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Norfolk incinerator row deepens

Councillors who backed the King’s Lynn incinerator contract are facing calls from opponents for a fresh probe into the decision as the row over the controversial project deepened.   

Liberal Democrat members tabled motions for Monday’s county council meeting which said Tory cabinet had contravened “the spirit if not the letter” of the council’s constitution.

A motion, by Liberal Democrat leader Paul Morse, said: “This council fears that the behaviour of the council leader and cabinet members within the decision making process for the award of the contract to build an incinerator at Saddlebow has brought Norfolk County Council into disrepute.”   

For the motion document in full: see here

Morse told MRW the group would be pushing for an investigation by an independent law firm.

The move comes with Defra poised to decide whether or not to release £169m private finance initiative credits that are integral to financing the £500m plant, which is to be developed by Cory Wheelabrator.

Caroline Spelman

Norwich City Council, re-affirmed its opposition to the project this week and campaigners claim if the environment secretary Caroline Spelman, left, does award the credits, legal action via a judicial review would be “very likely”.

The Eastern Daily Press reported earlier that local MP Elizabeth Truss (Con), who opposes the facility, feared Spelman was about to give the green light for the credits to be released.

She said: “I am concerned about the content of the announcement. I made the point that people in South West Norfolk do not want the credits to be awarded unless there is a significant change in the proposals.

“I would have liked to have seen Defra working with councils involved to come up with a different solution.

“If the PFI credits are awarded the next stage is the planning process and raising the issue with communities secretary Eric Pickles.”

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