Norfolk MP: Don’t miss this chance to stop the incinerator
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A Norfolk MP has said the county council must not pass up the 'window of opportunity' to pull the plug on a proposed incinerator.
Norfolk County Council is on the brink of a debate where every councillor gets to vote on the future of the controversial incinerator - more than three years after the then-Conservative cabinet agreed to award a contract for a plant to be run at King's Lynn.
This week a group of councillors opposed to the plant revealed another company says it could ship Norfolk's waste to the AEB incinerator in Amsterdam, for less than it would cost council contractor Cory Wheelabrator to deal with it at Saddlebow.
And that, the councillors said, made it imperative that the full council should vote on whether to call for the government to withdraw its £169m waste credit support for the scheme and to recommend that the cabinet not agree a revised project plan for the plant - which would break the contract.
Labour leader George Nobbs, while warning against 'sabotaging' the waste credits, has asked for a full council meeting to debate two reports previously commissioned into the plant; the waste and minerals strategies and to make a recommendation as to the revised project plan.
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Henry Bellingham, Conservative MP for North West Norfolk. said the council must seize the chance to stop the King's Lynn incinerator.
He said: 'What we need is three or four plants spread around the county that embrace newer technologies which are acceptable to the public. That is the longer-term aim, but we should feel no shame in looking at a short-term solution which is more effective.
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'It blows out of the water the idea that by sticking with the current contract, the county council would be better off.
'We have a window of opportunity and I would encourage the county council to seize that opportunity.'
However, Liberal Democrat Tim East, a long-standing objector to incineration, said he could not support Norfolk's waste being burned anywhere.
He said: 'I do support the revoking of the waste credits... and fully comprehend the cost saving implications of the AEB plan, but it doesn't alter my very strong conviction that incineration is inherently the wrong solution anywhere.'
Conservative Group Leader Bill Borrett said: 'We are keen for all of the issues to be debated so are happy to support the requests made by the cross-party group at their press conference.
'We said in June we supported a debate on the issue of the incinerator, given the controversy this project has caused it is only right the issue is debated by all 84 County Councillors as we agreed'.