The victory of anti-incinerator campaigners in West Norfolk could kill off similar projects up and down the country, the Green Party leader has claimed.
Natalie Bennett visited Lynn today, Wednesday, April 23, to meet activists and set out the party’s pitch to voters ahead of next month’s European elections.
Ms Bennett said she had watched the campaign against the Saddlebow plant, which Norfolk county councillors voted to scrap last month, closely.
She believes the “great victory” achieved by campaigners here will inspire other similar fights across the country and could also be a watershed for how communities deal with their waste in the future.
She said: “It could well mark the beginning of the end of any new incinerators in Britain. Norfolk is very much leading the way.”
Michael de Whalley, the party’s co-ordinator in West Norfolk, said the Greens wanted to make West Norfolk a stronger community, adding: “The incinerator campaign has started that.”
And Rob Archer, a prospective candidate for the party at next year’s West Norfolk Council elections, said: “People realised this town was under threat, but I look round and see the potential of King’s Lynn.
“It’s very difficult to walk or cycle around. The bus service could be a lot better and we’ve got a major problem with low level air pollution in London Road. That’s something that is going to have to be addressed soon.”
Although the Greens are the main opposition party on Norwich City Council, they won only one West Norfolk Council seat in 2011 and currently hold none of the seven European Parliament seats for the East of England region.
But their lead candidate, Dr Rupert Read, said the party had “real potential” to make gains.
And Ms Bennett added: “People are looking for change. They recognise the current economic model is only working for the few.”