April 18 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
For those interested to see segments of the Caroline Spelman interview which were edited out of the version that appeared in last Saturday’s paper due to space limitation, here they are.
The first extract relates to the type of “broad consensus” the environment secretary says she needed to see evidence of in order to approve financing for the King’s Lynn incinerator.
Anti-incinerator campaigners argue that the referendum that took place and the opposition of some councils to incineration prove there was no consensus. But in the story published on Saturday, Spelman argued that she needed only “broad consensus” relating to the Norfolk County Council’s waste management strategy, regardless of opposition to the incinerator itself. Her interpretation of broad consensus was then summed up in her comment “that doesn’t mean everybody”.
“It is this broad consensus [relating to the waste strategy] that she requested proof of in her letter to [Derrick] Murphy in November last year, she said; something the county council duly provided her with.
Even if one or two district councils opposed the waste management strategy, as long as the majority supported it then a case for “broad consensus” could be made, and the PFI credits granted for the King’s Lynn incinerator.”
Note: Campaigners have argued that Norwich City Council does not support the incinerator. But according to Spelman’s strict interpretation of the guidelines this is irrelevant. The city council has shown support for the strategy, goes Spelman’s thinking, and therefore they are part of the consensus.
“Ms Spelman said there were nine incinerator plans awaiting approval around the country and that often they did not attract the kind of opposition seen in Norfolk.
She added that there was also a ‘waste to energy’ plant in her own constituency. Asked if it had been opposed, she said it came before she was an MP and so could not comment.”
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said: “We are in government to listen to the public and to our constituents and to take decisions for the greater good of the community.
“In a case where the opposition is so overwhelming it’s no good that it looks like the public are being ignored.”
There were odd words here and there that were also edited out, but these were the main changes. No doubt many of you have comments, feel free to leave them here and I’ll answer questions as well as I can.