The leader of Norfolk County Council has ordered an investigation into an email sent by an officer to the Government providing evidence of another authority’s “continued support” for the Lynn incinerator.
George Nobbs has asked acting managing director Anne Gibson to look into the email sent by Mike Jackson after environment secretary Caroline Spelman asked for evidence of “broad support for the scheme” ahead of deciding whether to award £169 million of waste credits for the incinerator.
Mr Jackson, who is the county’s director of environment, transport and development, sent a briefing email to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on Norwich City Council’s position on the joint municipal waste strategy on January 12, 2012.
But days earlier the city council leader, Brenda Arthur, sent a letter confirming its opposition to the incinerator.
Mr Jackson’s email, which was released under a Freedom of Information request, states: “We understand DEFRA has received a letter from the leader of Norwich City Council dated January 9, 2012. In case further evidence of that authority’s continued support for the Joint Norfolk Municipal Waste Strategy and active engagement in the Norfolk Waste Partnership is needed, the attached may be helpful.
“The attached timeline provides factual evidence of the extensive engagement and support the city council has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate in the Joint Municipal Waste Strategy and the Norfolk Waste Partnership.”
At a meeting on September 24 this year, Mrs Arthur confirmed that the city council had not seen or signed off the email and that she would speak to Mr Nobbs.
The city council has passed a motion in 2007 to oppose any form of incineration after plans were in the pipeline to build an incinerator at Costessey.
A county spokesman has confirmed Mr Nobbs has asked for an investigation to be conducted.
He said: “In direct response to a request from DEFRA, in January 2012, the county council at that time provided factual evidence to them that demonstrated the city council’s role in the development and implementation of the nine key objectives of the Joint Municipal Waste Strategy and the work of the Norfolk Waste Partnership.
“It included a factual timeline of key dates for extensive engagement at consultations and public meetings that were relevant to the city council’s involvement in this.”
A spokesman for King’s Lynn without Incineration, Mike Knights said: “I think it is unfortunate that Mr Jackson is now leaving the authority to go to Somerset and won’t face the consequences of his actions.”
n The Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed all 11 complaints lodged against material from Cory Wheelabrator promoting the Willows Power and Recycling Centre in 2012.
Paul Green, on behalf of Cory, said: “Despite opponents of the project attempting to discredit the consortium’s claims, this ruling confirms our belief that the facts and claims made on the Willows website, in our literature and our adverts do not breach the ASA code and are truthful.”
n Incinerator comment on page 43