The leader of West Norfolk Council has called for urgent talks in a bid to find an alternative way of dealing with the county’s waste after government funding for the Lynn incinerator was withdrawn.
In an open letter to Norfolk County Council leader George Nobbs, which was released late this afternoon, Monday, Nick Daubney said the time had come for the authorities to work together to seek government help to withstand the loss of a £169 million grant to the project as well as a long-term alternative.
The two councils have long been divided on the incinerator issue and opposed each other at the public inquiry into the proposal earlier this year.
And Mr Daubney wrote: “I believe that this decision represents a major shift in the viability of the project, moving it from a scheme which Norfolk County Council believed offered an apparent saving, according to the Norfolk County Council budget proposal (at least to the Norfolk council tax payer if not to the public purse as a whole) to a project which now offers at best modest savings in the short term.”
He said the time is now right for the councils to jointly approach the government to seek both financial help and support to develop an alternative approach which was acceptable to the public and “delivers genuine savings.”
He added: “I believe we have a real opportunity to put past differences behind us and come together to concentrate on the future.
“My personal view is that, even as I write this, we as council leaders should be in London talking to Defra about assistance.
“I would therefore invite you to open up this dialogue as a matter of some urgency and, if this course of action is acceptable to you, convene an early meeting of interested parties. I believe that the residents of Norfolk would expect no less.”
The letter has been delivered as county council officials consider the financial impact of the decision to withhold funding for the Saddlebow project.
Reports on the issue could be published as early as tomorrow.