Norfolk County Council has a signed a contract to give you all the benefits of burning Norfolk’s rubbish.
The incinerator contract was signed without planning permission, which still hasn’t been granted. This moved us from a position of no liability to having £20 to £30 million liability if permission fails.
If NCC wants to get us out of the contract you would think they would understand how to and at what cost, but not so.
External experts are now having to examine the contract to see if it can be terminated at a sensible cost. Unfortunately for the investigation, many of those involved have now left, are leaving or are absent.
Mr White the Chief Executive who felt he did not have the necessary business skills, Mr Murphy the leader of the council who left for reasons we all recall, Mr Jackson head of the department handling the incinerator will be going to Somerset and Ms McNeill the county solicitor is away on four weeks’ holiday.
Interesting contract ‘get outs’ include:
1 If the council is corrupted or defrauded by the contractor then the council can terminate the contract but will still have to pay the contractor compensation.
1 Due to delays the contractor issued a revised project plan. If this is not approved by NCC by October 29, the contract is terminated at the same cost as if planning had failed (£20-30 million). This contrasts with the costs of voluntarily termination, which could be £80-90 million. So will the council approve it or not? Who knows?
The contract is on the NCC website so try to spot some interesting features yourself but not in blanked out sections.
It is said these sections are simply due to commercial confidentiality. Only a county councillor who can prove a need to know is allowed to see the whole contract and then only under supervision and having signed a secrecy agreement.
Letter writing has made a huge difference in the past when it got us the public inquiry. If we each follow up with fresh letters now we can greatly improve our chances of stopping the incinerator.
Please write to the Secretary of State for the Environment (Rt Hon Owen Paterson, see right).
Copy your letter and send it separately to each of the following: Secretary of State for DCLG, Rt. Hon Eric Pickles, Rt. Hon Henry Bellingham and Rt. Hon Elizabeth Truss also at House of Commons, London, SW1 0AA.