December 6 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Campaigners against the proposed incinerator at King’s Lynn have chosen the experts they want to carry out an independent review into the cost of pulling the plug on the controversial plant.
The future of the £596m plant proposed for Saddlebow is up in the air, with the secretary of state due to decide next year whether the planning permission Norfolk County Council granted last year should be allowed.
In the meantime, a number of councillors at the county council have been pushing for a vote on whether to press ahead with the incinerator scheme,.
The former Conservative cabinet had signed a contract with Cory Wheelabrator to run it.
Council officers had said that pulling the plug on the scheme could cost as much as £90m.
Campaigners questioned whether the figure would be that high, or if there was a cheaper way to withdraw from the contract and that led to the council’s controlling cabinet – now Labour/Liberal Democrat following May’s elections – agreeing that there should be an independent review into the contract.
Back in June, the cabinet invited anti-incineration campaigners to play a role in picking the QC and financial advisers to carry out the investigation.
West Norfolk Council’s leader Nick Daubney, representatives from campaign group King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN) and Alexandra Kemp, county councillor for Clenchwarton and Lynn South, were invited to help to pick the experts.
Mr Daubney left the other campaigners to make the selection and they have now revealed their choices.
Miss Kemp said “Jonathan Acton Davis QC emerged from the interview process as the clear winner, is the right man for the job and will start immediately.”
The process involved an hour-long interview for each QC comprised of 10 identical questions put by Miss Kemp and Martin Little of KLWIN.
Miss Kemp said: “This is the man who will delve into the contract and the background events that led to it and find out how the county council can move forward with a better solution for Norfolk as cheaply as possible.
“A lot hangs on this report.
“It has taken time and effort to fine-tune the selection into the right reflective and interactive process to find the QC with the best possible skills for the job.
“But the very fact that this report has been commissioned, and in this way – unthinkable only a few months ago under the old administration – shows how the new administration is setting Norfolk back on the road to good governance.”
The pair picked financial firm Moore Stephens to cost the compensation scenarios.