King’s Lynn councillor’s anger at incinerator deal

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Critics of the Lynn incinerator project have reacted angrily to Norfolk County Council’s contract to send some of the county’s waste to Suffolk’s burner instead.

The two-year agreement, which the authorities claim will save each of them £1 million a year, will see 40,000 tonnes a year of Norfolk’s waste sent to the Great Blakenham plant.

Although the option had previously been proposed as an alternative to the Saddlebow site, some members of the new waste advisory group, set up to draw up a fresh waste policy, have claimed the deal was done without their knowledge..

In emails seen by the Lynn News, Independent group leader Alexandra Kemp said: “It is not right this deal was done behind the backs of the Waste Advisory Group and limits its options to the least desirable solution.”

Ahead of the group’s inaugural meeting next week, Miss Kemp, whose Clenchwarton and Lynn South division includes the disputed site, has drawn up her own waste policy proposals which excluded incineration options altogether.

Another long-time incinerator critic, Liberal Democrat Tim East, added: “I just hope that this is a short-term solution rather than one that will be in place for the next 25 years.

“If not there is no point in looking at environmentally friendly alternatives in Norfolk as part of the WAG working group. It will just be a waste of everyone’s time.”

But Toby Coke, chairman of the council’s environment committee, said he was “comfortable” with the arrangement, which he argues will give the authority time to move a long way towards a more permanent alternative.

He admitted that he had been kept informed of the deal and pointed out that the advisory group needed to set its own criteria before developing ideas to refer to the environment committee and full council.

He said: “These short-term contracts are to allow us to come up with a long-term solution.

“I’m all for recycling, but it’s got to be viable.”

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee also insisted the deal was good news for the residents of both counties.