Row erupts over Norfolk waste deal costs

Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn

Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator ENGANL00120131018142016
Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator ENGANL00120131018142016
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A row has broken out over claims that a new county waste contract could generate hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional costs for West Norfolk Council.

A new deal, which will come into force next month, will see waste sent to processing centres in Costessey, Rackheath and Wisbech, before it is shipped to incinerators in Holland and Germany.

But West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney this week claimed the deal could leave the borough council as much as £600,000 out of pocket.

He accused Norfolk County Council of not consulted the borough about the contract, which is set to last until 2020, and demanded an explanation from Toby Coke, the chairman of the committee responsible for approving the deal.

He said: “We negotiated a contract (with its contractor Kier).

“They have abided by that contract, as have we, and somebody goes and changes the rules. That is going to cost us a lot of money.

“Toby Coke represents a West Norfolk division. He should come here and tell us what’s going on.”

But Mr Coke described the claims as “absurd”.

He retorted: “I find it very hard to believe.”

And he also pointed out that the plans had been in the public domain since proposals were first published last November.

He said: “As far as I know, waste officers at County Hall haven’t been contacted about this.

“None of the other districts are complaining about it at all.”

The county council has previously claimed the contract, which is set to end the use of landfill sites such as the one at Blackborough End, will save it around £2 million a year.

Mr Coke argued it would be easier to deliver waste to the Wisbech plant than to the Blackborough End site.

But environmental campaigners have raised concerns about what they see as a lack of progress towards the development of a sustainable method of dealing with Norfolk’s waste.