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Anger as Norfolk County Council rejects new incinerator call



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County council chiefs have defended their refusal to take a position on a proposed new incinerator close to the edge of the county, following a protest earlier today.

There were cries of "Shame" in the Norfolk County Council chamber this morning as members blocked calls for the authority to oppose the Wisbech scheme.

The authority voted 45-23, with two abstentions, against a motion tabled by independent councillor Alexandra Kemp.

Campaigners opposing plans for a waste incinerator like this being built in Wisbech are lobbying the government. (53773761)
Campaigners opposing plans for a waste incinerator like this being built in Wisbech are lobbying the government. (53773761)

It argued there was an "oversupply" of incinerator capacity and the authority had to act as formal plans for the plant are due to be submitted soon.

But council leader Andrew Proctor insisted it was right for the authority to wait until the full proposal is known.

He pointed out that the issue had been discussed at a meeting last September, when members refused to oppose it then.

Andrew Proctor. (44831638)
Andrew Proctor. (44831638)

And he added: "I don't see the point in saying we don't want something when we haven't seen the detail."

Earlier, his cabinet colleague, Tom FitzPatrick, provoked anger from members of the public when he referenced the issue during a debate on a petition calling on the council to formally declare a climate emergency, which it has so far refused to do.

Many WisWin campaigners and supporters wore yellow t-shirts to get their message across.

Mr FitzPatrick said: "I don't know if they're a fashion statement but where will they end up.Will they be incinerated somewhere?"

Councillor Alexandra Kemp, centre, with protesters at County Hall in Norwich against a new incinerator on the Wisbech-West Norfolk border. (55721614)
Councillor Alexandra Kemp, centre, with protesters at County Hall in Norwich against a new incinerator on the Wisbech-West Norfolk border. (55721614)

The remark was met with calls of "Shame on you" from the public gallery.

Later, during questions to Mr Proctor, Miss Kemp accused him of supporting multi-national companies rather than residents and warned the plant would deal with 625,000 tonnes of waste a year.

She said: "The evidence is there. The leader needs to show some leadership."

Norfolk County Council's headquarters, where calls for DIY waste recycling charges to be scrapped are set to be debated next week (55703553)
Norfolk County Council's headquarters, where calls for DIY waste recycling charges to be scrapped are set to be debated next week (55703553)

Liberal Democrat councillor Rob Colwell also questioned whether the reluctance to debate the issue showed the Conservative administration was in favour of further incineration.

But Mr Proctor said: "It may turn out that's the answer [that Norfolk County Council opposes it] but let's see the detail."



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