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Norfolk incinerator in doubt following UKIP election success

Plans to build the King’s Lynn incinerator may be blocked after the ruling Conservative party lost its majority in the recent Norfolk County Council elections.

UKIP, which opposes the incinerator, is now the second largest party in the council after winning 15 seats. The party previously held one seat.

The Labour party also made significant gains, increasing their seats from three at the last election to 14. The Lib Dems won 10 seats, the Green Party four and one seat went to an independent candidate.

This means the Conservatives, who have lost 20 councillors since the 2009 election, now have 40 seats and no longer have a majority.

Richard Coke, the new UKIP group leader, said UKIP councillors would “fight against” the decision to go ahead with the incinerator voted through by Conservative councillors.

He told MRW he was hopeful that plans to build incinerator would be eventually scrapped, but that opponents would have to wait on the outcome of an inquiry into the scheme. Closing submissions to the inquiry are due to be heard on 16 and 17 May.

He said: “I don’t know whether we will be able to gain majority support against the incinerator until I meet up with the other party leaders over the next few days.”

Coke said under UKIP’s local manifesto projects such as the King’s Lynn incinerator would be subject to a binding referendum.

UKIP is a supporter of King’s Lynn Borough Council’s plans to build an anaerobic digestion plant.

Richard Bearman, leader of the council’s Green Party group, reportedly said the election result could lead to the incinerator being blocked.

He told the Lowestoft Journal: “I see it as an opportunity to get decisions like the incinerator not made by cabinet but in full council where there is a chance to have a debate.

“If all the other parties voted against the Conservatives we could defeat them but I can’t see too many topics on which UKIP, Labour, the Greens and the Lib Dems agree.”

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