceptions of the actively objecting and supporting residents related to the ‘silent’ majority of borough residents, in other words, how representative the active residents were of the borough’s residents as a whole.

In terms of understanding risk, residents and expert-professionals saw risk as having three key aspects: a) hazard, danger, accident; b) chance, gamble, possibility; c) future, uncertainty, unknown with experts adding d) failure, blame. In conceptualising science both residents and professionals saw the positive benefits and the negative dangers of science

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though residents saw science in a postmodern way while professionals saw it in largely modernistic ways with a greater emphasis on notions of progress and positive benefits.

Finally, in thinking about the values and principles that should be involved in the siting and planning process both residents and expert-professionals picked on similar themes: a) the need for honesty, openness and consideration; b) the need to involve communities in a democratic and participatory way; c) the need to explain, inform and help residents to understand and d) the need to prioritise health and safety during the siting and planning process. However, where residents saw these as ideals which are difficult to achieve, and not usually practised, expert-professionals felt that on the whole they did their best to reach these ideals.

Many of the themes connect strongly to Chapter 4 and the work on residents’ concerns about living near WDFs, the impacts of environmental risks, contamination events, the siting of hazardous facilities and the differing perceptions of stakeholders. It links up with some of the research in Chapter 3 on trust and fairness, institutional framings and lay expertise. It also ties in with the work in Chapter 2 and the discussion on the different conceptualisations and understandings of risk and uncertainty. The themes emerging from this chapter will be pursued further in Chapter 10, the discussion, where I will use a conceptual-analytical framework to develop a deeper understanding of stakeholders’ perceptions during the siting and planning process.

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9. Public Meetings, Key Media and Documents
9.1 Introduction
In this chapter I deal with the issues that emerged from the public meetings, some key media sources and planning documents. The main concerns of objector residents were the same as those emerging in the written public comments and the in-depth interviews. These aspects are therefore not described in this chapter. Instead other aspects that do not come out of the individual written comments and in-depth interviews are analysed.

The key themes I explore in this chapter relate to the interactions between the various stakeholders during the public meetings and in the media. These involve the process issues reviewed in Chapter 4 and in particular the differing notions of procedural and distributional fairness. The themes emerging from the analysis of the environmental statement and special planning report feed into the EIA issues described in Chapter 4.

9.2 Public Meetings
The key aspects of the public meetings were the range of stakeholders who were involved or not involved and the interactions that occurred between them. Some of these aspects have been described in the ethnography in Section 6.4 of Chapter 6.

The stakeholders involved included individual residents; residents representing various community groups such as residents’ associations, the umbrella objector group (ISCA), a radical left political group (ISA), the supporting fan club (AISA), councillors, council officers, Arsenal directors, and the planning/EIA consultants. Stakeholders not involved in the public meetings included the waste authority, health authority and other statutory consultees including London Transport and the Police.

The meetings were held in a Union chapel that was close to Islington Council’s planning offices but a good 45 minutes walk away from where the WTS was to be sited. In terms of the structuring of the physical space, the chair of the public meeting, a councillor, and key council officers sat, behind a table, on a raised stage area at the front of the hall. Everyone else sat in a semi-circle of pews. Other councillors and council officers as well as Arsenal directors and consultants sat near the front.

Residents, objectors and supporters, sat wherever they wanted in the remaining vacant seats. All the meetings had over 300 people attending, with the majority of attendees being
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white (see previous Photo 6.12). There seemed to be a gender balance with roughly equal numbers of women and men at all the meetings. The age range was between the late 20s and late 60s with the majority being around the early 40s. Many of the residents seemed to be from a higher socio-economic background however for the Lough Road meetings there was a greater mix of people from lower and higher socio-economic backgrounds. The mix was in keeping with the socio-demographic characteristics of Islington, except for the very small number of residents from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The structure of the meetings involved the Chair introducing the panel and other key stakeholders from the Council and Arsenal. The lead planning officer for the Council then presented Arsenal’s proposals in detail and went through the public consultation process as well as how the planning decision would be made. Questions and issues were then taken from residents and were answered by council officers with some referral to the officials and consultants from Arsenal. Compared to the stadium-siting public meeting it was very noticeable that the waste transfer station (WTS) public meeting was more emotional and vocal with much more anger and heckling during the whole proceedings. This seemed to be because residents were less willing to abide by the terms and conditions of debate laid down by the Chair of the meeting, as they began feeling that the Council were being evasive and siding with Arsenal.

There were a number of reasons for this: 1. The Council, through a council officer, presenting Arsenal’s proposals’ whilst Arsenal directors, officers and consultants were silent onlookers. 2. The non-involvement of other statutory consultees with specialist expertise. 3. The location and physical layout of the public meetings. 4. The poor acoustics of the hall and the poor visuals of the presentation. 5. The process of allowing a number of different questions to be raised first and for generalised answer to be given to the whole set of questions. 6. A disrespectful, disregarding and, in some cases, insulting attitude by some stakeholders.

The extracts used in this chapter are from the notes I made of the meetings during the major round of public consultations in January 2001. Due to the nature of the extracts and the intertwining of issues in each extract it has not been possible to give specific extracts for each of the reasons listed above without undue duplication of quotes.

Council Officers presenting the developer’s proposal One of the most striking things I observed at the public meetings was the way in which the Council officers and councillors were trying to present a neutral, objective and professional image. The lead planning officer stood up and for over 30-45 minutes presented and
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described the proposals in detail. During this time the developer’s team sat silently. To most of the residents present this gave the distinct impression that the Council were implicitly and explicitly in favour of the proposals. In residents eyes this was exacerbated by the use of certain phrases which seemed to imply that the Council saw the proposals as legitimate and so would most likely be giving them planning permission.
Extract 1 Lead planning officer (LPO) started the presentation on the whole set of proposals including the stadium, new housing and the WTS. There were some voices raised at the smallness of the computer presentation maps. LPO talks about the size of the WTS and potential traffic flows. A man asks “Can you clarify how high the facility is in terms of house storeys?” LPO says “Two large storeys would be about a five storey house.” Another man asks “What are these lorries like – I assume they are big lorries to carry 23 tonnes of waste?” LPO says “Yes, assuming lorries carry the same amount of waste as now, they are quite large lorries.” Lots of heckling and shouting questions at the panel. A man and other people shout out “WE DON’T WANT THEM.” Councillor chairing meeting says “From the past two meetings we’ve left questions for after the presentation as most people can’t hear the shouted out questions. Please would you allow the LPO to finish.” …….. LPO says “Issue of rail option is being kept open – the siting would allow rail to be used. Noise and vermin around WTS needs to be properly addressed. It will be more contained at Lough Rd than at Ashburton Grove. As for the contaminated land planning policy does not rule out development on contaminated land provided the contamination issue is addressed. In inner cities many developments have occurred on contaminated land.” Someone in the audience shouts “That means you support Arsenal!” LPO replies “No the council policy is not ruling out development on contaminated land but this needs to be dealt with before re-use…” (see footnote)
12

Non-involvement of Specialist Statutory Stakeholders Other statutory stakeholders were not formally invited to the public meetings which meant that all the questions were handled by the lead council planning officer. Some of the questions were quite specific and detailed requiring specialist knowledge to answer them there and then. The lead planning officer could not answer some of the residents’ questions, as he did not have the required information to hand, giving objecting residents
These extracts are from the notes taken at the public meetings and so are not verbatim quotes of what was actually said though they do reflect the key things said by speakers. Dots indicate where parts of the notes have been removed.
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the impression that he, and the Council, were either incompetent or hiding something. This disbelief was expressed through murmurings among residents and physical gestures and cries of disbelief.

Residents’ questions concerned the design of the WTS, the strategic management of Islington’s waste, the current state of the derelict land and the possible financial gains the Council would make in terms of selling land to the developer.
Extract 2 LPO says “Haven’t got figures…” Various people in the audience shout out “Why haven’t you got figures?”, “Why are we here?”, “Council depot will be used 24hrs a day operation noise at 3-4am.” A woman asks “There will be noise I know a friend working in the cleansing dept. It won’t be peace and quiet.” Chair says “I’d like the Arsenal team to respond.” Heckling of Arsenal spokesperson as he stands up. Arsenal spokesperson says “This is a listening exercise. Many comments are perfectly valid. Answers have been prepared by people who are more qualified than I am to speak on this. But about air quality not unacceptably up experts say so. We are preparing visits to a WTS. I will talk to anyone one to one. We have not taken any SRB money If you knew more about SRB you would know that private companies cannot receive any SRB money.” A woman asks “What is the purpose of our being here? We do all the work, Can’t see …Can’t see drawings, display should be big enough for this. Haven’t heard any more info than that in leaflets…” An elderly man also says “You...you only give the answers you want to give.” A resident in the audience asks “Has the EIA been undertaken by independent parties?” Chair replies “At this stage we want to listen to you so that we can ask the questions? You will not have had any answers but I am better informed about the issues and will be asking independent consultants about these issues.”

Location and physical layout of the public meetings The meetings were held far away from where the directly affected residents lived and very near the Council offices. More importantly having the panel, behind a table, on a raised platform with the residents and others facing them seemed to create a strong conflict dynamic where the panel seemed aloof and distant from the ‘lowly’ residents.

Poor acoustics and poor visuals The poor acoustics, though helped by speakers and microphones, and the poor visual presentations which were too small and blurred to see clearly made residents feel that they were not being told the full facts. It also exacerbated the sense of distance created by the physical layout of the panel making residents feel that they were not being heard (see Extract 2).
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Combined questions and generalised answers Combining questions and then giving a lumped together generalised answer made residents feel that their specific questions were not being properly answered with some residents perceiving this vagueness as direct evasion. This gave the impression that the Council had something to hide and that the accusation of a potential conflict of interest and favouritism were really true (see Extract 2).

Attitudes of some stakeholders Overall, residents and other stakeholders treated each other with courtesy and respect however there were times when the attitudes of some stakeholders - objectors, supporters and consultants - increased hostility and anger. Some of the objecting and supporting residents shouted over what other people were saying, called others in the hall selfish or uncaring and worse some denigrated and insulted other people either directly or indirectly by for example heckling, booing and stamping their feet.
Extract 3 Many hands are raised. Many men and women in the audience are visibly angry and there is much clapping as the Chair asks for microphones to be passed to members of the audience. ………. Arsenal fan says “While my perspective is likely to be different from the majority of people in the audience. I also was initially dissatisfied but after being given some more answers and going to see a WTS I felt more satisfied. Personal tirades are not helpful.” There is heckling and murmuring and some booing from at least 3 or 4 people in the audience. A lady who was speaking and standing up jangled her keys towards the man and said “You have my flat!” There was clapping. The fan replies “Lady I would be quite happy to swap flats with you.” …………… An older woman asks “How do you regard us? How do you think of us? We may be council tenants in an overcrowded area, on top of one another but were still a community. Still know and have respect for one another. We’re poor, unemployed, ill health but care about one another. I’ve supported Arsenal all my life, nothing against Arsenal. But not thinking things through. Do you think we haven’t got brains. We know what’s going on? My daughter is disabled, you are going to make our lives hell. I’ve been told by people who work there that they break down, there’s noise and smell and the traffic is horrendous, on already overcrowded roads … We’re all under stress, lots of …………and you’re giving us shit! You are the weakest link? Goodbye.”

Professional stakeholders also angered residents when they were clearly seen not to be listening to what people were saying, not respecting people’s emotions, or displaying attitudes that suggested they knew better, that residents wouldn’t understand the complicated figures or that the questions didn’t deserve an answer.

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The positives aspects of the public meetings included (see Extracts 1, 2 and 3): 1. Acting as a community forum where residents could meet up, talk to each other and feel a sense of solidarity. 2. Empowering residents by allowing and enabling them to talk directly with councillors, council officers, the developer and other professional stakeholders. 3. The Council adapting the public meetings to meet the needs of residents and having negotiated rules of debate.

Public meetings as community forums One of the important side effects of the public consultation meetings was the informal conversations that took place before, during and after them as residents talked to and discussed issues with each other. These informal discussions alongside residents standing up and formally voicing their concerns, having others raise their voices and clap their hands in support generated a feeling of community solidarity and togetherness. For objecting residents, the meetings therefore acted as reinforcers and strengtheners of a ‘caring and sharing’ community with shared concerns and shared values.

Empowering residents The public meetings acted as an empowering forum where residents could raise their concerns directly with the council, its officers and councillors, as well as the developer. These meetings allowed residents to, at the very least, articulate their anger and upset at the proposals. By setting up and having these consultation meetings the Council demonstrated to residents that they and their concerns mattered.

Adapting the format of the consultation and planning process During the consultation process efforts were made to adapt the process. In terms of the planning process it was decided that the full council would meet to decide on the proposals instead of just the members of the planning committee. It was felt that the special meeting would be more democratically accountable and transparent if all the councillors voted on the proposals. Learning from the earlier meetings, the special meeting had the agenda and format agreed beforehand with the key community groups and the developer. This meant that speakers were nominated beforehand, that equal numbers of objecting and supporting speakers were present and that each had allocated and enforced amounts of speaking time. Furthermore, visuals in the form of a counting clock ensured that everyone was aware that each speaker was given his/her fair share of time. A visible sign of the success of this last meeting was that while there were more opposing and supporting residents who were visibly distinct, by for example wearing T-shirts showing which side they were on, there was much less heckling, shouting and antagonism between the two sides. The Chair also took a stronger line with both speakers and hecklers to ensure that there were no personal insults and abuse.

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9.3 Media – Local newspapers and key stakeholder websites
The local newspapers played the role of information and opinion disseminators. Overall the two local newspapers had a slightly pro stance towards the developments but they reported the issues from both the objectors’ and supporters’ perspectives. Their pro-stance may have been simply due to the fact that the proposed stadium and WTS provided pictures and news that were more eye-catching than the objector viewpoints and hence got both front page and greater general coverage. The most interesting aspect of the local newspaper coverage was the use of the letters page as a forum within which objectors and supporters raised issues, queried and argued with each others’ viewpoints and on occasion insulted each other (see Fig. 9.1).

Fig. 9.1: An extract from the letters page of one of the local newspapers

Websites also acted as key information and news dissemination sources for Arsenal, ISCA the objector umbrella group and Islington Council. ISCA used two metaphors to show its objection to the proposals: they called their website ‘www.redcard.org.uk’ and used the metaphor of the ‘red card’ - shown by referees in football to players who play unfairly - at public consultation meetings, in posters and in leaflets. They also used a drawing showing the developer as a large ‘gigantic’ man walking over little people on their website (see Fig. 10.4 in Chapter 10)
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9.4 Environmental Statement and Special Planning Report
The structure of the environmental statement confirms the deficiencies detailed in the first chapter of this thesis. It was found to be too long, complicated and technical though a summary environmental statement was provided. In particular there was: • • • •

little evaluation of health and social impacts, poor treatment of alternatives to the proposed development, a lack of a strategic dimension with no account taken of the cumulative effects of other similar development projects at local or regional levels and a failure to address the broader issues for example the sustainability of the developments and the equity in the distribution of risk burdens within the affected neighbourhood.

However, there was involvement of community groups, before the submission of the environmental statement, in the review of the planning brief and the early designs stages of the proposals. The special planning report was a much more thorough report and did incorporate the previous planning history of the site, social and historical information about the site and surrounding area, notes and issues raised during the public consultation process and the feedback from statutory and other consultees.

9.5 Summary
In this chapter I considered the dynamic interactions and interrelationships between the various stakeholders and the media. The analysis underlined the importance of the way the siting and planning process was conducted in fostering trust and cooperation between the various actors involved. It also adds weight to the argument that the environmental statement instead of being seen as a social and cultural document tended to be treated as a factual and technical document by expert-professionals. There was little social and cultural context in how the impacts and mitigation measures were presented. Finally, the role of the local papers was seen in conflicting terms with some stakeholders feeling they were doing a good job of communicating information and acting as a forum for discussion, some feeling that they were acting as a propaganda tool for the developer and others feeling that they had had little effect on residents’ views and perceptions. Overall, the local newspapers acted as a forum for information and communication for the various organisational stakeholders and community groups. The themes emerging from this chapter will also be pursued further in Chapter 10 the discussion.

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10. Discussion
10.1 Introduction
In this chapter, I start by drawing together the themes emerging from the literature review. I describe a conceptual-analytical framework for understanding lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks during the WTS siting and planning process. I then move on to discuss the fieldwork findings in relation to this conceptual-analytical framework and how they both relate to the existing literature on risk perception.

The key themes of my discussion are first, the complexity and diversity of both lay publics’ and expert-professionals’ perceptions and understandings of environmental and health risks. Second, how perceptions and understandings of environmental and health risks are individually, socially and culturally constructed, even re-constructed , in specific contexts (Irwin 2001a). Third, how each of the risk perception research areas has something important to say about how we, as humans, perceive and understand risk and danger. Finally, that there seem to be some broad themes which are applicable and transferable to other times, places and contexts.
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10.2 General Themes:
As Adams has argued we are all danger and risk analysers (Adams 1995). Human beings could not have survived and evolved if they did not have the ability to assess, evaluate and manage the wide range of threats that surrounded them. We seem to have an innate qualitative danger-risk assessment ability that develops and matures as we become adults. This corresponds to the biological and evolutionary aspects of the risk assessment processes found in the mind and relates to the findings of cognitive research, to Margolis’ work on intuitive cognition and to recent research which has re-evaluated the role and value of emotions as a useful and indeed a vital way humans have of understanding the world around them (Margolis 1996; Evans 2001). This ability is probably adapted to earlier times when dangers were on the whole visible, physical and immediate (Beck 1992).

However, these biological cognitive processes are overlaid and significantly modified by the influence of social and cultural factors. These social and cultural aspects of lay risk assessment have become more important as the dangers and risks faced in modern
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Re-constructed in that residents and expert-professionals during the siting and planning process confront their existing understandings, attempt to make sense of and incorporate their new experiences, and so change their existing understandings in the light of these new experiences.
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industrial societies have changed from the seen to unseen, immediate to delayed, local to global, and gradual to catastrophic. This is where the risk society perspective of Beck and Giddens, the conditional knowledges perspective of Wynne and Rayner’s fairness hypothesis feeds into our understanding of the socio-cultural, institutional and historical processes that are shaping and influencing lay publics’ understandings of risks and risk perception (Giddens 1990; Beck 1992; Wynne 1992; Rayner and Cantor 1998). But as Mary Douglas and Beck, in different ways, have argued risk also works at a symbolic and cultural level as a signifier and omen (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982; Beck 1992). A kind of Jungian cultural archetype that works at the individual, group and societal level as a way of separating ‘us’ from ‘them’, good from bad, pure from impure, order from chaos and even life from death (Douglas 1966; Fritzsche 1995). Certain dangers have greater and deeper resonance than others and so the perception of these dangers is greater which in turn leads to greater change and disruption in the lives of individuals and communities.

Danger, hazard and risk therefore have an impact at the levels of emotion, intuition, the sub-conscious and conscious. They conjure up a whole set of images, ideas and feelings within an individual’s cognitive framework and worldview (Slovic, Layman et al. 1991). This effect occurs at both the individual and group levels leading to threats to place, values and identity. Personal characteristics such as personality traits, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, personal experiences and education also have an important influence on how we perceive risk. This is brought out in the work of modern geography and psychology (Kahneman, Slovic et al. 1982; Cutter 1993). The specific characteristics of a hazard or risk are also important and this is brought out by Sandman’s outrage model and the psychometric risk research of Slovic and Fischoff (Fischhoff, Slovic et al. 1978; Slovic 1992; Sandman 1996).

I would argue that risk researchers are blurring and mixing up two different issues whether lay publics’ understandings of risk as a concept are different from expert-professionals or whether it is lay publics’ understandings of risk assessment that are different. There are differences in how risk is conceptualised scientifically versus how it is understood in everyday contexts but there is a core conceptualisation and understanding of what risk means, that crosses lay and expert discourse, otherwise we would not be able to communicate using the word risk at all. There can be arguments about whether something is a danger or not but more often the conflict is around how much of a threat a person, event, object or process poses and how we should deal with it. Edelstein and Baxter argue reasonably convincingly and the themes emerging from this study’s interview participants seems to confirm, that the public use ‘risk’ as a synonym for ‘danger’, ‘hazard’ and the possibility of that danger occurring (Edelstein 1988; Baxter 2000). This study also found, like Baxter, that uncertainty tends to be seen as a likelihood that we cannot be protected from a danger and hence that this danger will definitely occur sometime in the future (Ibid).

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Instead of seeing the difference between lay publics and expert-professionals as solely, or even most importantly, about their understandings of risk it is much more evident that lay people seem to be undertaking a wider, largely qualitative, form of risk assessment. People in their professional lives can undertake technical and quantitative risk assessments whose aim is to derive the probabilities of potential adverse consequences. However, in our everyday lives and in areas where we don’t have specialist knowledge, both lay people and expert-professionals undertake a form of lay risk assessment which is more concerned with the qualitative issues of trust, credibility, fairness, impositions from above, the catastrophic nature of potential consequences, the effects on children and other vulnerable groups and so on.

In the literature, risk is conceptualised in three broad ways: a) as an objective measure of the probability of a given hazard occurring, b) as an objective measure with a greater or lesser subjective component involving the characteristics of a risk (e.g. catastrophic potential, effect on children and other generations, mortality versus morbidity) and c) as a socio-cultural construct involving social and cultural relationships and structures. There also seem to be differing understandings of uncertainty with lay publics thinking that uncertainty implies that a risk cannot be managed and that it is likely to occur sometime in the future versus risk expert understandings as a danger that cannot be statistically predicted. The work on differing perceptions of stakeholders by Sjoberg and Barke et al as well as the direct work on EIAs and planning processes argues that different stakeholders, including different types of scientists, have differing perceptions of risks and hazards (Barke and Jenkins-Smith 1993; Sjöberg, Frewer et al. 2000). Therefore, in any given context, there are likely to be differing understandings of risk and uncertainty which are strongly influenced by the social role that stakeholders play and the institutional affiliations that they have.

Finally, the way EIA, siting, consultation and planning processes are run has a key influence on lay publics’ perceptions of risks. Trust, differing levels of power, the quality of social relationships, the differences in ethos and values and personal and group identities are key to explaining differing perceptions of risks.

10.3 Developing a Conceptual Framework Specific Themes Related to WDF Siting and EIA
Fig 10.1 shows the key factors that influence perceptions of risks at the individual, societal and cultural levels as described in Chapter 3 on the general understandings of risk perception. It is worth noting that individual level factors feed into the social and cultural and social and cultural factors feed into the individual. The framework shown in Fig. 10.1 is too

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broad to be useful in understanding lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions in the context of a local decision-making process like an EIA, siting and planning process. Analysing the key themes that emerge from Chapters 3 and 4 leads to the analytical conceptual framework shown in Fig. 10.2. There seem to be three strands to understanding stakeholders’ ‘risk worldviews’ during siting and planning processes: direct, process and symbolic concerns.

Fig. 10.1: Key factors that influence perceptions of risk at the individual, societal and cultural levels INDIVIDUAL LEVEL Personality Gender Ethnicity Experience Knowledge Cognitive Heuristics Attitudes & Biases Personal Worldview Environmental Philosophy SOCIETAL LEVEL Gender Ethnicity Community, Space & Place Trust Media Political Structures Other Societal Structures Socio-Economic Status Social Identity Experts & Knowledge Group Worldview Group Cohesion Space & Place Stigma CULTURAL LEVEL Order-Chaos Purity-Pollution Morals-Ethics

Direct concerns involve issues relating directly to the facility and its operation in the neighbourhood such as the environmental, health, economic and social impacts. Process concerns involve issues about the openness and participatory nature of the siting, consultation and planning process including the methods of consultation used, the level of information provided and the length of time of the consultation. Symbolic concerns involve issues to do with power, values and identity including trust, stakeholders’ values, lay and professional identities and disruptions to existing ways of life.

What this framework shows is that all three strands are important to understanding lay publics’ and expert-professionals’ perceptions of risks in siting and planning situations.

Furthermore, these strands are interconnected and intertwined and separating them out is simply to show the strands more clearly. This is one of the difficulties for expertprofessionals in understanding lay publics’ perceptions. Lay publics move from one set of concerns to another in an order that is meaningful to them. Hence, they can talk about air pollution one minute, distrust and fear of the developer the next and the lack of information during the public consultation in the third.
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Fig. 10.2: Risk Perception Framework for Siting & Planning Processes: the general issues and specific issues as they apply to waste disposal facility (WDF) siting First Strand Direct Concerns Environmental Health Economic Social Community Noise Traffic Pollution Pests Smell Leakage Second Strand Process Concerns Information Consultation Participation Access Third Strand Symbolic Concerns Power Values Identity

General Issues

Specific Issues of WDF Siting

Access to information on long term consequences & how site chosen Range and adequacy of consultation Level of involvement

Power of govt. & experts Ethics & morals of siting and its consequences Personal & Community Identity

less Direct Concerns Process Concerns Symbolic Concerns

EMOTIONS FELT

more

Direct, process and symbolic concerns are intertwined with each other over space and time with past relationships, experiences and outcomes influencing how people, events and activities are perceived.
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Before going on to analyse the fieldwork in terms of this conceptual-analytical framework I will develop five overarching themes that provide the context within which lay publics’ and other stakeholders’ perceptions of risks occurred during the WTS siting and planning process I investigated.

10.4 Exploring the process of risk perception during the siting and planning process for a WTS
In this section, I describe five metaphors or themes that provide an overarching description of how the process of risk perception occurred during the WTS siting and planning process and the context within which it occurred.

The first metaphor is the notion of a ‘moment of clarity’ or ‘epiphany’. The second a process of ‘loss and bereavement’. The third is the WTS ‘stone’ thrown into the community ‘pond’. The fourth metaphor is the ‘iceberg of concern’. The fifth is that of ‘Gulliver and the Lilliputians’ or ‘David and Goliath’.

The world is fragmentary, disjointed, contradictory and complex. We all have only a partial view of this world and take in an even smaller part of that. We attempt to make sense of this world and what is happening to us and construct a personal narrative that orders, sequences and structures this ‘reality’. As objecting residents became aware of the potential siting of a WTS in or near their neighbourhood many had a defining moment, a moment of clarity or epiphany. Giddens’ ‘ontological security’ and Edelstein’s ‘cultural immunity’ is set aside as bigger, wider and deeper life issues come to the fore (Edelstein 1988; Giddens 1990). The WTS aroused a wide range of strong emotions in residents such as anger, fear and horror as well as vivid negative images of the ‘blight’ and ‘degradation’ to their neighbourhood and to people’s ways of life. Residents forgot the daily hassles and routines of their lives as they focused on the implications of this new ‘threat’ to their neighbourhood. Giddens and Edelstein both see ‘ontological security’ and ‘cultural immunity’ as ways to avoid and ignore the risks and threats that surround us and so prevent the intense reflection, angst and mental paralysis that thinking about these things might engender.

However, as Giddens himself to an extent argues, another way of looking at this is that it is simply a way to allow us to get on with our everyday activities of going to work, looking after the children and meeting the daily necessities of life. These issues are therefore not repressed but pushed to one side as we get on with the more urgent and solvable issues in our lives. It is only when we see, hear or directly experience a potential threat that these

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deeper philosophical questions of how we should live, what our communities and neighbourhoods should be like, what morals we should live our lives by and what values our societies should have is brought to the fore. The siting of the WTS therefore not only raised concerns about the WTS but also, in some residents, provoked a scrutiny of their lives, their local community, their neighbourhood environment, local institutions and the wider society and culture. For some residents, this scrutiny was profound as all kinds of issues: personal, local, social and cultural are opened up for reflection, review and reevaluation. Residents are therefore actively constructing and re-constructing how they relate to their wider social and natural environments (Irwin 2001a). This in turn meant that residents’ perceptions of risks were not just solely based on the potential risks of the WTS and its operation but also on the existing risks and problems in the neighbourhoods, the role and values of other stakeholders in imposing or not protecting them from these risks, thoughts about how society should manage waste and other societal and cultural factors. From Beck and Douglas’s perspectives the WTS becomes a local signifier and omen (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982; Beck 1992). A focal point for questions and conflicts about power, values and identity.

The second metaphor is that of a stone thrown into a pond which causes multiple ripples on the water’s surface. These ripples disturb the surface calm of the pond but die away over time. Extending this metaphor, the WTS siting caused ripples, even waves, of concern and protest on the seemingly calm surface of this local community. These obvious signs of concern and protest lessened over time but the WTS ‘stone’ had not gone away - it had sunk slowly to the bottom of the pond, ‘invading’ and changing a significant part of the ecology of the community ‘pond’. This ‘alien’ WTS ‘stone’ brought with it its own ‘ecology’ including ways of working that had and would continue to disrupt and destroy existing ways of life and the nature of the neighbourhood environment. For those residents who were concerned about the WTS the early visible concerns and protests did not simply die away they were submerged as they became familiar and people became reconciled to the profound changes the WTS ‘stone’ could cause to their community ‘pond’. This coming to terms had important implications for residents’ sense of their own identity and their perceptions of their local neighbourhood including a loss of security, changes to their sense of home and stigmatisation. Residents were therefore not only concerned with the direct impacts of the ‘stone’ but with questions of who ‘threw’ it and why. The WTS is therefore seen as a threat to and invasion of their familiar, relatively stable and ordered neighbourhood and community.

The third metaphor is a process of ‘loss and bereavement’. The process is not as linear or so compartmentalised that residents simply move through a range of emotions and feelings. The initial reaction of many residents was one of shock, disbelief and denial. As the reality of the potential siting of the WTS began to be conceptualised by residents they

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became angry, outraged and upset. They were angry at having this potentially dangerous facility sited in their neighbourhood and at having their ability to choose and control their lives and community taken away from them by powerful ‘others’. They hoped, protested and bargained in an effort to change the course of the siting and planning process and to make the powerful actors understand their worries and concerns. As their protests and negotiating were perceived to be unsuccessful in influencing the course of events they began feeling a sense of loss, sadness and even depression. Finally, as residents became used to the idea of the WTS being built near them they began to accept, tolerate and resign themselves to its presence. This emotional process links to Kubler-Ross’ stages of dying and Edelstein’s ‘vortex of the contamination experience’ and the ‘insider-outsider duality’ where the feelings, experiences and understandings of those residents faced with the siting of the WTS are so different from residents living further away and expert-professionals that it leads to mutual incomprehension, misunderstanding and distrust (Scrambler 1991; Edelstein 2000).

The fourth metaphor is the notion of an ‘iceberg of concern’ (see Fig 10.3), which shows how residents displayed varying levels of concern and support for the siting of the WTS.

Fig. 10.3: The iceberg of concern

Visible & Active Objectors

Visible & Active Supporters

Less Visible Passive Objectors

Less Visible Passive Supporters

Unaware or Unconcerned

Many objecting residents had a ‘moment of clarity or epiphany’ but not all and many residents were supportive, unaware or unconcerned about the siting of the WTS. The community around the proposed site therefore had a mixture of actively and passively opposing, actively and passively supporting as well as unaware and unconcerned residents. The active opposers and supporters actively ‘recruited’ these seemingly passive, silent and ‘submerged’ residents to their side and used their silence as a tacit form of assent for their points of view. These categories of objection, support, unawareness and
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unconcern are not fixed but are fluid and dynamic with residents moving from being unaware and unconcerned to actively opposing or supporting the siting and vice versa. This has parallels with Margolis’ risk matrix model, described in Chapter 3, where some residents see both the positives and negatives (conditional support), some see only the negatives (objectors), some see only the positives (supporters) and some are indifferent (unaware or unconcerned) (Margolis 1996).

The fifth and final metaphor is that of ‘Gulliver and the Lilliputians’ or ‘David and Goliath’. Expert-professionals see residents as equally powerful and well able to influence other stakeholders during the siting and planning process. In contrast, residents viewed themselves as numerous Davids amidst the powerful Goliaths of the planning authority, the developer and risk expert-professionals. Throughout the process they saw themselves as powerless and helpless in the face of the economic, political and scientific power and control of these stakeholders. They perceived themselves as Lilliputians attempting to restrain, bind and overcome large and powerful Gullivers who had come to wreck their neighbourhood. This was illustrated powerfully by the cartoon on the front page of ISCA’s ( the umbrella objecting group) website which showed a large and powerful Arsenal smoking a cigar, wearing sunglasses and showering money - walking blithely over residents and their homes. This perception also led them to see other stakeholders in stereotypical and caricatured ways as for (‘heroes’/champions of the just cause) or against them (‘villains’).

Fig. 10.4: Cartoon of Arsenal, the developer, on the front page of the ISCA, the umbrella objecting group’s website

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10.5 Using the Conceptual Framework to understand the siting and planning process for the WTS
In this section I discuss the findings from the fieldwork in more detail and place them within the conceptual-analytical framework developed in Section 10.3. The aim is to show how this framework can provide a theoretical, practical and useful way of understanding the diverse and varied concerns between the three key stakeholder groups: objecting residents, supporting residents and expert-professionals. A framework furthermore that could help develop strategies and approaches to reduce the destructive conflict and distrust that occurs during the EIA, siting and planning process for WDFs.

10.5.1 Direct Concerns
The direct concerns strand was where most of the focus and conflict during the process occurred. It is this strand which showed the most obvious and clear differences in perceptions between objector residents, supporter residents and expert-professionals.

The public comments and interviews showed that residents, objectors in particular, were undertaking a form of lay risk assessment that involved emotion, intuition, imagination and reason. Objecting residents started from a baseline, or as Margolis terms it ‘bundling’, of the existing problems and challenges in their neighbourhood (Margolis 1996). This was evidenced by the way residents explained their reasons for objecting and supporting by alluding to the current state of the neighbourhood and how the WTS siting would exacerbate existing problems. The potentially new risks and hazards posed by the WTS exacerbated, amplified and, in Baxter’s words, ‘intensified’, the existing worries that residents had about their neighbourhood (Baxter 1997). Residents were predominantly concerned about the environmental and health risks of the WTS. More importantly residents’ assessment of the risks made an implicit distinction between risks posed by the WTS itself and those posed by the operation of the WTS. Most of the risks perceived by objecting residents were not from the waste transfer station itself but from the operational consequences and ‘side-effects’ of the siting of the waste transfer station in their neighbourhood such as traffic, air pollution, smell and noise (see Fig. 10.5). Lastly, residents seemed to perceive primary, direct acting effects which were negative in themselves but also, causally linked secondary, broader-acting cumulative negatives for example the directly acting air and noise pollution leading to cumulative health and quality of life impacts. Within this lay risk assessment residents, both objecting and supporting, were undertaking a form of risk versus benefit analysis at the levels of the direct personal and the wider community. This was exemplified by objecting residents feeling that there was little or no community benefit, and supporting residents feelings that

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Fig. 10.5: Diagram of Objecting Residents pre-existing concerns about the neighbourhood and their direct concerns about WTS Pre-existing Concerns/Perceptions of the neighbourhood Traffic No green space Air pollution Neighbourhood needs improving Suffering community Deprived area Dense-Overcrowded Noise Crime Health High Council Tax General Concerns about WDFs Societal Waste Management Likes & Dislikes about Other Types of Developments
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Direct Concerns Air pollution Noise Degrade-blight area Environmental effects Smell Disruption-disturbance Litter/ dirt Traffic (congestion, size & numbers) Residential area Health (esp. children) No community benefit Quality of life Property values Wider strategic issues No green space Future operation Visual-aesthetics (unsightliness) Vermin

WASTE TRANSFER STATION

Preferred Use of the Site

10. Discussion

there were regeneration, economic and general community benefits. Objecting residents views were based on their likes and dislikes for other types of developments, their concerns about other waste disposal facilities, their views on society’s management of waste and their preferred view or vision of what should be built on that site.

Supporting residents also undertook a lay risk assessment however, whereas objectors saw many large risks and few benefits, they saw many benefits and few risks. They perceived general regenerational, environmental, community and economic benefits with little or no risks. They did agree with objectors on two points they saw the neighbourhood as in need of regeneration and improvement and saw the existing WTS as old and dilapidated. Some supporters did give conditional support to the WTS provided safety concerns about the WTS were addressed and others were willing on condition that a through road was built that would reduce existing and future traffic problems.

The public comments did not illuminate the views and perceptions of the organisational stakeholders to any great extent. What the organisational comments did show was the range and diversity of views among the organisations involved in the process. Residents groups were against the proposals citing similar concerns to objecting residents. AISA, the Arsenal fans’ club supported the proposals and cited similar benefits as the supporting residents. The organisations and the councillor giving conditional support expressed views similar to those residents giving conditional support.

Only objecting residents were interviewed and their views and concerns showed strong similarities with those expressed by the objector residents who sent in written comments. The exercise in picking and explaining what developments residents liked or disliked living near to was insightful. It showed that residents had a range of environmental, health and social concerns about a whole range of developments. In fact, many residents saw the potential risks and problems with, what at first sight might seem, innocuous developments such as a public park. So waste facilities are not a development set apart from other developments but are part of a continuum of developments which can heighten perceptions of being at risk to a greater or lesser extent. This continuum of developments has at one end very personal developments like a neighbour’s patio or kitchen extension, in the middle it has developments like a local psychiatric hostel or large housing estate and at the high risk perception end developments like municipal and hazardous waste facilities. Knowledge, familiarity and direct experience tended to reduce residents’ perceptions of risks. Other factors influencing risk perception will be discussed in Section 10.5.5.

Expert-professionals who undertook this exercise and rated what developments the general public would like and dislike showed that, to a large extent, they understood the concerns of lay people. More importantly when asked what kinds of facilities they would like or dislike

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being sited near them most expressed similar concerns as residents. As with residents knowledge, familiarity and direct experience of certain developments reduced experts’ perceptions of risk. Both residents and expert-professionals saw that many, if not all, types of developments had potential problems and risks associated with them.

From the in-depth interviews, the public meetings and the planning documents expertprofessionals showed that they recognised the potential risks and hazards identified by objecting residents. However their, and the EIAs, focus was on the direct-acting risks of air pollution, noise, smell and traffic. They focused on quantifiable and measurable hazards but they did not link these, as residents did, to existing problems in the neighbourhood or to the wider, less easily quantifiable and more qualitative, impacts on quality of life and the wider environment. One reason for this was experts less detailed knowledge and experience of the neighbourhood. It was here that objecting residents’ direct lived knowledge and experience of their communities came into conflict with the perceptions and scientific assumptions of the expert-professionals.

If there was a significant overlap and mutual understanding between lay publics and expertprofessionals on the potential risks and dangers of the WTS and other developments then how do we explain the differing perceptions of risks and the conflict and misunderstandings that occurred between them during this siting and planning process. There were three key reasons why despite similar views on many aspects there were still wide differences between residents and expert-professionals: the perception of other stakeholders and their power to influence the process, the ethical-moral-value frameworks of the stakeholders and the differing identities, and impacts on those identities, during the process. These issues will be discussed in greater detail in section 10.5.3 on symbolic concerns.

10.5.2 Process concerns
From the written comments, in-depth interviews and public meetings the key process concerns of objecting residents were firstly, that the consultation was not fully involving of the community and was not early or long enough. Second, that there was not enough detailed information given on the consequences and implications of the operation of the waste transfer station. Third, they were not shown the alternatives, the history of the site and previous proposals. Fourth, they did not feel they had the power to significantly influence the planning process and weren’t sure about the legal framework of the siting and planning process and how it worked. Fifth, that the EIA was riddled with misleading assumptions and biased in favour of the developer. The EIA as a technical risk assessment tool asked the question ‘all other things being equal’ what additional risks were created by the proposed WTS. In contrast residents asked ‘Why should we be exposed to any new

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risks?’ and ‘Who is asking us to be exposed and why?’. This aspect strongly links into the fairness hypothesis, described in Chapter 3, and the work on siting hazardous facilities, described in Chapter 4, that emphasise the crucial role of trust, liability and consent in siting processes (Kasperson, Golding et al. 1992; Rayner and Cantor 1998; Kunreuther, Fitzgerald et al. 1993; Gismondi 1997).

These concerns heightened objecting residents concerns because they generated increasing uncertainty as to what was happening and intensified their sense of helplessness and lack of choice and control in affecting the siting of the WTS. Here again, the perceptions of the other stakeholders and their values played a key role in heightening residents’ perceptions of risks. This was most clearly seen by the positive views that supporters had of the developer, planning authority and the planning and consultation process. Objectors distrusted the motives of the developer and the planning authority and felt that they were colluding with each other to further their own interests. They felt that the decision to allow the developments to go ahead had already been made ‘behind the scenes’. They also perceived the planning process to be unfair and burdening an already deprived area with a facility that would further ‘blight’ and ‘degrade’ it. They felt that while the potential benefits of having the WTS sited in their neighbourhood would be distributed to residents inside and outside the borough the costs would be borne, almost exclusively, by residents living around the proposed site. The next section will explore these issues in more detail but what emerges from the fieldwork on process concerns highlights the importance of the differing notions of justice and fairness that stakeholders have.

Finally, residents gave more weight to the direct experiential knowledge of other people in the neighbourhood than to the scientific and mathematical understandings developed in the EIA and environmental statement. This was in contrast to the expert-professionals who, in general, gave more weight to the conclusions and results of the models used in the EIA. EIA consultants did not explain or justify their assumptions and methods but expected and assumed that residents would accept their conclusions without question. Residents used their knowledges and experiences to successfully refute key assumptions made by the EIA consultants on traffic flows and other potential negative effects. They showed convincingly that traffic to and from the WTS, and crowd flows to the potential new stadium, were significantly underestimated and so the conclusions based upon them were inaccurate. The expert-professionals - EIA consultants, developer and planning authority officials - tended to display a technocratic and modernistic approach to the siting in that they placed implicit and explicit faith in scientific models and saw risks as identifiable, preventable and manageable. They did not seem, or were not able, to understand the wider concerns of objecting residents. This aspect feeds directly into the ideas of reflexivity, lay local knowledges and institutional and expert social framings described in Chapter 3 (Giddens 1990; Beck 1992; Wynne 1992).

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10.5.3 Symbolic concerns
10.5.3.1 Power Residents, objecting and supporting, articulated four key aspects of power during the siting, consultation and planning process that influenced their perceptions of being at risk: who had power, how did they accumulate that power, were they legitimate holders of power and how were they using or abusing that power. This power theme linked to the values that stakeholders had as they primed other stakeholders to see them and their use of power in certain ways. The differential levels of power also affected how stakeholders saw themselves, their identities and their sense of choice and control. This ties in with Douglas and others’ work on the cultural/ symbolic aspects of risk and the importance of power and identity (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982; Dake 1992).

From the written public comments, in-depth interviews and public meetings objecting residents saw the developer, a private business, as having considerable financial and political power. They saw this power as being accumulated illegitimately through selfinterest and greed. They felt the developer was abusing this power to impose its own needs and desires onto the wider community without giving anything in return. They saw the planning authority as having a lot of political power and influence. The authority was seen as a legitimate holder of democratic power who should be in the service of the community that gave it that power. They were also seen to be abusing their power by arbitrarily bending rules, being influenced by monetary gain and overawed by the prestige of the developer. Objectors, in contrast, saw themselves, other residents and community groups as being powerless to effect change and forced to accept this dangerous facility. Community groups were seen in a very positive light as working for and creating a sense of community. This positive regard was not unconditional as residents scrutinised the values and actions of community groups in the same way that they scrutinised other more powerful stakeholders. Supporting residents, in contrast, saw the developer and planning authority as legitimate holders of power, working for the whole community and wanting what was best for everyone.

From the in-depth interviews and the public meetings, expert-professionals saw themselves as having considerable power, accumulated legitimately and perceived themselves using this power sensitively and for the common good. They also saw residents as having considerable power of their own. They viewed residents as equal and equally important stakeholders in the process whose views were fully taken into account. They were ambivalent about the role and legitimacy of residents’ associations and other community groups in the process. This was because one of their major concerns was the representativeness of the views of active residents and community groups in relation to the borough residents as a whole. Residents and key expert-professionals therefore had
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fundamentally different perceptions about the power relationships between each other and these differing views on power had a profound influence on the misunderstandings, distrust and differing perceptions of risks displayed during the process.

10.5.3.2 Values Values, ethics and morals provide an important explanation of why there were differing perceptions between the stakeholders. The public comments, interviews and public meetings showed objecting residents express a number of key values which they felt should drive the siting, consultation and planning process. Their key values were protecting the community and residents from harm, respect and dignity for others, a fair and equitable distribution of risks and benefits as well as openness, honesty and transparency.

Expert-professionals while they agreed with these key principles and to a greater or lesser extent implemented them during the process also had other key values. The developer believed in ‘self-interest’ that could also benefit the wider community. The planning and waste authorities believed in a ‘utilitarian’ ideal of ensuring that the developments would benefit the greatest number of people. Both also shared a strong concern to follow the legal and ‘due process’ rules and regulations.

In terms of the values and notions of justice explored in the section on the siting of hazardous facilities in Chapter 4 residents expressed distributional and procedural notions of justice, the planning authority showed utilitarian notions of justice and the developer displayed a libertarian or enlightened self-interest notion of justice (Davy 1996; Hunold and Young 1998). One of the key reasons for the conflicts and differing perceptions of risks that arose during the siting, consultation and planning process was due to these differing ‘core values’ and notions of justice.

10.5.3.3 Identity Residents saw themselves and their neighbourhoods in certain ways. As described by Edelstein they built up an image or ‘landscape’ of what they thought their community and neighbourhood were about (Edelstein 2000). They imagined how they would like to live, what they would like in their lives, the kind of community they wanted to be a part of and the kind of neighbourhood they wanted to live in. In other words they had idealised notions of who they and their families were (their sense of self) and what their community and neighbourhood (their sense of place) should be. They had an ‘imagined’ sense of identity and community. This has connections to Douglas’ work on individual and group identity and how these influence what things are seen as risks (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982). Residents wanted to live in a caring and sharing community where people were friendly and helped each other out. They wanted to live in a neighbourhood that was peaceful, green, had public open space and had a mixture of residential, leisure and business developments. What they did not want was an unfriendly, dirty, noisy and crime-ridden

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community with little green open space and large, dense developments. The WTS siting worked at two levels, it ‘invaded’ residents personal and family identities and their community and neighbourhood identities. Personally, the WTS with its connotations of rubbish and industrial machinery, affected residents’ perceptions of themselves and their families. The rubbish being placed near them meant they were ‘rubbish’ and hence that they must be worth very little for ‘others’ to site this rubbish near them. Some residents, therefore, felt stigmatised by potentially living near a waste disposal facility. The industrial nature of the facility also created fears about the hidden and unknown nature of the activities taking place within it and their potential health effects on residents and their families. At the levels of the neighbourhood the WTS represented a shattering of their imagined ideal of what they wanted their neighbourhood to be and what kinds of developments they envisioned within it. It added to the existing problems of the neighbourhood by changing an open, albeit derelict site, with overgrown greenery into a tall, high density industrial development. A development furthermore that would generate air, noise and smell pollution as well as potential long term health and environmental effects including asthma, poorer quality of life and a degradation of the neighbourhood environment. At the level of the community, it represented a negation of their desires for a caring and sharing community by having operational effects that would have large lorries speeding down their streets destroying existing social activities, relationships and daily routines (e.g. children playing, people talking in the streets and elderly people walking around).

In contrast, supporting residents identified themselves and Islington very strongly with Arsenal and its history in the borough. They felt that Arsenal had brought prestige, greatness and joy into their lives. They also felt that Arsenal was doing a great deal of good work in the community as well as bringing economic prosperity to Islington. Some supporters identified so strongly with Arsenal that life in Islington without Arsenal was unthinkable for them.

Finally, expert-professionals saw themselves as objective, neutral, dispassionate and rational stakeholders with clear legal and professional roles that were linked to their institutional affiliations. Their ‘mask’ of professionalism distanced them from the worries and concerns of residents and made them seem remote, uncaring and indifferent. It also distanced them from their own lay values and experiences which in turn allowed some of them to disregard residents’ lay-expertises, knowledges and experiences and overlook their own ‘naive’ social assumptions in doing the EIA. Professionals found it easier to deal with the direct concerns because they fitted easily into their professional ethos by being objective, identifiable and measurable. Expert-professionals also tended to universalise and generalise in contrast to residents who localised and particularised. Residents placed strong weight on personal stories and experiences in contrast to experts who valued

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generalised and universal models and accounts. While reason and emotion were intertwined in residents’ perceptions and understandings of the process they were specifically excluded in the expert-professionals’ ethos and role. Finally, the professional ‘mask’ was beneficial for expert-professionals because it increased their sense of control and reduced their feelings of uncertainty during the process.

10.5.4 Role of the Media
It was difficult to gauge the role and significance of the media in influencing stakeholders’ perceptions of risks during this siting and planning process. Stakeholders had mixed views on the role of local newspapers with some feeling that they had been informative while others feeling that they were simply a mouthpiece for the developer or a place for people to express their ‘misinformed’ opinions. What did come out was that the newspapers acted as forums for information, debate and discussion between opponents and proponents of the WTS and the wider developments. The newspapers seemed to be generally supportive of the developments but did recognise the worries and concerns of objectors both about the proposed WTS and the wider proposals.

In terms of the three perspectives on the media described in Chapter 4 this study provides evidence for Ploughman’s hierarchy of credibility in that those with greater credibility, for example the developer, planning authority and organised groups, did have greater access to the media than individual residents (Ploughman 1997). However, residents did use the letters pages of both papers to maintain a longstanding debate, discussion and attack with those holding opposing views. This study also provides evidence for Dunwoody’s perspective on power structures and the way the media behave (Dunwoody 1994). In terms of Dunwoody’s perspective the local newspapers acted both as a forum for consensus and an arena for debate between the various stakeholders, they showed both positive and negative images of the neighbourhood and they showed positive and negative images of the powerful stakeholders. This mixing of the two categories described by Dunwoody may have been because Islington is a distinct urban borough within a larger urban metropolis. Local newspapers therefore are not as consensual and supportive as newspapers in more rural and localised communities but are also not as conflict-based and divisive as Londonwide and national newspapers. Finally, as argued by the Glasgow Media Group, residents were savvy consumer of media news stories and many understood the biases that crept into the stories about the WTS (Philo 1999). For residents the local newspapers were secondary sources of information below family, friends and neighbours. In contrast, the media was the primary way by which expert-professionals gained information about local views and issues.

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10.5.5 Other Key Factors in influencing Risk Perception
A number of specific factors emerged during this study which parallel those discussed in the literature review (Bord and O'Connor 1992; Cutter 1993; Flynn, Slovic et al. 1994). Proximity or nearness to the potential site increased residents’ perceptions of risks and their likelihood to actively protest against the WTS. Women seemed to be more concerned about the WTS than men and less supportive of the other developments as well. Knowledge of waste disposal facilities and direct experience of these facilities tended to reduce residents’ perceptions of risks. Some of these aware and experienced individuals still opposed the development but their reasons were less to do with the facility itself and more about the wider implications and consequences. Having an existing health condition or children tended to make residents more concerned and more aware of the potential risks of the WTS and its impacts on them and the neighbourhood. Finally, in terms of communication, family and friends had an important influence in heightening (and reducing) residents’ perceptions of risks while having a long term consultation process with a wide range of stakeholders tended to lessen perceptions of risks.

10.6 Lay Publics’ and Expert-Professionals’ Core Definition of Risk
This study suggests that lay publics’ and expert-professionals’ understandings of risk as a concept hinge on three core facets: the notions of hazard/ danger, chance/gamble and uncertain/future. • • • •

Risk is a hazard and danger. Risk is the probability and possibility of a hazard occurring. Risk is a gamble with positive and negative consequences. Risk is the uncertain occurrence and unknown nature of a future hazard.

This relates to the themes developed in Chapter 2 on lay publics’ and expert-professionals’ understandings of risk. Both lay publics and expert-professionals saw the positive rewards of taking risks as well as the potential negatives. This ties into Bauman’s view on the notions of risk in modernity being linked to gambling but is in contrast to Douglas’s assertion that risk is now linked to negative consequences only (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982; Bauman 1993). Lay publics and expert-professionals also saw risk as referring to unknown and uncertain events in the future which feeds into Beck’s and Giddens’

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perspectives that risk is society’s way of managing danger and the unknown future (Giddens 1990; Beck 1992).

10.7 A Process Definition of Risk Perception
Using the evidence gained from the literature and the fieldwork we can now develop a general process definition or conceptualisation of risk perception.

Risk perception is the reflexive process by which individuals and groups identify, understand and give meaning to (conceptualise) an object, activity, person or group as a threat or danger. This involves a process of lay risk assessment, occurring at the levels of emotion (evoking fear, anxiety and dread), intuition (intuitive cognition and heuristics), imagination (ability to picture future possibilities) and reason (high-level cognition and judgement). Hence risk perception involves sensory perception and sub-conscious and conscious mental sub-processes including instinct and habit. These subprocesses occur in the context of a person or group’s overall view of the world i.e. their current beliefs about their natural, social and cultural environment, their relationship to others and their place in the world. Furthermore these subprocesses use information and knowledge from direct life experiences (personal and professional) and indirect experiences via a range of media sources and social networks (e.g. family, friends, social group, community, and workplace). Risk perception therefore involves learning and memory at individual and group levels and can lead to changes in attitudes and beliefs about an object, activity, person, or group. This in turn can lead to various forms of action (including inaction) to deal with the perceived risk or danger. This process is dynamic and changes over time as people mature, have families, develop illnesses and add to their store of knowledge and experience.

10.8 Summary
In this chapter, I discussed the findings from the fieldwork using a conceptual-analytical framework that argued that there are three strands to understanding the concerns of local residents and other stakeholders during the WTS siting process: direct, process and symbolic. While experts and EIAs deal reasonably well with the direct environmental, social and economic implications of potential developments and their siting they deal poorly with the process and symbolic concerns that communities have.

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The direct concerns involve issues relating directly to the facility and its operation in the neighbourhood. The process concerns involve issues about the openness and participatory nature of the siting and planning process such as having enough information and time to make an informed judgement as well as having a controlling influence on the decisions made during the process. The symbolic concerns involve three core issues: power, values and identity. Power involves questions of who has power to affect residents, is their accumulation and exercise of power seen as legitimate and are they seen to be using their power appropriately. Values involves moral and ethical questions about fairness, equity, transparency, respecting people and the importance of experiential knowledge. Finally, identity takes account of how the personal and community identities of residents, interact with the professional identities of expert-professionals, specifically how the siting impacts on perceptions of and ideals about home and neighbourhood.

Expert-professionals’ concerns can also be understood using this framework, however they differ in their concerns and the priorities that they have. Expert-professionals and the EIA focussed wholly on the direct and objectively measured hazards of the proposed WTS and on 'due process' or legal process concerns. In terms of the symbolic concerns, experts highlight legal or democratic legitimacy (power), serving ‘legitimate self-interest’ or the 'greater good' (values), and see themselves as neutral, objective and rational professionals (identity). They can recognise the process and symbolic concerns of residents but see these as problematic, conflicting and difficult to deal with.

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11 . Conclusion
11.1 Introduction
Three and a half years ago I had the opportunity to accompany my first supervisor, Helen Dolk, to the town of Wakefield, in North Yorkshire, where a current landfill site was being extended. She had been invited by the local Council to talk about her EUROCAT work, on the possible association between increases in birth defects and living near landfills. She talked to a range of stakeholders including a local residents group RATS (Residents Against Toxic Scheme), waste company managers and an officer from the Environment Agency (Dolk, Vrijheid et al. 1998). I did not know then that six months later I would be doing my doctorate on residents’ concerns around the siting of an urban WTS or that the government would be commissioning its own research along similar lines to EUROCAT. Three years on, time has passed, but as evidenced by an article in the Guardian
14

the

concerns of many Wakefield residents living near the landfill have persisted to the present day (Prasad 2002). They are still concerned about the environmental and health effects. They worry that information about the site, its operation and the kinds of rubbish that goes into it is still not readily accessible to them. They are still concerned about the operators of the site and their commitment to safety and community participation. They feel that the local Council lied to them about what kind of facility this was going to be and that the Environment Agency (EA) has not done enough to monitor and regulate the site. In contrast, the operators, the Council and the EA see themselves as listening to residents’ concerns and doing a good job in ensuring that the facility is safe and run to the highest standards.

I therefore came to this study with an understanding of the value and limitations of epidemiology and quantitative environmental health risk assessment in helping to deal with residents’ concerns in a local policy and decision-making process. I also came with a sympathy for and a recognition of the value of lay perceptions of risks. My aim was

therefore to use a qualitative methodological approach to better understand residents’ and other stakeholder groups’ perceptions of risks in a community setting as they manifested themselves during a process that incorporated an environmental and health risk assessment. I chose to investigate an EIA, siting and planning process for a municipal WTS in an urban neighbourhood.

In this thesis, I have attempted to describe what each of the stakeholder groups’ perceived as the risks during the siting and planning process and developed an understanding of why

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A national daily newspaper
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they held these 'risk worldviews'. I have also followed these stakeholders over time to see whether their perceptions of risks changed and identified those factors that led to changes in risk perception. From the literature review and fieldwork, I have developed a conceptual framework that allows the differing perceptions of risks between stakeholders to be understood in context. A framework furthermore that points the way towards some possible approaches to reducing mistrust and conflict during such siting and planning processes.

In this final chapter, I will highlight the important conclusions emerging from my study and make some key recommendations on how mistrust and conflict can be reduced. I will then go on to explore my reflections on the study methodology, its limitations, this study’s contributions to knowledge and the potential directions for future research.

11.2 Key Conclusions
No one, lay publics or expert-professionals, wants to have a waste disposal facility (WDF) sited near the place where they or their families live. There is a continuum from lesser to greater concern about the full range of ‘non-hazardous’ and ‘hazardous’ developments from the neighbours’ patio and kitchen extension to a nearby supermarket or waste facility. Direct and indirect knowledge and experiences tend to reduce perceptions of risks and make living near a WDF more tolerable.

Key direct concerns of residents include: environmental concerns such as the damaging and blighting of the neighbourhood; health concerns of vulnerable individuals such as children, older people and those with ill health; the disruption and disturbance of everyday routines and ways of living and finally the level and range of the potential community benefits compared to the potential risks. The above are seen as strong, legitimate and ‘genuine’ concerns by local residents while falls in property values, though still important, are seen as more personal, more selfish and less legitimate concerns.

Expert-professionals have professional and organisational objectives that influence what they see as the risks. Their goals are to carry out their professional duties and meet their organisational objectives while attempting to deal with the concerns of local residents. Their key risks are not achieving their organisational objectives and the impact of residents’ concerns and protests in hindering the achievement of those objectives.

In terms of the planning and consultation process residents are concerned about not having enough time, information and transparency during the process. Importantly, there is also a feeling of powerlessness and unfairness when a WDF is sited in a neighbourhood which already has many problems. Expert-professionals on the other hand see the public

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consultations as an important means of communicating things to residents and perceive ignorance, misperception and distortion (via the media and other local residents) as key barriers to communication that lead to the heightening of residents’ perceptions of risks. Expert-professionals were also concerned about the ‘representativeness’ of the views and perceptions of the actively objecting and supporting residents in relation to the larger ‘silent’ majority of borough residents.

The ‘risk worldviews’ of lay publics, and experts in lay contexts, incorporates a form of qualitative risk or threat assessment that involves emotion, intuition, imagination and reason. This risk worldview and assessment process changes over time as people mature, have families, develop illnesses and add to their store of knowledge and experience. There is a core conceptualisation of risk by both the public and experts which is connected, like all concepts, to a web of other associated concepts, words, images and emotions. Individuals, both lay and expert, at this core level have a very similar understanding and notion of what risk is. Risk has three common facets: 1) danger/ hazard/ accident, 2) gamble/ chance/ possibility and 3) uncertainty/ future/ unknown.

Power, values and identity are three crucial aspects of residents’ and other stakeholders’ risk worldviews. The greater the sense of an illegitimate accumulation of power on the part of any given stakeholder in the process the more distrusted the motives of this stakeholder will be in the eyes of other stakeholders. The greater the feeling of an abuse of power through imposition and coercion, on the part of any given stakeholder, the greater the ‘outrage’ and distrust other stakeholders will feel. The greater the sense that stakeholders have selfish interests, values and motives the more anger, distrust and heightened perceptions of risks there will be. Finally, the further away a technological or other development is from an individual or community’s ideal notions of what their community and neighbourhood ought to be, the more threatened, upset and at risk they will feel. These symbolic aspects apply to private sector, public sector and voluntary sector organisations. However, in general, private business, especially ‘big business’, is seen to have less legitimate power and more selfish monetary values and motives than public and civil organisations (e.g. the local authority and community groups). Community groups are the most positively viewed and trusted organisations but even they are not immune to being seen, by residents and other stakeholders, as illegitimate holders of power, nonrepresentative and set-up to further the selfish interests of their members to the detriment of the wider community.

Individual residents, and the community groups they form, are trusted more by other residents not because they are inherently more trustworthy but because they have the
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same level of power in these processes, they will face the same consequences should the development occur and tend to share the same ideals about what the local community and neighbourhood should look like. Hence ‘representativeness’, a key concern among expertprofessionals, is not necessary in a consultation process or for a set of individuals to represent the wider community. What is important are a shared sense of identity, shared values and the use or abuse of the power that these individuals have in any given situation. Resident representatives tend to be aware of the issue of whether they are true community representatives both of the residents who come to community meetings and of those who do not. They question their own legitimacy and try to ensure that they feedback to and have their mandate endorsed by local residents on a regular basis. These are the crucial differences between elected officials and local resident representatives in these kinds of situations. Elected officials tend not to live in the same area and therefore will not have to bear the same consequences. They also have more power and influence, their mandate is endorsed at longer intervals and they have to represent a wider group of interests at local, regional and national levels.

Experts because of their specialist knowledge, experience and professional ethos tend to display an objective, neutral, modernistic and technical perspective and approach which to residents appears as distant, remote, unemotional and cold. However they can and do understand what lay publics tend to feel but the professional ‘mask’ that they wear creates a distance and distortion between their own lay feelings and their professional judgement, which in turn creates a distance and distortion in their dealings with lay publics. This ‘mask’ is useful to professionals because it increases their sense of control and reduces their feelings of uncertainty in their dealings with lay publics.

A number of specific key influences on risk perception emerged during this study which closely parallel those discussed in the literature review. Proximity or nearness to the potential site increases residents’ perceptions of risks and the likelihood that they will actively protest against the WTS. Women, on the whole, are more concerned about the WTS than men. Knowledge of waste disposal facilities and direct experience of these facilities tends to reduce residents’ perceptions of risks. Having an existing health condition or children tends to make residents more concerned and more aware of the potential risks of the WTS and its impacts on them and their neighbourhoods. Finally, in terms of communication, family and friends have an important influence in heightening (and reducing) perceptions of risks while having a long term consultative involvement with key stakeholders tends to reduce perceptions of risks.

Expert professionals need to address the concerns of lay people by addressing their direct, process and symbolic concerns simultaneously. They need to be less concerned and ambivalent about the legitimacy and representativeness of community groups. They need

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to understand that community groups have strong community legitimacy and are key social channels of communication and cohesion. Addressing residents’ concerns involves longterm ongoing dialogue well after a planning and siting process has concluded. Stakeholders with power also need to demonstrate that their values encompass serving the wider community and respecting people as well as providing direct evidence of self-sacrifice, in terms of time, money and other resources, for the sake of other less powerful stakeholders. They also need to openly acknowledge the differential power that they hold, ensure that the use of that power is handled in a sensitive, careful and cautious manner and apologise and take remedial action when there is seen to be an abuse of power. This involves listening and acting on local issues and concerns in a positive and prompt way.

Finally, urban neighbourhoods have strong similarities with rural neighbourhoods. Urban residents have almost identical concerns about the siting of WDFs to those expressed by rural communities, a comparable sense of community or ‘neighbourliness’ and analogous ideals about what their neighbourhoods and communities should be like.

11.3 Recommendations
The overarching recommendations that I feel emerge from this thesis are the need for stakeholders to understand the differing priorities and perceptions of risks that other stakeholders have, particularly residents, and the need to develop approaches that integrate this understanding in explicit and implicit ways into the EIA, siting and planning process for WDFs and other types of developments. This study also highlights the need for the planning process as a whole and EIAs, in particular, to incorporate the process and symbolic concerns that communities and other stakeholders have as well as the social, cultural and historical context of the local area.

11.3.1 Strategic domestic waste management
Change generates uncertainty and uncertainty generates concern and anxiety. Changes that are imposed and unwanted rather than negotiated and wanted increase concerns and perceptions of being at risk. Any strategic waste management plan needs to manage this change by incorporating and making explicit certain key values: the fair distribution of risks and benefits, the enhancement of a sense of community, the creation of pleasing environments, openness, honesty, participation and empowerment.

Starting with first principles there are number of key questions facing policy-makers: 1) Is waste management necessary ?

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2) Can we have no or zero risk ? 3) Can everyone choose which risks they want to be exposed to and which not ? 4) How can we choose collectively where to site WDFs and who should decide these issues ? 5) Do we want to manage, contain and suppress public fears, concerns and perceptions of being at risk or do we want to empower and enable residents to understand waste issues and make informed choices for themselves, their communities and for society as a whole ?

The first two questions are relatively unproblematic to answer, waste management is a necessary part of modern societies and it is not possible to provide a no or zero risk environment. The third question is more difficult, but at the moment, we cannot always choose which risks we want to be exposed to and which not and this is certainly the case for societal processes, programmes and projects. However, this question and answer raises issues of the justice and fairness of imposing risks on others and leads to the fourth and fifth questions (Stephens, Bullock et al. 2001). If we choose to manage, contain and suppress public fears and concerns then we need to realise that we can only do so temporarily and that over the long term this is likely to lead to covert and overt conflict between the different stakeholders in society. If we choose a collective process that empowers and enables residents to make informed decisions for themselves, their communities and for society as whole then we need to involve lay publics in developing waste management plans and the strategic environmental assessments of waste issues (Petts 1995). This would enable lay knowledges, experiences and insights as well as their professional knowledges and experiences to be integrated into these strategic plans and assessments. Their participation will enhance the credibility of these plans and assessments with lay publics who may potentially have to live near these WDFs. Furthermore, these lay people can act as advocates and ‘champions’ in their own local communities increasing the knowledge and information local people have about these policy and decision-making processes.

Policy-makers, especially when direct involvement is not possible, because of time and resources constraints, need to better understand the key influences on lay publics’ perceptions of risks so that they can develop coherent policies that take account of residents direct, process and symbolic concerns at local, regional and national levels. In this study residents saw no coherent plan which showed why a new WTS was needed in Islington and in this neighbourhood, how this siting fitted into the wider waste management strategy for the seven borough consortium and how this WTS complemented the other WDFs located in the region. Residents were also concerned about the lack of a sustainable and coherent transport strategy for taking away the waste from the WTS and the inadequacy of the reasoning behind the proposed approach. In this case instead of using

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the disused rail depot and railway lines on the derelict site the waste was going to be taken away by lorry, increasing the traffic and consequent negative effects two-fold, all because the national rail authority felt there was no way that the line could be brought safely into use.

‘Ugly’ technologies like WDFs need to be sensitively, imaginatively and aesthetically designed so that they strengthen the sense of community, bring people together and enhance the urban landscape for example by having community facilities like an artificial ski slope or an environmental resource centre (Logsdon 1989). If this is not possible then providing a surrounding green ‘Eden’ would hide and mask the ugliness and industrial aesthetic of these facilities by for example creating a roof garden and landscaped areas with scented flowers, shrubs and trees. Alongside these design aspects operationally these facilities need to integrate into and become part of their local neighbourhoods by bringing people into the facility and becoming community and neighbourhood resources through open days for local people, school visits, environmental seminars and other kinds of social and educational activities.

Finally, at both strategic and local levels WDF sitings should involve an environmental improvement programme that visibly raises the quality of the wider local environment, ideally as the WTS is being built, by improving the cleanliness of the area, removing graffiti and refurbishing existing local parks and amenities. This could be linked to an environmental or neighbourhood renewal or remedy fund - created by the developer, operator and government - that would provide long term finance for remedying any damage caused by the construction and operation of the WDF as well as improving the local area more generally. This fund would be community and resident-led with local people directing what the environmental priorities were and how the money was spent.

11.3.2 Siting and planning process
As stated in the previous section, change generates uncertainty which in turn generates concern and worry. Communities see the planning process as a social and community decision about which development is best for the neighbourhood as a whole. In contrast, expert-professionals see the EIA, siting and planning process as a discrete process that is isolated from other developments and from previous applications. They also see the decision-making as an individual and isolated event, albeit one that should fit within the borough’s overall development plan, that starts with the planning submission and ends with the granting of planning consent. In contrast residents want to be involved well before this point and see the granting of planning permission as a ‘green light’ for developers to do

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what they want as there tends to be no formal explicit mechanism to monitor and enforce the promises made by the developer during the planning process.

The siting and planning process needs to be changed from the way it is currently perceived as a ‘winner-takes-all and losers-gain-nothing’ process to a ‘win-win’ one. A process that moves from conflict and distrust to cooperation and negotiation. This could be achieved by creating a siting and planning process that starts with residents being involved in developing the strategic waste management plan and does not end with the granting of planning consent but carries on with the monitoring and review of the operation and impact of the WDF through a residents’ oversight committee (Renn, Webler et al. 1991; Lynn and Busenberg 1995). Furthermore, expert-professionals need to be more aware of the existing knowledge on how siting and planning processes should be run, for example the Facility Siting Credo, as well as other voluntary siting approaches (Kunreuther and Susskind 1991; Rabe 1994). Though these approaches are not guaranteed to prevent concern, protest and conflict they have been used successfully in North America to reduce local community concerns. One radical approach would be for planning authorities to actively side with and give greater weight to residents rather than acting as neutral referees. This would over time help to reduce the distrust and misgivings that residents have about the planning authority’s motives and make decisions which go against local residents more bearable. Ultimately, expert-professionals need to share their power so that residents feel greater control and less uncertainty. This would inevitably mean that expert-professionals would feel, and have to deal with, greater uncertainty but they would in return be sharing the responsibility of any subsequent decisions reached and any future problems that might result. Expertprofessionals also need to explicitly recognise and accept that a better consultation and planning process with less conflict and distrust may just lead to residents simply expressing a stronger and clearer objection.

Consultation processes need to start earlier and run longer. They should involve regular public meetings at regular times and places to update and inform residents of what is currently happening in ‘behind the scenes’ negotiations and to disseminate new information and feedback on previously discussed issues. Consultations also need to explicitly incorporate the ethical-moral values of honesty, transparency, equity, democracy and accountability. Residents also need to be educated in the legal and process aspects of siting and planning processes so that they are aware of and have explained to them the legal framework which, at first sight, may seem illogical and unfair. Residents also need to be informed of the detailed history of the potential site, other previous applications for development and the reasons for their refusal as well as why this site in particular is the best one for a WDF.

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The siting and planning process needs to be seen as a multi-way communication and dialogue forum where stakeholders (e.g. developer, planning authority, waste disposal authority, health authority and community groups) are all key actors and should be present to answer questions and explain their perspectives and priorities on the WDF and the siting. Importantly, expert-professional stakeholders must recognise the legitimacy and value of community groups in representing local views and concerns however ‘unrepresentative’ they may seem in other ways. Finally, the consultation and information meetings should be continued well after planning permission has been granted so that residents concerns when the facility is built and operational are heard and acted upon. As mentioned earlier this could include the creation of legally framed community forums or citizen committees that would monitor the operation of the facility and help ensure, alongside the planning authority and Environment Agency, that residents’ concerns are acted upon.

11.3.3 Public consultation programmes
It is important to use a wide range of approaches to meet residents information needs including having designated places, with long opening hours, where information and planning documents are kept with experts present to discuss concerns and issues, informational leaflets sent to residents, websites, local newspapers and mobile exhibitions. All these channels need to be highly publicised, widely visible and easily accessible.

Public meetings are key forums for discussion, debate and information exchange. Where feasible, they should be held as near to the affected community and potential site as possible. This would increase the number of affected residents likely to attend as well as give a practical demonstration of the respect key stakeholders, especially the planning authority, have for local residents. In terms of the structure of public meetings, it is important for all key expert-professional stakeholder groups to be present so that the relevant experts are there to answer residents’ questions in detail. If the planning authority wants to show its neutrality and impartiality then it needs to act in that way by getting the developer to present their proposals, allowing other stakeholders such as the waste authority, police, health authority and rail authority to explain their own positions and priorities and playing a strictly coordinating and ‘refereeing’ role during the process. They also need to invite key departments within their own organisation to speak when residents raise concerns that involve them, for example environmental health departments on neighbourhood issues and finance departments when the sale of public land is involved.

Finally, using the local newspapers as regular channels for communicating the progress of the planning process, the key concerns of residents and the responses of key stakeholders would enable those residents not attending the meetings to keep abreast of the key issues.

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11.3.4 EIAs and environmental statements
Important contextual information on the social, political and cultural factors locally and the concerns of residents and other stakeholders could be explicitly incorporated into EIAs following the lead of the evolving methodology for health impact assessments (HIAs ) (Ison 2000). EIAs and their accompanying environmental statements could incorporate formally how each stakeholder views the risks, their key priorities and values, their perceptions of the other stakeholders as well as the local social, cultural, economic and political context of the neighbourhood. This would provide a more holistic assessment for local decisionmakers to base their decisions on as well as creating an important social, historical and technical data source for developing future public-centred strategic-level policies and programmes. More specifically, it would allow all the stakeholders to understand the perspectives of the other parties by making explicit the key concerns and priorities that each stakeholder group has and why. It would create more open and sustained dialogue and communication between stakeholders and probably lead to a marked reduction in antagonism and conflict. Lastly, it would turn environmental statements into social, instead of just technical, documents that can be used as a research resource to understand how community perceptions of risks change over time as well as helping to develop better national and regional-level strategic waste management plans and assessments that are more in keeping with the values and wishes of lay publics.

Practically, one simple way to incorporate these views would be to have a section on the key stakeholders and to explicate their perspectives, concerns and priorities in terms of the siting and planning process. This would include what their objectives were, why, what they hoped to gain, what specific concerns they had and why these issues were important to them. Key stakeholders would include the developer, planning authority, community groups, health authority, waste authority and other NGOs. There would also need to be a historical element incorporating in some detail important social, cultural and economic aspects of the neighbourhood where the siting was proposed. This would include a history of the site, the previous developers and developments that had been rejected and the reasons why. It would also include what attempts had been made to involve different stakeholders during the EIA and the successes and failures in engaging them in the process.

11.3.5 Expert-professionals & expert institutions
Expert-professionals and expert institutions have power in terms of knowledge, organisation and financial resources. This gives them a significant degree of control and
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certainty during siting and planning processes. Experts and expert-institutions need to relinquish and share their power with residents and work in partnership with them. They need to be more aware of the basis for lay publics’ perceptions of risks. As Wynne has argued, they and their institutions need to be trained to develop a reflective and reflexive professional approach during siting, consultation and planning processes (Wynne 1996). This is already happening in education and medicine where teachers and health professionals are developing the idea of the self-aware reflective and reflexive practitioner (Schon 1995; Johns 1998). This would make them more aware of their own attitudes and actions and how these impact positively and negatively on other stakeholders. It would also enable them to realise the value, validity and legitimacy of lay perspectives, knowledges and experiences. Furthermore, as Irwin points out, experts and institutions need to see environmental issues as ‘hybrid’ problems that cut across conventional institutional boundaries and professional disciplines (Irwin 2001b).

Reflective-reflexive practitioners or ‘postmodern professionals’ are more facilitators and practitioners than authorities and technicians. Their key characteristics include:
• • • • • • •

a recognition that they can be wrong and that they and their organisations have inherent limitations and biases, a recognition of the utility and validity of residents’ lay and professional knowledges and experiences, an understanding that they themselves have lay knowledges and experiences that they rely upon, a less directive and more guiding attitude, a partnership-based consensual decision-making approach in contrast to an authoritative expert one, an appreciation that they tend not to have to live with the consequences of their judgements and decisions during siting processes and the ability to be self-aware, reflect on their experiences and change their practice in the light of this awareness and reflection.

Siting and planning processes could also be made more reflective and reflexive by increasing the role of sociologists, anthropologists and community development practitioners who could add a dynamic element of reflection and reflexivity by identifying problems in stakeholder relationships and interactions earlier as well as helping to develop solutions to improve and enhance these relationships as the process unfolded. Finally, a more reflective and reflexive process could be developed through workshops and seminars involving all the actors so that they can talk about, discuss and better understand the differing perceptions and concerns of other stakeholders and the reasons behind them.

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11.4 Limitations of the Study
When I started this study I knew that it would be difficult to engage in a setting and community where there were strong feelings and heightened perceptions of threat. I felt that interviewing people as a researcher was likely to be very different from the other types of formal and informal interviews I have undertaken with lay publics in a variety of other community settings. I also sensed that being male and coming from an ethnic minority background might potentially cause unease in some of the people I approached.

During the study I was acutely aware of the potential negative perceptions that residents might have of a professional stranger’s presence in their neighbourhood asking about things that they cared deeply about. As I talked to and approached people in formal and informal settings I felt like an outsider who was, at least in some sense, imposing my own less important research needs and objectives in a situation where more important environmental and health issues and desires were at stake. One of the things I therefore had to grapple with was how to present myself in terms of why I was in the community as well as how I should dress and conduct myself. I decided to be straightforward about my reasons for being in the community which were to explore the perspectives of local people towards the siting of the WTS. I chose to pursue a consistent style of dress and so on most occasions I wore formal attire - a combination of suit, shirt and tie - when approaching the various stakeholder groups. I did change this approach later on in my fieldwork and on reflection I realise that it would have been more useful to approach professionals in formal attire and lay publics in casual clothes as one way of potentially reducing some of the suspicion and wariness that I sensed from some local people. However, I do not think this adversely affected my findings and it was likely that because of the siting issue regardless of who I was and what I wore residents would have been wary of any professional outsider during this time.

Part of my discomfort about changing my style of dress and presentation was a sense that I would be pretending to be something I was not and would hence appear false to stakeholders who saw me presenting myself differently in other settings or with other stakeholders. I felt that this chameleon-like approach would heighten rather than allay their fears and suspicions about me and the research I was doing. Part of this feeling was linked to residents’ concerns about the way other expert-professionals in the process interacted with them and their sense that many were projecting an outer image of care and concern that hid an inner attitude of self-interest and lack of concern. In a way, this issue was explicitly reflected back to me in my dealings with the umbrella objecting group who replied to my letter to talk to them in a suspicious and slightly dismissive way. This may have been because I had said that the research was government-funded, without saying that I was a

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student-researcher, and so they may have perceived me to be on the opposing side alongside the Council and Arsenal.

As I said before, I do not think the approach I used has affected my study findings but I realise now that I could have worn a variety of clothing and used a range of approaches in talking to people while still retaining my core identity of being a researcher who was sympathetic to and recognised the legitimacy of local people’s concerns. If I was to do this study over again I would aim to approach people in a variety of different ways and settings using a presentation style that would make people feel as comfortable as possible so that I could develop a faster and, perhaps, better rapport with them.

I was also acutely aware of my role in the process and the potential for me to be co-opted by particular stakeholders. A few residents did ask my professional views on the environmental health implications of the WTS to which I replied that there was unfortunately little or no research evidence on WTSs but that this did not mean that there concerns should not be listened to and taken account of during the siting and planning process. I was also approached by one of the developer’s consultants late in the process who wanted to know who in my institution worked on health impact assessments. I was helpful and gave them details of some of the people and institutions that they could contact but distanced myself from this by saying that this was not my field of expertise. I played a quiet and passive role and did not attempt to become a more active participant and stakeholder in the siting process. I originally hoped to do some voluntary work at a local community centre and to use it as a base to do my research work but unfortunately there were no community centres in the neighbourhood around the proposed site. Here again, if I was to do this study over I would have lived in the community, taken part in community routines and made greater efforts to find some paid or unpaid work in the neighbourhood. This I think would have made me more of a resident of the community, albeit a temporary one, and could have enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of the community and neighbourhood as well as allowed me to be a more active and less distanced stakeholder in the process.

In terms of the data collected and analysed, though I made every attempt to ensure that the fieldwork used a robust and rigorous research methodology, there are inevitably a number of limitations to this study. The public comments were a large dataset to analyse and draw conclusions from however they were not a representative random sample of the neighbourhood where the proposed WTS was being sited or of the borough of Islington as a whole. A self-selecting group of residents wrote in - those who felt strongly enough and confident enough to write in - that did not include a whole range of other residents (e.g. those with less strongly felt concerns, those who were unconcerned, those who lacked the confidence to write in English and those from other cultural and ethnic backgrounds where writing to those in power was not part of their social repertoire). However, the aim of this

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study was specifically to understand residents’ perceptions of environmental and health risks rather than to develop a representative understanding of residents’ views of the WTS. The residents who wrote the public comments were not representative of the whole neighbourhood or borough but they were representative of residents’ perceptions of the potential environmental and health risks posed by the WTS.

The in-depth interviews were small in number. It can be argued that a larger and more heterogeneous group would have increased the robustness and rigour of the interview findings and could also have allowed newer insights to emerge. This criticism does not invalidate the findings from these respondents but does raise questions about the transferability of these findings to other contexts - both to other communities and to other types of facilities. However, I believe that despite the small sample size the interview findings are internally consistent and connect up with the findings from the written public comments, the observations at the public meetings, the informal conversations with local people as well as paralleling the work done in other countries (Reams and Templet 1996; Baxter 1997; Gaffin 1997). Overall, I believe this study’s findings do provide important insights into the siting and planning process for WDFs that can be learnt from and transferred to other settings

11.5 Contributions to Knowledge
This study has contributed to knowledge in a number of ways. It provides confirmatory evidence for other research exploring lay publics’ perceptions of risks. There has been little work on attempting to place in context the various perspectives on risk and risk perception and to developing a conceptual-analytical framework for understanding stakeholders’ perceptions of risks in the context of siting and planning processes. This study has developed such a framework to help analyse and understand the differing perceptions of risks in the context of a siting and planning process involving an EIA. There has also been no previous risk perception research that has followed a siting and planning process, incorporating an EIA, for any kind of waste disposal facility in a populated urban area in the UK. Finally, there has been no previous qualitative research on the risk perceptions of stakeholders during the siting of a waste transfer station.

In terms of the existing literature at the community level this study links strongly into the work of Baxter on the meaning of environmental risk, Edelstein on communities affected by contamination events as well as Wynne on local lay knowledges (Edelstein 1988; Wynne 1992; Baxter 2000). At the individual level it provides strong support for the plural rationalities perspective as described by Schwarz and Thompson while also supporting the role of emotion and intuition as described by Margolis and the outrage model developed by

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Sandman (Schwarz and Thompson 1990; Margolis 1996; Sandman 1996). In terms of the conceptual framework, as well as the above perspectives, the direct concerns strand feeds into the factors described by Sandman and the psychometric approach (Fischhoff, Slovic et al. 1978; Slovic 1992; Sandman 1996). The process concerns strand feeds into Rayner's fairness hypothesis and the social amplification of risk (Kasperson, Renn et al. 1998; Rayner and Cantor 1998). Lastly, the symbolic concerns strand feeds into Douglas' work on risk and culture and Beck’s and Giddens’ 'risk society' perspectives (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982; Giddens 1990; Beck 1992).

The methodological contributions of this study are the need to use a multi-theoretical approach to understand the full complexity of perceptions of risks; the need to study all the stakeholders in the process including residents, public sector officials, business people, and risk experts; and the value of a qualitative approach to understanding environmental and health risk perception in a community context because it makes explicit the different conceptualisations of threat and risk within and between residents and expert-professionals (Irwin 2001b). Irwin has also argued, and this thesis would support, that sociology needs to move away from the realist versus constructionist divide and see the social and the natural as “actively generated co-constructions” in other words that the social and the natural are constructed and re-constructed in different contexts and in the interactions between different stakeholders and their relationships to each other (Ibid pg. 173).

The policy importance of this research is three-fold firstly on purely democratic and social justice grounds it is important for researchers, policy-makers and decision-makers to take into consideration the concerns raised by lay publics. Secondly, by understanding how and why residents and other stakeholders hold the risk views that they do there is an opportunity to develop approaches to bridge not only the risk perception gap but importantly its consequences: the gaps in trust, communication, values and democratic accountability that were described in Chapter 1. This is likely to lead to a reduction in conflict and an increase in cooperation between lay publics, community groups, environmental NGOs, scientists, risk consultants, businesses and governments. There is also likely to be a reduction in the stresses and concerns within communities and savings in time, cost and effort in siting developments. Finally, it could also lead to more effective environmental and health policies and programmes that work in partnership with local communities and have a greater positive impact locally and nationally.

11. 6 Suggested Directions for Future Research
As described in section 6.4 on the study design it would be worthwhile doing a larger study involving a quantitative and qualitative aspect, with focus groups, that followed two

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communities where a WDF siting was taking place. Other future research would include firstly, assessing the analytical-conceptual framework developed here in terms of the siting of other waste disposal facilities as well as other types of technological facilities. Secondly, undertaking a more detailed investigation of the symbolic concerns of residents and other stakeholders and the symbolic interactions between them. Thirdly, exploring in more depth the role of popular culture in creating, shaping and transforming lay publics’ and expertprofessionals’ perceptions of risks. Fourthly, investigating the value of sociologists, anthropologists and community development professionals in helping to address the process and symbolic concerns that emerge during siting and planning processes. Finally, in the UK, there needs to be a study of siting and planning processes that use existing frameworks like the Facility Siting Credo and other types of siting approaches to find out which approaches are best able to deal with residents’ and other stakeholders’ concerns in the context of British society, culture and planning processes.

11.7 Summary
In this thesis, and this chapter, I have argued that only by understanding residents and other stakeholders perceptions of risks can the siting and planning of WDFs and other types of technological facilities be undertaken in urban and rural communities without intense distrust, conflict and social and psychological harm being generated. A single siting and planning process should not be seen as isolated and on its own but as part of the wider set of societal siting and planning processes. Therefore, when these processes work badly and destroy the social and community relationships between residents, local governments and other stakeholders they have impacts that ripple through the wider society and to other siting and planning processes. The siting of WTSs is one instance where people are faced with the contradictions and compromises of modern societies, specifically, how most developments pose risks as well as benefits. Only by recognising this contradiction and the ambivalence and uncertainty that this generates can policies and decisions be made that are in the best interests of communities and societies. Modern societies can no longer have experts and expert institutions that uncritically and unreflectively apply a rationalist approach to dealing with societal issues. Instead, they must understand, value and incorporate the plural rationalities and understandings that lay publics and other stakeholders have in any given situation or process. Finally, sociology has a key role to play in uncovering and helping to understand the complex interactions between the social and the environmental and the way different stakeholders construct the social, the environment and risk.

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Appendix 1
Background Information on Interviewed Residents

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A1.1: Background Information on Interviewed Residents
Name Male/ Female M M M F F F F Location of home to site NW NW E NW SE NW NW Ethnicity Disability Housing Partner/ Single Partner Partner Partner Partner Single Single Single Young Kids Y N N Y N N N Major Occupation Graphic Designer Librarian Journalist Anthropologist Media Film Producer Teacher Interviews 123 12 12 123 1 1 123 123

Kevin Michael Alan Rachel Judy Diana Janet

W W W W W W W

N N N N N Y Y

Lisa

F

N

W

Y

Susan

F

S

A/C

N

Owner occupier Owner occupier Owner occupier Owner occupier Owner occupier Owner occupier Housing Association Rented Housing Association Rented Council Estate Rented

Single

N

Artist

123

Partner

Y

Youth Worker

12

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Appendix 2
Round 1 Interview 1 Themes for Residents & Other Stakeholders (Expert-Professionals)

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A2.1: Community Residents Interview Guide 1.1
TOPIC

QUESTIONS
• • • • • Short Personal Biography Why doing this research What research will involve What interviews will involve What this interview will involve –theme list Some background on you How you see the area & community you live in How you see your place in this area & community What social networks you belong to What sources of information and news you use What values are important to you What general concerns you have about the area What you think about the siting of the WTS What you think about the other stakeholders involved in this issue. What you think about the awareness and consultation process

NOTES

INTRODUCTION

INTERVIEW THEMES (Prompt you to think deeper)

• • • • • • • • • •

Why do you say that?

Why do you use that word?

In what way?

Is it more than that?

Do others see it that way ? Can you give me an example?

AREA

How did you come to live here in the 1 place?
st

Why do you say that? EMOTIONS IMAGES

- What were you expectations ? and what did you actually find? - Do you see yourself / family still living here in 5 yr time? - How has the area/ ctty changed during the time you’ve lived here?

Environment - QOL Work - Amenities Family-friends

Neighbours

What do you think of this area and the community here?

Children - Future

- how would you describe them?

What things are important to you about this area & ctty?

COMMUNITY

• •

Is there a sense of community/ neighbourhood here? How do you see yourself in terms of this area? How do you feel you fit?

Why?

- in terms of Islington as a whole ? - in terms of London as a whole?

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SOCIAL NETWORKING

Do you have relatives or friends living in this area ?

- how often do you see or speak to them?

What kinds of community activities are you involved in ?
Why?

- local pubs, clubs, religious activities, volunteering, school, etc

Do you belong to any organised groups locally or nationally?

- voluntary grps, charity or school/play grps, etc?

INFO SOURCES

Where do you get most of you local news and information from?

Why?

- family, friends, newspapers, tv, radio, etc

Where do you get most of your national news from?
How would you RANK them?

How much confidence do you place in what they say?

VALUES

What things are important to you in your everyday life - outside of work?
- what values are important to you?

Why?


GENERAL CONCERNS

And in your working life ?
SHOW CARDS ( Health - Environment Economic - Crime & Safety )

• •

What things and issues worry you in this area? How would you rank the issues in terms of importance to you?
-is this how others in the ctty feel?

Why?

• • •

How have these issues changed? What/who do you think is responsible for causing them? What do you think can be done about them?


Who do you think should sort them out ?
(Has your work/professional life shaped your view of these things)

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Please point out the ‘hotspots’ of concern for you in the area

SHOW street map of area

SPECIFIC CONCERNS WTS

What do you think about the proposed siting of a WTS ?
how does that make you feel? what concerns you ? how would you rank them in terms of importance? Is this how others see it in the ctty?

Why?

SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT HEALTH Etc…

What images, emotions and thoughts come to you when you think of:
a recycling facility a landfill? an incinerator? a waste transfer station?

SHOW CARDS

Why?

Which would worry you the most and which least?
- in general – in health terms Why? in environmental terms

Have you ever had any experiences of living next to an industrial facility or other large development?
what was it like?

Have any family members/ friends lived near industrial facilities?
- what did they tell you it was like ?

VIEW OF OTHER STAKEHOLDERS

Whom have you turned to for information and advice about your concerns about the proposed siting?

Why?

Why?

Who do you feel are the other key stakeholders involved in the siting process?
Why? SHOW CARDS

Looking at the other

TRUST POWER

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stakeholders:
- What do you think of Islington Council ? environmental health department - What do you think of Arsenal FC ? - What do you think of local voluntary groups/ organisation? - What do you think of the businesses in the area? - What do you think of the Waste Disposal Authority - What do you think of National Government? environment agency

INFLUENCE

AWARENESS & CONSULTATION

The Council produced a leaflet and undertook a consultation exercise to get local residents views and has set up a timetable of events
-What did you think about it? -What could they have done to make it better?

SHOW LEAFLET & TIMETABLE

Why?

FURTHER ISSUES/ COMMENTS

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY/ ASK ANYTHING ELSE? ?

FINISH

• •

THANK YOU for your time, I will be contacting you if that is okay. Do you have my contact no. and address?

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A2.2: Other Stakeholders Interview Guide 1.1
TOPIC

QUESTIONS
• • • • • Short Personal Biography Why doing this research What research will involve What interviews will involve What this interview will involve –theme list

PROBES

INTRODUCTION

INTERVIEW THEMES (Prompt you to think deeper)

• • • • • • • • •

Some background on you How you see your profession/ job & your role & professional networks How you see this area & community What sources of information and news you use What general concerns you have about the area What you think about the siting of a WTS What you think about the other stakeholders involved in this issue & their views What you think about the awareness and consultation process What values are important to you

Why do you say that?

Why do you use that word?

In what way? Is it more than that?

Do others see it that way ? Can you give me an example

PROFESSION

How

did

you

get

into

this

job/profession?
- How long have you worked in this field ? - What things are important to you professionally? - What values are important to you? to your organisation ? to the wider profession ?

• •

How do you relate to other parts of your organisation? What other local organisations do you have close contact with
• • What local professional networks do you work with? What are your key sources of information of professional info?

AREA

How would you describe this area?
- what things do you think are important?

Why?

GENERAL CONCERNS

• •

What things and issues concern you in this area? How would you rank the issues in terms
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of importance? • • How have these issues changed over time? What/who do you think is responsible for causing them? • •
Why?

What do you think can be done about them? Who do you think should sort them out ?

Please point out the ‘hotspots’ of concern for you in this area.
SPECIFIC CONCERNS WTS
SHOW MAP

What are your concerns about the siting of the WTS being sited in this Community ?
- How would you rank them in importance - Would this be your organisations view? - Would this be the wider professions view

Why?

SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT HEALTH Etc…

What is your view of the environmental issues?
- Would this be your organisations view? - Would this be the wider professions view Why?

What is your view of the health issues?
- Would this be your organisations view? - Would this be the wider professions view

What do you think are the Community’s concerns about the siting of the WDF?
- how would they rank them in importance

VIEWS OF OTHER STAKEHOLDERS

How do you think the public in general tends to view your profession/work?

How do you know this e.g. your experience, surveys, media, etc.

• •

How much do you know about this community? How do you think this local community views your work?
Why? Why?

Who do feel are the other key

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stakeholders in the siting process?
• • What do you think/ feel is the role of the other stakeholders? How MUCH do you know about their views?

How do you see them fitting into this siting-planning process?
What do you think of Islington Council ? - environmental health department What do you think of Arsenal FC ? What do you think of local voluntary groups/ organisation? What do you think of the businesses in the area? What do you think of the Waste Disposal Authority What do you think of National Government? - environment agency FoE ISCA ISA RESIDENTS GROUPS


AWARENESS & CONSULTATION

The Council produced a leaflet and undertook a consultation exercise to get local residents views and has set up a timetable of events
-What did you think about it? -What could they have done to make it better?

SHOW LEAFLET & TIMETABLE

Why?

INFO SOURCES

In terms of this community you are working in how do you get news and information about local issues/ incidents?

Why?

How do you see the role of the media and its affect on the siting processes
- in general? - in this siting process?

SPECIFIC CONCERNS WTS 2

What images and thoughts come to you when you think of:
-a recycling facility - a landfill - an incinerator - a waste transfer station

SHOW CARDS

Why?

How would you rank them in terms of

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causing the local ctty greatest concern?
PERSONAL VALUES & EXPERIENCES

How do feel your professional values relate to your personal values and experiences?

Have you ever had any experiences of living next to an industrial facility or other large development?
- what was it like? Why?

Have any family/ friends lived near industrial facilities?
- what did they tell you it was like ?

FURTHER ISSUES/ COMMENTS FINISH

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY/ ASK ANYTHING ELSE? ?

THANK YOU for your time, I will be contacting you if that is okay. Do you have my contact no.

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Appendix 3

Appendix 3
Round 1 Interview 2 Joint Themes for Residents & Other Stakeholders (Expert-Professionals)

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Appendix 3

A3.1: Joint Community & Stakeholders Interviews 1.2
TOPIC

QUESTIONS
Review of Issues discussed at first interview Clarification and probing of points raised.

NOTES

Why do you say that? Why use that word?

INTERVIEW THEMES

How you think about certain ideas/ concepts

In what way? Is it more than that? Do others see that way?

Get you to think a little deeper about the siting issues

DEVELOPMENTS

See Sheet on Developments • Choose TWO (2) Developments from the list below:
1. 2. 3. Which you would not mind living near? Which you definitely would not want to live near ? Which you are not sure whether you would mind or not ?

Why?

RISK

See sheet on Risk • What WORDS from the list below do you LINK/ RELATE to, or ASSOCIATE with, the word RISK
- Add Other Words that are not on this list Why?

SCIENCE

See sheet on Science • What WORDS from the list below do you LINK/ RELATE to, or ASSOCIATE with, the word SCIENCE
- Add Other Words that are not on this list Why?

VALUES COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

See sheet on Science • What ISSUES-THEMES do you consider to be the most important when a WDF is being sited ?

SHOW WORDS

Why?

- Add Other Words that are not on this list

WDF

Strategy

&

We NEED WDF’s because we all create waste and rubbish, the community and the wider society needs them.

SHOW CARDS

Process

Why is this important?

Does this affect how you think and feel? Would you take this into consideration?
• •


FURTHER ISSUES/ COMMENTS FINISH

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY/ ASK ANYTHING ELSE? ? THANK YOU for your time, I will be contacting you if that is okay.

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Appendix 4

Appendix 4
Round 2 Interview 3 Themes for Residents

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Appendix 4

A4.1: Community Residents Interviews 2.1
TOPIC QUESTIONS
st

PROBES

REVIEW

Review of Issues discussed in 1 phase of interviews 1. Are there any issues with the summary of the first interview? 2. Are there any issues you wanted to start off with?

VIEWS ON OUTCOME OF PROCESS CHANGE OF VIEWS IN GENERAL OTHER STAKEHOLDERS

3. What do you think about the result? 4. How does it make you feel? Why?

5. Has your views/ perceptions changed since we last met? 6. Why do you think that might be? 7. What do you think/feel about the Council and its role now? 8. What do you think/feel about Arsenal and its role now? 9. What do you think/feel about the community groups taking part? 10. What about any of the other stakeholders?

PROCESS

11. Do you think that your experience of this process has changed the way you will view these kinds of siting processes in the future? 12. In what way? 13. Why do you think/feel that might be? 14. Would you have thought or done anything different if you had known what you now know about the process?

CHANGE IN VIEWS ABOUT WTS

15. Has your concerns/ priorities about the WTS changed? 16. Why do you think that might be? 17. What do you think could have been done during the planning process to reduce your concerns/ worries about the WTS?

FURTHER COMMENT

Are there any other things you would like to talk about or raise ?

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Appendix 5

Appendix 5
Information Leaflet, Invitation Letter and Consent Form

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Appendix 5

A5.1: Information Leaflet - Outside Details

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Appendix 5

A5.2: Information Leaflet - Inside Details

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A5.3: Invitation Letter
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
(University of London)
RDSC, 2 Taviton Street, London, WC1E 7HT Tel: 020-7927 2284 Fax: 020-7383 7326

Department of Public Health & Policy Health Services Research Unit

Invitation Letter for Potential Participants

29th January 2001 Dear Sir/ Madam, I am investigating community and other stakeholders views and concerns in the siting of new developments in their neighbourhood, specifically waste disposal facilities. Stakeholders are all the different people and organisations who have a stake or interest in what happens in a local neighbourhood. You are likely to be aware that Arsenal Football Club is proposing to relocate to a new stadium on the grounds of an existing waste transfer station at Ashburton Grove. This waste transfer facility will in turn have to be moved to a site in Lough Road. As a stakeholder in this siting process I would like to invite you to take part in this research project. The accompanying leaflet explains in more detail what the study would involve and why it is important. Your participation is important and would provide the opportunity to find ways of improving the way the such local issues are dealt with and ensuring that the views of local people are taken into account when such policies and decisions are made. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at the address and telephone number given above and in the information leaflet. I would be delighted if you would therefore either send the enclosed formal consent form in the stamped addressed envelope provided or hand it to me when we next meet to formally confirm your willingness to participate in this research project. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely,

Salim Vohra

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Appendix 5

A5.4 Consent Form
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
(University of London)
RDSC, 2 Taviton Street, London, WC1E 7HT Tel: 020-7927 2284 Fax: 020-7383 7326

Department of Public Health & Policy Health Services Research Unit

CONSENT FORM

Understanding Community & Other Stakeholder Views and Concerns in the Potential Siting of a Waste Disposal Facility

PleaseDelete As Appropriate

1. I confirm that I have read and understood the information leaflet concerning this research project. 2. I understand what will be involved in this project and what I am being asked to participate in. 3. My questions concerning this research project have been answered by Salim Vohra 4. I understand that my participation is entirely voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time, without giving any reason

Yes / No

Yes / No

Yes/ No

Yes / No

5. I formally agree to take part in this research project:

Signed: ………………………………………. Name: Address:

Date: ……………………..

………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………..

Contact Phone No:

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If you would like to receive a copy of a report based on this project then please tick this box
Page 251

Appendix 6

Appendix 6
Interview Prompts and Words Association Exercise Materials

Page 252

Appendix 6

A6.1: Prompt Cards for Neighbourhood Issues
Social Issues Poverty Housing Local Services Transport

Environmental Issues Air Pollution Noise Dirty Streets Lack of Open Green Park Areas

Economic Issues Unemployment Businesses in Area Costs of Living in Area

Crime & Safety Burglary Vandalism Graffiti Car Theft

Health Issues Local Health Service Community Health Personal & Family Health Quality of Life

Page 253

Appendix 6

A6.2: Developments Used for Likes & Dislikes Exercise

Gas-Fired Power Station Chemical/ Plastics Factory Large Hospital Engineering Works Waste Incinerator Pesticide Manufacturer Low Security Prison Recycling Facility Through Road

Large Car Plant Computer Manufacturer Football Stadium Small Housing Estate Sports/ Leisure Centre Waste Transfer Station Domestic Landfill Sewage Works Shopping Centre

Page 254

Appendix 6

A6.3: Words Used for the Risk Association Exercise

Accident Anger Danger Defect Luck Future Good

Benefit Bad Blame Environment Fault Gamble Hazard

Chance Business Failure Fair Fear Government Health Loss Opportunity Present Positive Science Uncertain Unknown Unfair Worry

Human Error Helplessness Modern New Possibility Potential Society Tempt Technology Victim Negative Old Progress Probability Threat Untested Uncertainty Vulnerable

Page 255

Appendix 6

A6.4 Words Used for Science Association Exercise

Authority Benefit Clean Emotional Expertise Unfair Humane Industry Modern Necessary Negative Present Safe

Bad Business Dangerous Ethical Enhancing Good Inhumane Knowledge Moral Reason New Progress Society

Changing Cold Dirty Frightening Environment Government Immoral Logical Natural Rational Positive Research Neutral Useful

Technology Trustworthy

Unnatural Unnecessary Untrustworthy Useless Truth Unethical Worthwhile Value Fact

Page 256

Appendix 6

A6.5: Types of Stakeholders Used for the Mapping Exercise

Councillors

Dept. of Environ., Transport & Regions
(Government)

Residents Journalists
(Islington Gazette/ H & I Express)

EIA Consultants
(Paid by Islington Council)

Public Health Dept.
(Islington Health Authority)

Environmental Group Members
(Friends of the Earth)

Environmental Health Dept.
(Islington Borough Council)

Judges & Lawyers Developers
(Arsenal F.C.)

NL Waste Disposal Authority Greater London Authority Planning Dept.
(Islington Borough Council)

EIA Consultants
(Paid by Developer)

Local Businesses
(including Chamber of Commerce)

Health Researcher
(Local University)

Page 257

Appendix 6

A6.6: Prompt Cards Used to Discuss Strategic Waste Issues
“We ALL create waste and rubbish, ourselves, our families and our communities. We HAVE to manage and dispose of this waste and rubbish – food, paper, plastics, clothes, appliances, household chemicals, grass cuttings, etc. We are RUNNING OUT of landfill space far away from where it is created. NOW we MUST manage and dispose of waste LOCALLY where it is created. Hence we NEED to SITE Waste Disposal Facilities – Landfills, Incinerators, Waste Transfer Stations and Recycling Facilities in and around our LOCAL COMMUNITIES.”

Where Does London’s Waste Go?

Every year 2.75 million tonnes of waste is produced in London of which ONLY 1 million tonnes (30%) is managed & disposed of INSIDE London (numbers on arrows show no. of tonnes times by 1000)

Map of Waste Flow Courtesy of the Greater London Authority

Page 258

Appendix 6

A6.7: Words Used for Values Association Exercise

Acceptability Fairness Openness Information Equity Choice Power Influence Politics Time Benefits Accuracy Trust Regulation Safety Health

Cooperation Understanding Compromise Respect Consideration Consultation Community Ethical Society Distance Honesty Danger Credibility Site

Participation Conflict Explanation Value Expertise Economic Legal Moral Individual Scientific Forced Democratic Imposition Construction

Compensation Environment Future Sustainability

Page 259

Appendix 7

Appendix 7
Residents & Other Stakeholders (Expert-Professionals) ‘Worldview’ Maps

Page 260

Appendix 7

A7.1: Kevin’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 261

Appendix 7

A7.2: Kevin’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 262

Appendix 7

A7.3: Michael’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 263

Appendix 7

A7.4: Michael’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 264

Appendix 7

A7.5: Alan’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 265

Appendix 7

A7.6: Alan’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 266

Appendix 7

A7.7: Susan’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 267

Appendix 7

A7.8: Susan’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 268

Appendix 7

A7.9: Lisa’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 269

Appendix 7

A7.10: Lisa’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 270

Appendix 7

A7.11: Diana’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 271

Appendix 7

A7.12: Diana’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 272

Appendix 7

A7.13: Janet’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 273

Appendix 7

A7.14: Janet’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 274

Appendix 7

A7.15: Rachel’s Worldview Map Part 1 Only

Page 275

Appendix 7

A7.16: Judy’s Worldview Map Part 1 Only

Page 276

Appendix 7

A7.17: Waste Authority Officer’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 277

Appendix 7

A7.18: Waste Authority Officer’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 278

Appendix 7

A7.19: Councillor’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 279

Appendix 7

A7.20: Councillor’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 280

Appendix 7

A7.21: Planning & EIA Consultant’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 281

Appendix 7

A7.22: Planning & EIA Consultant’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 282

Appendix 7

A7.23: Public Health Doctor’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 283

Appendix 7

A7.24: Public Health Doctor’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 284

Appendix 7

A7.25: Community Centre Manager’s Worldview Map Part 1

Page 285

Appendix 7

A7.26: Community Centre Manager’s Worldview Map Part 2

Page 286

Appendix 8

Appendix 8
Results of WDF Rankings, Development Likes and Dislikes Exercise, Stakeholder-Mapping & Word Association Exercises

The collated tables of results are not meant to be seen as a quantitative analysis of the data collected but as another way of getting a flavour of the kinds of themes raised by residents and experts.

Page 287

Appendix 8

A8.1: Residents’ (and Professionals’ Understanding) Concerns about the Neighbourhood
PROMPTED & UNPROMPTED CONCERNS COMBINED (1=Concern Blank=Not felt to be a concern)
Crime & Safety Lack of Green Space Abandoned cars Poorer Services Traffic Schools Poverty/ Run Down Area Lack of Kids facilities Reduced quality of life Poor Health Services Overcrowding Air Pollution No identity Hosuing Noise

Kevin Michael Alan Men Total Susan Lisa Diana Janet Judy Rachel Women Total GRAND TOTAL Waste Authority Officer Councillor Planning &EIA Consultant Public Health Doctor Community Centre Manager Professional Total

1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 8

1 1 1 3

1 1 2 1 1 1

1 1 1 3

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 5 1 1 1 3 4 1 1

1 1 1 2

1

1

1

0 1

0

0

1

1

1

1 1 1 1 1 5 8

1 1 1 1 4 6 1 1 1 1 5 6 1 1 1 3 6 1 1 1 4 5

1 1 1 1 1

0 2

2 2

1 1

0 1

0 1

0 1

1

1

1

1 1 1 3

1

1 1

1

1

1 2

1

1 2

1

0

2

1 2

0

0

0

1 1

0

1 1

1

Page 288

Appendix 8

A8.2: Ranking of Four Types of Waste Disposal Facilities (WDF)
LOWER THE SCORE = GREATER THE DISLIKE Waste Incinerator WTS 2 2 4 3 1 3 2 2 3 14 18 3 3 3 3 2 14 Recycling Facility 2 4 6 3 4 4 3 4 4 22 28 4 4 4 4 4 20
Page 289

Kevin Michael Alan Men Total Susan Lisa Diana Janet Judy Rachel Women Total GRAND TOTAL

2 1

3 2 1 2 1 2 1 9 12

10 14

Waste Authority Officer Councillor Planning &EIA Consultant Public Health Doctor Community Centre Manager Professional Total

1 1 1 1 2 6

A simple ranking from 1 to 4 has been used to classify interviewees intensity of dislike for each of the WDFs. Where an equal dislike is expressed then the same number is used for more than one WDF. Professionals were asked how the general public would rank these WDFs. The above showed that professionals understood what WDFs the general public disliked the most and which the least.

Domestic Landfill 1 3 4 1 3 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 8

Appendix 8

A8.3: Residents’ (and Professionals’ Understanding of the General Publics’) Likes & Dislikes of a Range of Developments
LIKE
Recycling Facility Computer Manufacturer Primary School Sport & Leisure Centre Small Housing Estate Large Hospital Public Park Shopping Centre

DISLIKES
Waste Incinerator Waste Transfer Station Gas-Fired Power Station Domestic Landfill Large Hospital Through Road Computer Manufacturer Football Stadium Engineering Works Small Housing Estate Low Security Prison Primary School Paint Factory Large Pub

Kevin Michael Alan Men Total Susan Lisa Diana Janet Women Total GRAND TOTAL Waste Authority Officer Councillor Planning &EIA Consultant Public Health Doctor Community Centre Manager Professional Total

1 1 1 3 0 1 1 1 3 6 1 1 1 1 4

1 1 2 1 1

1 1 2 0 1

1 1 1 3 0 0 1 1 4

0 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 0 1 1 0 1 1

1 1 2 1 1 1 1 4 6

1 1 2 0.5 1 1 1 3.5 5.5 1

1 1 2

1 1 1

1 1 1

1 1 2

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 4

1

2 4 1 1 1 1 4

1 3

1 1

1 1

0 1

1 3

1 1 0.5 1 2.5 2 3.5

1 0.5 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 3 1.5 1 0.5 1 0.5 1 0.5 4 3.5 2 0.5 1 0.5 1 0.5

1 1 2

1 1 2 0 0 1= Dislike

1 0.5 1 1 0.5 1 0.5 1 0 1 3 3 1.5 0.5=Not Sure/ Some Dislike 1

0.5

1 1

0

0

0 0.5

0

0

2

0

0

0

Page 290

Appendix 8

A8.4: Residents’ and Professionals’ Understanding of Risk
Residents Words Associated with Risk - Sorted by Frequency No. of residents picking word out of a total of 7 who undertook exercise No. of women picking word out of a total of 4 who undertook exercise No. of men picking MEN word out of a total of 3 ONLY who undertook exercise 3 Chance No. of professionals picking word out of a total of 5 who undertook exercise

RESIDENTS OVERALL

WOMEN ONLY

PROFESSIONALS ONLY

5 Chance Gamble Hazard

3 Fear Gamble Hazard Technology Uncertainty 2 Accident Chance Danger Environment Future Negative Positive Science Uncertain 1 Anger Bad Benefit CHANGE

4 Uncertainty Unknown

4 Accident Danger Future Technology Uncertainty

2 Accident Danger Failure Future Gamble Hazard Opportunity Possibility Untested 1 Anger Bad Blame Business

3 Danger Environment Hazard Health

3 Environment Failure Fear Negative

2 Blame Failure Gamble Possibility
Page 291

Appendix 8

RESIDENTS OVERALL 3 contd. Opportunity Positive Possibility Science Uncertain Untested 2 Anger

1 Accident ADVERSE Bad Society Positive CONSQ Health Threat Potential Bad Human Error Unknown Probability Business Probability Untested Progress Chance Society Victim RESPONSIBILITY CHANGE Threat Vulnerable Science Defect Unknown Worry Society Fault Vulnerable Technology Fear Threat Future 1 Benefit Uncertain Good Blame Modern Uncertainty Human Error Business Old Unknown Loss CHANGE Potential Vulnerable Tempt Opportunity CHOICE Progress Threat Potential Defect RESPONSIBILITY TRUST Probability Fault Victim UNPREDICTABLY Progress Helplessness Worry Worry REWARD Words in CAPITALS were words expressed by residents that were not part of the word list used for the exercise

WOMEN ONLY 1 contd. Failure Health Human Error Modern Old Opportunity Possibility Probability

MEN ONLY 1 contd. CHOICE Defect Environment Fault Health Helplessness Human Error Negative

PROFESSIONALS ONLY 2 contd. Uncertain Untested

Page 292

Appendix 8

A8.5: Residents’ and Professionals’ Understanding of Science
Residents Words - Associated with Science Sorted by Frequency No. of residents RESIDENTS picking word out of a total of 7 OVERALL who undertook exercise 4 Changing Ethical Industry Progress Research Technology No. of women WOMEN picking word out of a total of 4 ONLY who undertook exercise 2 Bad Changing Dangerous Ethical Good Industry Research Technology Trustworthy 1 Benefit Business Emotional Environment Expertise Government Humane Inhumane Logical Negative No. of men MEN picking word out of a total of 3 ONLY who undertook exercise 3 Knowledge Progress No. of professionals PROFESSIONALS picking word out of a total of 5 ONLY who undertook exercise 5 Research

3 Bad Benefit Dangerous Expertise Good Inhumane Knowledge Positive Society Trustworthy

2 Benefit Changing Cold Ethical Expertise Frightening Industry Inhumane Necessary Positive

4 Ethical Logical Progress

Page 293

Appendix 8

RESIDENTS OVERALL

WOMEN ONLY 1 contd. Positive PROCESS Progress Safe Society Unethical Unnatural

MEN ONLY 2 contd. Reason Research Society Technology Useful Worthwhile

PROFESSIONALS ONLY

2 Business Cold Emotional Environment Frightening Humane Logical Necessary Reason Safe Unethical Useful Worthwhile 1 Authority Clean Enhancing Fact Government

1 Authority Bad Business Clean Dangerous Emotional Enhancing Environment Fact Good Humane Immoral Logical Modern Moral Neutral New Present Rational

3 Knowledge New Rational Technology Useful

2 Business Changing Dangerous Enhancing Expertise
Page 294

Appendix 8

RESIDENTS OVERALL 1 contd. Immoral Modern Moral Negative Neutral New Present PROCESS Rational Truth Unfair Unnatural Unnecessary Untrustworthy Useless Value

WOMEN ONLY

MEN ONLY 1 contd. Safe Trustworthy Truth Unethical Unfair Unnecessary Untrustworthy Useless Value

PROFESSIONALS ONLY 2 contd. Fact Government Humane Industry Necessary Neutral Reason Society Truth 1 Authority Bad Benefit Good Modern Moral Positive Present Safe Trustworthy Unethical Value Worthwhile

Words in CAPITALS were words expressed by residents that were not part of the word list used for the exercise

Page 295

Appendix 8

A8.6: Residents’ and Professionals’ Views on Values for Siting and Planning Processes
Residents Words Associated with Values - Sorted by Frequency No. of residents RESIDENTS picking word out of a total of 7 OVERALL who undertook exercise 5 Honesty No. of women WOMEN picking word out of a total of 4 ONLY who undertook exercise 3 Community Democratic Honesty No. of men MEN picking word out of a total of 3 ONLY who undertook exercise 2 Benefits Consultation Explanation Forced Future Health Honesty Imposition Information Participation Power Regulation Safety 2 Acceptability Accuracy Choice Community Compensation Compromise No. of professionals PROFESSIONALS picking word out of a total of 5 ONLY who undertook exercise 5 Consultation

4 Benefits Community Consultation Democratic Information Participation

2 Accuracy Benefits Consideration Consultation Cooperation Information

4 Health

Page 296

Appendix 8

RESIDENTS OVERALL 2 contd. Safety

WOMEN ONLY 2 contd. Openness Participation Respect Safety Sustainability Trust 1 Understanding Acceptability Choice Compensation Compromise Danger Environment Explanation FEAR Health Individual Politics Regulation Scientific Site

3 Accuracy Consideration Cooperation Explanation Health Openness Regulation Respect Sustainability Trust Understanding

2 Acceptability Choice Compensation Compromise

MEN ONLY 2 contd. Conflict Consideration Construction Cooperation Credibility Danger Democratic Distance Economic EMPOWER Environment Equity Ethical Expertise Fairness Individual Influence Legal Moral Openness Politics Respect Scientific Site Society Sustainability Time

PROFESSIONALS ONLY

3 Democratic Environment Explanation Honesty Openness Safety

2 Benefits Community Economic Equity
Page 297

Appendix 8

RESIDENTS OVERALL 2 contd. Danger Environment Forced Future Imposition Individual Politics Power Scientific Site 1 Conflict Construction Credibility Distance Economic EMPOWER Equity Ethical Expertise Fairness FEAR Influence Legal Moral

WOMEN ONLY

MEN ONLY 2 contd. Trust Understanding Value

PROFESSIONALS ONLY 2 contd. Fairness Information Participation Respect Sustainability Trust Understanding

Society Time Value

1 Acceptability Accuracy Choice Compromise Consideration Cooperation Credibility Danger Ethical Future IMPARTIALITY Regulation Imposition Scientific Individual Society Moral

Words in CAPITALS were words expressed by residents that were not part of the word list used for the exercise

Page 298

Appendix 8

A8.7: Residents’ and Professionals’ Rankings in the Stakeholder Mapping Exercise
A: HIGH importance / LOW Influence Local Shops & Businesses Residents Residents Associations ISCA AISA (1=Placed in this category BLANK=Not placed in this category) FoE / Greenpeace EIA Consultants (paid by developer) 0 0 0 1 1 H & I Express / Islington Gazette Public Health Dept. Environmental Health Dept. School of Community Health DETR / DEFRA Environment Agency 0 0 0 1 1
Page 299

Arsenal

Kevin Michael Alan Men Total Susan Lisa Diana Janet Women Total GRAND TOTAL Waste Authority Officer Councillor Planning &EIA Consultant Public Health Doctor Community Centre Manager Professional Total left out

1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 4 7

1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 4 7

1 1 1 3

1 1 2

1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 4 7 1

1 1 1 3

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0

1 1 1 3 6 1

1

1 1 2 3

1 1 1 1

1 1 3 1

1 4

1 2

0 1

0 1

NLWA 0 0 1 1

0 0

1 left 1 out 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 3

1

1 0 1 1 1

1 1

1 2 1

1

1

Appendix 8

B: HIGH importance / HIGH Influence H & I Express / Islington Gazette EIA Consultants (paid by Council) EIA Consultants (paid by Developer) Councillors Planning Dept. Arsenal NLWA GLA

(1=Placed in this category BLANK=Not placed in this category) Environment Agency Residents Public Health Dept. Environmental Health Dept. DETR / DEFRA Residents Associations 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 Judiciary AISA School of Community Health ISCA 0 0 0 1

Kevin Michael Alan Men Total Susan Lisa Diana Janet Women Total GRAND TOTAL Waste Authority Officer Councillor Planning &EIA Consultant Public Health Doctor Community Centre Manager Professional Total

1 1 2 1 1 1 1 4 6 1 1 1

1 1 2 1 1 2 4 1 1 1 1 4

1 1 2 1 1 1 3 5 1 1 1 1 1 5

1 1 2 1 1 1 3 5 1 1 1 1 1 5

1

1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 0

1 1

1 2 3

0 2

2 4 1

0 1

1 3

0 1

1 2

1 2

0 1

0 1

0 0 1 1 1

1

3

1

1 1 1 1 4

1 1 3

1

1 1 1 0 3

1 1 1 2 1

1

1

0

0

1

3

Page 300

Appendix 8

C: LOW importance / LOW Influence AISA DETR / DEFRA School of Community Health

(1=Placed in this category BLANK=Not placed in this category) FoE / Greenpeace H & I Express / Islington Gazette Judiciary Judiciary Councillors EIA Consultants (paid by developer) Public Health Dept. Local Shops & Businesses 0 0 0 1 1 1 3 Arsenal ISCA 0 0 0 1 1

Kevin Michael Alan Men Total Susan Lisa Diana Janet Women Total GRAND TOTAL Waste Authority Officer Councillor Planning &EIA Consultant Public Health Doctor Community Centre Manager Professional Total

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0 1

0

0

0

0

1 1 0 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1

1

1

1 1

1 1

0 0 1

0 0

1 1 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 2

1 1

Page 301

Appendix 8

D: LOW importance / HIGH Influence H & I Express / Islington Gazette Environment Agency NLWA DETR / DEFRA

(1=Placed in this category BLANK=Not placed in this category) EIA Consultants (paid by Developer) FoE / Greenpeace 0 1 1 1 0 EIA Consultants (paid by Council) Councillors Judiciary Public Health Dept. 0 0 0 1 1 Planning Dept. 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 Environmental Health Dept. 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 1 1 AISA 0 1 1 1 2 3 1 1 2 1 GLA 1 1

Kevin Michael Alan Men Total Susan Lisa Diana Janet Women Total GRAND TOTAL Waste Authority Officer Councillor Planning &EIA Consultant Public Health Doctor Community Centre Manager Professional Total

1

1

1 1 2

1 1

1 1

1 1

1 1

1

1 1 1

1

1 1 3 4 1 1 2 0 2 1

1 1 2 1

1 1 2 3 1 0 1

Page 302

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