A barrister who was called in to examine the process through which the Lynn incinerator contract was signed has said he can find no evidence that officials or councillors acted improperly.
The conclusion was reached at the end of a 58-page report into the saga by Jonathan Acton Davis QC, which was published by Norfolk County Council late this afternoon, Monday December 16.
The investigation was one of two independent reviews first commissioned by the authority’s leadership back in June.
Mr Acton Davis was appointed to investigate the issue in August, following lengthy talks between the council and anti-incinerator campaign representatives, who were allowed to choose their preferred investigating officers.
He wrote: “Following my critical examination of all the material with wich I have been provided and my review of the advice given at each stage, I can find nothing to lead me to conclude that any undue risk was taken.
“I can identify no areas in which I can see potential scope for the holding to account of officers. I have seen nothing which would enable me to conclude that the cabinet exceeded its authority in authorising the contract.”
The news is likely to be seen as a setback to the fight against the Saddlebow development, which remains subject to a planning decision from the Department for Communities and Local Government, which is expected early in the new year.
However, Norfolk County Council leader George Nobbs said a short time ago: “We accept Mr Acton Davis’s conclusions and we expect everybody else to do the same.”