As recriminations continue over the Lynn incinerator contract, campaigners who have spent years fighting the plan say they now want to work with councils to find ways of reducing Norfolk’s waste.
Officials from King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN) have welcomed moves by Norfolk County Council to reverse the apparent support for the project shown by officers in recent letters to the Government.
And next week, KLWIN will meet county and district council chiefs to discuss how more of the waste the county produces could be reused in the future.
The meeting, which has been supported by brewing firm Adnams and takes place in Southwold next Thursday, July 10, coincides with work on a new county waste strategy and an expected announcement of tougher recycling targets from the European Commission.
Representatives of Norfolk County Council, West Norfolk Council and other district authorities are expected to attend.
KLWIN founder Michael de Whalley said: “Incineration is an outdated technology that is in the process of being written out of Norfolk’s waste strategy.
“We are keen to work with County Hall and the district councils to help inform this new policy.
He added that his organisation commended the recent statement made by Toby Coke, chairman of the county council’s new environment committee, criticising the content of a letter by planning director Nick Johnson in which he appeared to urge continuing support of the Saddlebow scheme.
But, following last week’s criticism of Defra officials by a committee of MPs who accused them of leaving the county in the lurch, the county council published letters exchanged by the authority and Defra in September 2011, several months before the contract was signed.
The new papers show Defra highlighted “several risks” of planning permission not being secured in time, while county officials maintained they had acted to reduce the risk, by including provision for a revised project plan of the kind approved last October, but rejected in April.
Council leader George Nobbs, who insisted he had not been previously aware of the letters, said: “Having read the two letters I felt that they should be published straight away.”
Although a recent National Audit Office report revealed Defra officials had raised concerns with the council in 2010, objectors have pointed out that a Defra official on the county’s waste board supported the awarding of a contract at a meeting in January 2011, two months before the decision to award the contract was made.