Conservatives face fight to save Norfolk incinerator

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

The proposed incinerator site at Saddlebow. Picture: Ian Burt. - Credit: IAN BURT

The leader of the Conservative group at Norfolk County Council has insisted his party will continue to push for the incinerator to be built at King's Lynn, but acknowledged he has a fight on his hands to block his opponents from stopping it.

The political landscape at County Hall was transformed last week, with the UK Independence Party and Labour both making large gains to whittle away the Conservative's majority.

With no party in overall control at the county council, the most likely scenario is that the Conservatives will attempt to run the council as a minority administration.

But, with 40 Tory councillors, not all of whom are in favour of the incinerator, outnumbered by 44 opponents, that could have major repercussions over whether the waste plant at Saddlebow gets built.

And a major test of the Conservative group resolve will come at the first county council meeting since the election, when one of their own number will call for a debate on whether to push ahead with the incinerator.

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Opposition groups, including Ukip and the Greens have publicly stated they will look to stop the incinerator, while members of the Labour and the Liberal Democrat groups have also campaigned against the plant in the past.

Richard Coke, the new leader of the 15-strong opposition Ukip group, told the EDP this week that his party would seek to stop the incinerator.

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He said: 'We will be fighting very hard to ensure that the building of the incinerator does not take place. There are other alternatives that have got to be looked at.'

And John Dobson, Conservative councillor for Dersingham and a long-standing opponent of the incinerator, has risked the ire of his own group by putting forward a motion which could pave the way for the council to pull the plug on the scheme.

His motion, which will be discussed at the full council meeting on Monday, calls for the council to agree to hold an 'extraordinary, full council meeting' within three weeks, but after the final submissions in the public inquiry into the incinerator.

See today's EDP for the full story.

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