Independent inquiry ordered into incinerator proposed for Norfolk

The site at Saddlebow where the incinerator was proposed. Picture: Ian Burt.

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

An independent inquiry has been ordered into the process surrounding the incinerator proposed for Norfolk.

Norfolk County Council last week voted, by 48 votes to 30 to terminate the contract with Cory Wheelabrator to build and run the plant at Saddlebow.

And at a meeting of the council's controlling Labour/Liberal Democrat cabinet today, council leader George Nobbs revealed he had asked for an inquiry.

The inquiry will be conducted by the council's independent chairman of the standards board, Stephen Revell.

It will look at three issues:

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1. How and why the council got into the situation in the first place.

2. How and why the council reached the decision to terminate.

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3. What the effect was of outside political involvement in helping or hindering the fulfilment of the contract.

Mr Nobbs said he hoped Mr Revell would take as his starting point the previous QC report into the officers' conduct and the PriceWaterhouseCooper report into the contract.

Mr Nobbs said: 'As we well know there have been many calls for a public inquiry.

'It is not in my power to order one, as that is a matter for the prime minister.

'If he did so, that would take months or years and cost millions, but that is a matter for him.

'But I do accept the public is entitled to further answers about the whole process.

'This has resulted in a bill of £30m the taxpayers will have to pay.'

He said the inquiry would focus on the political process and Mr Revell would report back to the council's head of paid services, rather than to a politician.

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