Labour U-Turn on Incinerator

This is terrible: an awful indictment of Norfolk Labour. Here’s what’s happened:
Green Party city councillors have expressed anger over revelations from DEFRA which show that the Leader of Norwich City Council, Brenda Arthur, told the Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman, in a telephone call on 16th January, that the city council supported the Norfolk Waste Strategy, which is being used to justify the building of an incinerator near Kings Lynn. The telephone conversation took place just days after Councillor Arthur wrote to Mrs Spelman to state the city council’s opposition to incineration in Norfolk.

Councillor Claire Stephenson, Leader of the Opposition Green Party Group on Norwich City Council said:

“Brenda Arthur agreed to write to the Secretary of State to explain that the city council opposes incineration after she was petitioned to do so by fifteen Green and four Liberal Democrat councillors. It was clear that the view of the city council in January of this year was that the council opposed incineration in Norfolk. If Councillor Arthur then said in a phone call that the city council was content to go along with a strategy which included the creation of an incinerator in Norfolk, she was speaking for herself, not on behalf of other councillors. This would seem to be an abuse of her position.”

The Opposition councillors who wrote to Councillor Arthur in January referred to a motion passed by Norwich City Council in 2007 which stated “this council confirms its opposition to any form of incineration of Norfolk’s waste”.

Following Mrs Spelman’s telephone call to Councillor Arthur, the Secretary of State agreed waste incineration credits to the value of £169m for an incinerator at Kings Lynn.

Councillor Amy Stammers, Green Party Shadow Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services and Climate Change, attempted to ask Councillor Arthur a formal question at a recent council meeting. Councillor Stammers’ question was:

Will the cabinet member write to the Secretary of State and ask him to call in the Saddlebow waste incinerator planning application?”

When this question was disallowed, Councillor Stammers asked it by email, but did not receive a clear response.

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