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Norfolk council out of touch

So, Andrew Proctor, the leader of the Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council, refuses to oppose the building of one of the largest waste incinerators in Europe, just yards from the Norfolk border, stating that ‘now was not the time to object to the plans.’

His prevarication and complete lack of leadership on this subject is starkly exposed by West Norfolk Council who have already opposed the misplaced scheme.

Similarly, others have wasted no time in stating their opposition to this incinerator, including Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Dr Nik Johnson, the Mayor of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, Stephen Barclay, Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire, and a member of the Government cabinet office and Liz Truss, Conservative MP for South West Norfolk and Foreign Secretary.

So many people, more eminent than Andrew Proctor, including some very senior members of his own party, disagree with his glib statement that “now is not the time to object to the plans”.

Showing that now is exactly the time to object to the plans, as it would send a warning shot to the German company MVV, that submitting these plans is pointless, as opposition is unanimous at all levels, in all quarters.

Andrew Proctor’s failure to endorse his opposition to the project and show how Norfolk County Council’s stand on this life-shattering proposal is naïve, as it give MVV a glimmer of hope.

This is not helped when members of his own party on the council, such as the environment and waste portfolio holder, Andy Grant, say: “I have no issue with this being built.”

What these councillors fail to realise is that they are meant to represent and make decisions on behalf of all the residents of Norfolk. There are more than 150,000 people living in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk whose health and well-being they are responsible for and whose lives will be seriously compromised if this incinerator goes ahead.

Saying that they need more information just illustrates how little homework they have done on this proposal, as all the information is already out there.

But let me help them by listing all the salient facts relevant to Norfolk.

The incinerator will be built less than 750 yards from the Norfolk border.

It will be one of the largest ever constructed in Europe, burning 625,000 tonnes of waste per year, releasing 625,000 tonnes of CO2, which will be a disaster in the fight against climate change.

The 95 metre high incinerator chimneys will release heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury and many other toxic substances, that will be washed into Norfolk farmland to accumulate during the 40 years lifespan of the incinerator. This will be taken up into the crops and fruit that are grown in this region.

The plume from the chimneys will be blown over the densely populated town of King’s Lynn by the prevailing south westerly winds, carrying minute toxic particles that will be breathed in by the people living in the area.

The incinerator will need to be fed by over 380 lorries per day.

One of the major routes will be through Norfolk and into the site via the small Norfolk village of Outwell, causing traffic gridlock, destroying the already poorly maintained roads and infrastructure, and increasing traffic pollution.

MVV state that the incinerator will create 40 jobs, but food companies near the site have said that they will have to close and move away, resulting in a net loss of hundreds of jobs, many held by Norfolk residents, as food companies cannot operate super-clean food production facilities next to a mountain of rotting, stinking waste.

Not so long ago, when Norfolk County Council backed an incinerator being built at Saddlebow in King’s Lynn, it cost them £30million in penalties, when they had to pull out as they seriously underestimated the enormous opposition demonstrated by the people of West Norfolk and King’s Lynn.

Are they about to make the same mistake again?

They should not ignore the strength of feeling that exists for this latest proposal, for an even bigger incinerator being built, less than 10 miles away from where the previous one was proposed.

They need to show leadership and oppose this incinerator and show the people of West Norfolk that they are a council that supports and listens.

Alan Wheeldon


Citizen photographer Adam Fairborther used his drone to capture this image of the River Nene running between the Brinks in Wisbech
Citizen photographer Adam Fairborther used his drone to capture this image of the River Nene running between the Brinks in Wisbech

Viciousness of P&O on another level

The cold brutality of the bosses was shown by P&O Ferries on March 17 when it sacked 800 employees by Zoom.

Even more so, security was primed, with some acting as if they had powers of arrest.

Trade Union members have rallied to the cause of the workers and their union, the RMT, on the dockside in Dover, and again in the days after at solidarity rallies and protests in Hull, Larne, Liverpool, Dover, and London.

During lockdown, many companies saw the opportunity to attack workers’ pay, terms and conditions. British Gas workers took 43 days of strike action, but still faced cuts in their income of over £10,000.

Those who didn’t sign new contracts were made redundant.

Car transporters were sent round to pick up the British Gas vans. Behind each one was a worker and their family.

But the viciousness of P&O Ferries has been on another level.

There wasn’t even a consultation period, just a prepared assault on these workers.

They have to be defended.

This is a reminder that when their profits are at stake, the bosses will use the most brutal methods.

This was virtually admitted by the company, citing alleged losses.

Yet DP World has announced that it made profits of $896 million (£751 million) in 2021, up from $846 million in 2020.

It has also backed a £147 million deal to sponsor European Golf, when there is a hole in the P&O Ferries workers’ pension fund of £146 million!

But how much profit P&O Ferries makes must not decide what happens to workers, their families, and communities.

It merely shows that it can’t be trusted to run these


P&O Ferries must be nationalised and brought into public ownership, without compensation, and put under democratic workers’ control and management.

John Smithee


John Elson's Fenland Citizen cartoon (55857538)
John Elson's Fenland Citizen cartoon (55857538)

Sanctions are hardly a deterrent

Just like the annexation of Crimea in 2014, sanctions and asset freezes were imposed on Russian and Ukrainian individuals and businesses.

By 2019, with some 200 taken to task, with a pitiful total asset of just £21m. By March 2021, it was just over 250 with total assets of £450m.

Alas hardly a deterrent to say the least.

The Treasury’s own statistics show that fines for sanction breaches in 2020/21 were a big fat zero.

A downfall from £21m in 2019.

The Tory party need not look far at all for the next Abramovich, in fact if it’s not Rishi Sunak’s wife it’s surely one of the Tory Party’s largest donors and former treasurer, Sir Ehud Sheleg.

Skeleg’s pro-Kremlin connection, Victor Yanukovych was ousted in 2014.

Skeleg donated £3.5m to the Conservatives and as treasurer until last September he courted Russian money through his Mayfair-based Halcyon Art Gallery.

Skeleg also hooked up with Liliya Kopytover, now his wife, daughter of Sergey Kopytov. She is director of a financial support and accounting department in Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, under the leadership of Yanukovych who then high tailed into the arms of who? Vladimir Putin, who is now looking to take over Ukraine and reinstall Yanukovyck in Kiev.

While Kopytov amazingly appeared in London at Skeleg’s private manorial estate in Hampstead, and Skeleg’s pile in Readington Road in London.

Barclays Bank raised concerns over Kopytov’s activities in transferring a ‘large undisclosed donation’ to the Conservative party.

Needless to say, Skeleg received a cash for honours Knighthood, “Sir Udi Arose”.

Mark Burton


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