Norfolk County Council has named a former joint leader to probe how it entered a controversial contract for a now abandoned energy-from-waste (EfW) project.
The council last week scrapped the Willows EfW scheme, landing it with a £30m compensation bill including payments to developer Cory Wheelabrator.
Leader George Nobbs (Lab) has named former Liberal Democrat councillor Stephen Revell to lead the inquiry.
Revell was a councillor from 1985 to 2001, including seven years as joint leader with Labour’s Celia Cameron, and is the ‘independent person’ appointed to advise Norfolk’s standards committee.
Nobbs said he could not order a public inquiry but taxpayers were entitled to an explanation of how Norfolk entered the contract, how the decision to terminate it was reached and the role of external political involvement, an apparent reference to campaigns against the project by local MPs.
Mr Revell said: “I’m well aware what a divisive issue this has been for Norfolk and I hope I can have a constructive role to play in getting to the bottom of how the decision to proceed was arrived at. If I need to ruffle a few feathers along the way, so be it.”
An independent report in December 2013 by Jonathan Acton Davis QC found no reasons to hold officers to account nor any suggestion the then cabinet exceeded its authority in authorising the contract.
*This article is taken from MRW’s sister title LGC