Having attended both Waste Advisory Group (WAG) meetings at County Hall, I believe councillors Martin Wilby and Tony White who were present at both meetings, owe the other WAG members an explanation for voting to remove Item 1 from the policies recommended.
At the outset of the first meeting, Chairman Cllr Coke proposed the recommendation for no incineration of Norfolk waste and out of county contracts to be short term only, and with the exception of Labour’s Cllr Collis substituting, everyone else raised their hands in agreement, including Wilby and White. At the second WAG meeting where the wording of the policies were fine tuned, again neither Wilby nor White voiced any concerns or objections, so to remain silent during both of these meetings only to pipe up when the recommendations were put to the ETD Committee on Tuesday, smacks not only of something rather unsavoury, but a return to ‘business as usual’ in County Hall.
Quite why the recommendation was “No development of incineration in Norfolk for waste the county council is responsible for as waste disposal authority,” remains a concern, since it paved a clear path for CW to continue with an incinerator at Saddlebow for Norfolk’s Commercial and Industrial waste, along with imported waste from other counties or indeed other countries should they obtain planning permission.
At the very minimum it will open up the door for CW to appeal should Eric Pickles refuse, and for further unnecessary battles to commence at a totally unaffordable cost.
With the majority of Labour councillors having already turned their backs on their own 2013 election manifesto policy against incineration, they are now turning their backs on the Rainbow Alliance whose support allowed Nobbs to be elected as Leader.
Whilst it comes as no surprise that any former Cabinet member of the Murphy or Nobbs’ administration would vote to keep the CW incinerator alive at Saddlebow, Cllr Sands and Walker both voted to end the contract in April.
What message are these councillors giving to the taxpayers of Norfolk who will have gifted CW over £30 million to plough back into their incinerator resurrection attempts?