Morning readers,

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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”.

Extract 1

“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.

Extract 2

“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.”

And finally…

Extract 3

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.

7 comments

  • Why is Caroline Spelman talking publicly about this in the middle of the Judicial Review with the Borough Council?

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    Honest John

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

  • Broad consensus? Are we still down the rabbit hole in Alice's Wonderland? For Spelman's broad consensus the translation into English is "Fierce Opposition everywhere". The point John Martin is making is paramount. The leaders of Councils who all copied out identical paragraphs from the paper given by them to help them compose a letter to her were not entitled to do so. They were not entitled to do so for two reasons - one it is against the rules and regulations of their Councils to wake up one morning and decide to write a letter without any say so from the rest of the Council and two the Waste Management Strategy the Councils have all signed up to has had incineration taken out of it and in order to say it was in the Strategy would have necessitated rewriting the whole document. Did that happen? No it jolly well didn't. So leaders are not entitled to write those letters and Spelman is not entitled to rely on them because they shouldn't exist. End of subject.

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    alecto

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

  • The sole consensus amongst conservative cllr.s, is not 'broad' under anyone's interpretation. She fails to address that incineration was never part of Norfolks mandated policies. Lastly, nobody seems to recognise that this invalidate our contracts with NCC as the waste collecting authority, and that it opens up new options for revenue income to be considered by hard pushed local councils.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

  • Joe, this is very helpful. I stand by my argument that she should first have asked whether there is a long-term waste management strategy that is reflected in the waste incinerator project. I believe that there is not, since two of the stated nine key objectives of the present strategy conflict directly with the principle of waste incineration. (That is probably why the strategy contains no mention of incineration.) If I am correct, then whether or not there is a broad consensus of support for the strategy is academic. NCC’s application should have been refused, unless and until a new waste strategy was put in place. Sorry, I have bored you with this view already!

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    John Martin

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

  • I quite agree Honest John. When NCC were asked to make comments on the West Norfolk Referendum, they refused stating "they could not comment for legal reasons". I would imagine it should be the same for Ms. Spelman whilst a JR is in progress. Glad to see that the EDP have opened up the lines of communication for us all again. Thank you very much....

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    Sandy.L

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

  • How can the minister claim there is consensus when Norwich City Council raised an objection and there has been so much public opposition?

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

  • Don't stop her honest John! The more she opens her mouth the more she shoves her foot straight in it. Let's have another interview I say!

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

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

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