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Senior Conservatives accuse Tory MPs over Norfolk incinerator

The proposed incinerator site at Saddlebow. Picture: Ian Burt.

The proposed incinerator site at Saddlebow. Picture: Ian Burt.

Archant © 2010

Two senior Conservative councillors have accused the county’s MPs of kicking the people of Norfolk in the teeth by lobbying for the waste credits for the proposed incinerator to be withdrawn.

Ian Monson, former cabinet member for environment and waste, and Cliff Jordan, former cabinet member for efficiency, both sent emails criticising MPs after last week’s announcement that the government was cancelling the £169m in waste credits it had awarded to the county council to help pay for an incinerator at King’s Lynn.

Mr Monson emailed South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss saying she and fellow MPs had “kicked the people of Norfolk in the teeth”.

He wrote: “What an absolute disaster you and your fellow Norfolk MPs have caused by lobbying for the cancellation of this waste grant.

“You have directly kicked the people of Norfolk in the teeth by putting in the boot. Mark my words, you will not be forgiven for this.

“You may crow about it now but it will eventually come back to bite you. All Norfolk taxpayers will now have to find this extra funding to dispose of our future waste.

“This is the worst type of political manoeuvring without due consideration of the consequences.”

Mr Monson confirmed he had sent the email, but did not want to comment further.

Mr Jordan’s email, sent to fellow Conservatives, called for the county’s Tory MPs to stand for re-selection. In it he wrote: “They’ve done a disservice to the Conservatives and Norfolk in general. It’s absolute treachery. There are a lot of real Conservatives really angry with them.”

He added tonight that he believed the MPs had been “more concerned about their own constituencies” than in looking after the best interests of the whole of Norfolk.

Meanwhile, Nick Daubney, leader of West Norfolk council has written to the county’s eight MPs and the leaders of the county’s six district councils and county council leader George Nobbs, calling for urgent talks about how to deal with waste in the future.

Mr Daubney said he believed the right approach would be to approach central government for financial assistance.

“I believe we have a real opportunity to put past differences behind us and come together to concentrate on the future,” he said.

“My personal view is that even as I write this then we as council leaders should be in London talking to Defra about assistance.”

But county council leader George Nobbs said: “Nick Daubney should know by now that there is no extra money available. From the day my predecessor signed the contract there’s never been a way out of this that didn’t involve a heavy cost.”

County councillors are due to debate the scheme’s future at a meeting on Monday, although senior councillors say they believe the plant should still go ahead.

The county council now has to choose between paying for the plant itself, or paying more than £20m in compensation to Cory Wheelabrator, the consortium behind the incinerator.

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