Councillors resign over incineration claims
- Credit: PA
Two leading west Norfolk Conservative councillors have resigned the party whip in protest at claims that some of the area's waste might be sent to neighbouring counties to be incinerated.
Paul Foster, who was elected to represent West Winch ward for the Conservatives in 2010 and was also the North-West Norfolk Conservative Association's treasurer, wrote to his Tory colleagues ahead of a West Norfolk Borough Council meeting to say: 'I cannot as a matter of principle and conscience vote to allow waste to be unnecessarily burnt in a neighbouring county.'
He was followed by former West Norfolk mayor Mike Pitcher, who said that he had gone into the council chamber with an 'open mind' but could not support a new waste contract which he claimed would see rubbish transported to Lincolnshire to be burned.
He dramatically stood up and walked across the chamber to sit with independents as his fellow councillors watched in silence.
Nick Daubney, the council leader, said a new Norfolk-wide contract with Norse, which would see more materials such as yogurt pots and other food packaging recycled, did not definitively prohibit incineration but that it did state that incineration of any material must be discouraged and that parties involved should seek to avoid it.
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'From when the new contract is signed, we will have a place at the table and we will therefore be able to take part in those decisions,' he said, referring to choices about how the remainder of waste is dealt with.
'I'm sorry they felt the need to resign but I'm afraid it's the culmination of a long-running argument really. I'm sorry about it but we've set our stall out of where we want to go and I believe it's the right strategy.'
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Read tomorrow's EDP for more details.