West Norfolk councillor criticises plan for diesel lorries in new waste contract
Plans to buy a new fleet of diesel-powered lorries as part of a new waste contract have been branded an "own goal" by a West Norfolk councillor.
Borough council chiefs will make a final decision on whether to enter the new deal, in conjunction with two other authorities, at a special meeting tomorrow.
And officials have warned the council could face costs, including potentially compensating bidding companies, if it now chooses not to proceed.
West Norfolk Council backed plans to jointly procure a new waste contract with North Norfolk District Council two years ago. The current arrangement also involves Breckland District Council.
A special cabinet meeting, taking place at Lynn town hall on Friday afternoon, will consider officers' recommendation for the authority to enter a new waste collection contract, which would come into force in April 2021.
But papers presented to the authority's environment and community panel, which met on Tuesday, revealed the lorries that would be used as part of the arrangement would run on diesel.
Independent councillor Alexandra Kemp said that was an "own goal", given the current concern over climate change.
She said: "This council is conducting an audit of its carbon emissions. It needs to get a grip of what it's doing.
"We have got to do a lot more and we have to take responsibility for our own fleet."
But papers presented to the panel said: "The joint procurement is intended to deliver environmental benefits through the use of fewer vehicles being deployed across the three councils through vehicle sharing and cross boundary working.
"This reduces carbon impacts through a reduction in vehicles deployed and reduced emissions in service delivery.
"The delivery of a new fleet of collection vehicles will help to reduce emissions during operations.
"Waste collection fleet requirements for the large rural community of the borough means that diesel is the only practical fuelling option.
"A new fleet will be compliant with the latest emissions reduction legislation."
The preferred bidder for the contract, which will come into force once the borough's present agreement with Kier expires, has not been made known.