Fresh bid to terminate King’s Lynn incinerator contract is confirmed

The sun sets over the King's Lynn Incinerator site near Saddlebow. Picture: Matthew Usher. The sun sets over the King's Lynn Incinerator site near Saddlebow. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Thursday, February 13, 2014
4:32 PM

A cross-party group of Norfolk county councillors, led by the UKIP group leader Toby Coke, is to make a further attempt to terminate the Cory Wheelabrator contract while the costs are still capped at £26m, by calling an extraordinary general meeting of the county council in early April.

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The group, which includes councillors Tim East (Lib Dem), Andrew Boswell (Green), John Dobson (Con), Alexandra Kemp (Lab) and Richard Bird (Ind) wants an urgent decision from the council on whether to terminate the contract.

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If no decision is taken on planning by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles by May 1, the council will have to decide whether to continue with the contract.

If it does so, the compensation costs are expected to rise by £5m, to £31m.

Mr Coke said: “It is estimated that the termination costs would increase after May 1 by an eye-watering £400,000 per month or nearly £5 per annum.

“It is absolutely essential that this decision is taken by the full council and not through an exclusive cabinet resolution, nor under powers delegated to the authority.

“The group, which has strong cross-party support, believes that there is no alternative but to seek a termination of the contract, prior to that date.”

Mr East said the group needed five signatures to call the meeting. He added: “We’re demanding an EGM, which we’re constitutionally entitled to do. It’s a game changern if we get a second bite of the cherry if he [Eric Pickles] hasn’t made a decision.”

Norfolk County Council voted by 40 votes to 38 to continue with the incinerator in October. The council gave it planning permission 18 months ago and has signed a contract with Cory Wheelabrator to build and run the plant at Saddlebow, near King’s Lynn.

But the planning decision was “called in” by Mr Pickles, triggering a three-month public inquiry last year.

Mr Pickles was due to announce his decision - arrived at after considering a report filed by the inspector who chaired the inquiry - on January 14.

But officials in his office said the announcement would be delayed. When the EDP asked Mr Pickles when it might be made, he said: “I’ll make it when I’m confident that the decision is a good one.”

Last year, the government withdrew £169m in waste infrastructure credits from the project, saying the burner was no longer needed to meet its target for diverting waste from landfill.

Norfolk County Council faces paying Cory at least £25m in compensation if it terminates the contract. The figure rises by £6m in May.

Pro-incinerator councillors - some who were elected on an anti-incinerator ticket - say it offers the most cost-effective way forward.

But opponents say there are cheaper, more environmentally-friendly ways of disposing of our waste, even taking into account the cost of cancellation.

4 comments

  • Thanks for your diversion Delboy, far from it, the article was shut for comments from its inception, until it was parked here. But you just carry on supporting the most expensive, most polluting and least effective option, its not even a solution to our needs. Its also a bit dodgy to go into business with criminals, for all I understand from Wheelabrators multiple prosecutions for the worst pollution possible, they would not be a proper partner to many councils. Their compensation scheme, signed by nine, will make them very unpopular with other councils, you see thats why I'm not in support of NCC's pollution agenda, although leafy Peckham might be persuaded by your argument.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Well Ingo it looks like last nights bout of nasty remarks from the anti campaign had to be cleansed away. A group of KLWIN supporters were on here being very insulting to anyone who offered a different view.

    Report this comment

    Del Boy

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • just to explain the zero comments bar mine. It is the policy of the EDP to disallow commen ts on issue that could lead to embarrassment to leading Norfolk party politicians. Off course, should you be an Independent, then your reputation you have no protection as such from coments, you are vogelfrei, outlawed for all and sundry to have a go at, including this paper.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Poor old Del - are you having trouble keeping track of which thread you're being utterly vile on these days?

    Report this comment

    Sailor Bill

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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