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Roads set to pay price of King’s Lynn incinerator axe

Lynn News Web Site Fillers

Lynn News Web Site Fillers

Road and library budgets will be cut to help pay the compensation bill for the Lynn incinerator contract – unless better alternatives can be found.

Final proposals to meet the £33.7 million cost of Norfolk County Council terminating its contract with Cory Wheelabrator for the Saddlebow scheme were approved at a meeting in Norwich on Tuesday.

The decision means that around £1 million will be taken from the budgets for road maintenance and library books during the current financial year.

However, members also agreed that those options could be replaced by others that have less of an impact on services if alternatives become available.

The idea had been an alternative to the proposal to withhold part of the council tax receipts from second homes that are otherwise returned to district councils.

As first reported in the Lynn News on Tuesday, county council finance officials said they had rejected that proposal in response to the concerns of district authorities about the impact the change would have on services that they provide.

However, they maintain that the way in which second home tax money is allocated will have to be reviewed in the coming years.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s meeting, which was the first to be held following the adoption of a new committee system of government at County Hall, saw three councillors from the West Norfolk area elected to senior positions.

UKIP group leader Toby Coke, who represents the Gayton and Nar Valley division, was appointed as chairman of the environment, development and transport committee.

Fellow UKIP councillor Paul Smyth, who represents the Swaffham division, was elected chairman of the communities committee.

And Labour’s Margaret Wilkinson, who represents Gaywood South and was a member of the ruling cabinet under the old system, will serve as Mr Smyth’s vice-chairman.

Labour’s George Nobbs was re-elected as council leader, while Liberal Democrat David Harrison was named as deputy leader.

Another member of the Liberal Democrat group, Brian Hannah, was elected as council chairman for the coming year, while UKIP’s Reg Parkinson-Hare was elected as vice-chairman.

The first committee meetings will take place next month.

 

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