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West Norfolk Council backs fight against controversial Wisbech incinerator scheme




West Norfolk councillors have given their support to the fight against plans for an incinerator just over the county border.

A motion against the planned development on the edge of Wisbech was passed virtually unanimously at a borough council meeting last night.

The call was led by Green Party councillor Michael de Whalley, who reminded members that it was 10 years to the month since more than 65,000 West Norfolk residents had voted against the Lynn incinerator scheme in a referendum.

Michael de Whalley spoke against the Wisbech incinerator at a protest in February last year.
Michael de Whalley spoke against the Wisbech incinerator at a protest in February last year.

He said the Wisbech burner would be just a few hundred metres from the county border and was planned to be twice as big as the ill-fated WIllows plant.

He added: “With the prevailing wind, the incinerator will be directly upwind from West Norfolk. Sadly, air pollution knows no boundaries.

“This is an apolitical motion to support our neighbouring authorities, all of whom oppose it.”

Council leader Brian Long subsequently proposed an amendment, which Mr de Whalley, accepted, that the borough council should provide planning and technical responses to the proposal as part of the decision-making process.

Labour group leader Charles Joyce said that had the effect of “beefing up” the motion.

But, although no-one voted against the motion, there were some voices of dissent.

Independent group leader Terry Parish said burning waste that couldn’t be recycled in an incinerator was the safest way to deal with it.

He said: At the moment we have unofficial incinerators - they’re called farmers’ fields.

“An official incinerator that is controlled, that does the job properly, is better than all these other solutions.

“Rubbish doesn’t magically disappear. It just moves the problem somewhere else. “You have to take responsibility for your own rubbish.”

Fellow independent Sandra Squire said she would back the motion because of the views of residents in her ward.

But she said there was a “hypocrisy” that rubbish from this area was being sent to incinerators elsewhere.

She said: “What really needs to happen is education to reduce the amount people throw away so there is a lot less waste to deal with in the first place.”

However, Conservative cabinet member Stuart Dark said the issue still resonated with the public many years after the Lynn scheme was finally halted.

Alexandra Kemp, who seconded the original motion, said: “This is the peril on our doorstep.”



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