The leader of Norfolk County Council has said the debate over plugging the funding gap created by the council’s incinerator compensation bill has been “hijacked” - as the row over whether to take money from district councils or to cut spending on roads and library books intensified.

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The county council voted by 48 votes to 30 to terminate the contract for the proposed incinerator at King’s Lynn last month, leaving the authority having to figure out how to make £8m worth of further savings to cover the likely £30m compensation cost to Cory Wheelabrator.

Much of that money will come from underspends and a £19m war chest which has been built up, but two other options as to how to save the final £1m are on the table.

One option would take £900,000 from highways maintenance and spend £140,000 less on library books, while the other would take about half of the money from council tax on second homes which the county council currently gives to district councils.

That suggestion has angered district council leaders, who say some of that money has already been committed to vital community projects.

West Norfolk Council currently gets £782,000; North Norfolk Council £934,664; Breckland £117,118; Broadland £103,629; Norwich £81,869; Great Yarmouth £110,500 and South Norfolk £137,409.

North Norfolk District Council, West Norfolk Council, Breckland District Council and Broadland District Council have all protested at the prospect of losing a share of that cash.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader at North Norfolk and Nick Daubney, leader at West Norfolk, called for the proposal to be reconsidered.

But George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council, said at yesterday’s cabinet meeting: “I am happy to meet district council leaders and those who would be affected if the money came from roads and library books.

“But this has been hijacked by one or two district councils. This is about £30m and that will impact on all services.”

The cabinet has recommended the final decision on which option to pursue should be with the county council.

Councillors also agreed officers should try to strike a deal with their counterparts in Suffolk for some of Norfolk’s waste to be burned at the incinerator in Great Blakenham.

Any deal would see a maximum of 50,000 tonnes a year - and most likely 35,000 tonnes - sent to Suffolk once that burner becomes operational.

If a deal is agreed, the cost per tonne would be based on a combination of Suffolk County Council’s actual costs, a proportional share of the council’s overheads and the cost of getting the rubbish to Great Blakenham.

• What do you think of the incinerator saga? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

38 comments

  • Steady MD you are not dealing with the sharpest knife in the box here so give some slack.

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    Del Boy

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

  • Shirley signs in here under at least thirty names and talks about others. Cor - Pot and kettle. Give it a rest. So what is a certain councillor tricked them ? Who cares?

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    Mad Dog

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Same person posting under several different guises all having a pop at a certain person - how very predictable. Thankfully, the people at the heart of the campaign spotted you as a wrong-un from the start and refused to play your silly childish games. How rattled you must be!

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    Shirley Stalker

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Can I play the Mystic Meg game too ? A council leader, a rushed planning deal in 2007 and a side kick yes man spring to mind.

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    Mr A. Schicklgruber

    Friday, May 16, 2014

  • He's a bit smarter than that. Perhaps you need to speak with a legal beagle. A retired lawyer, too much time on his hands and poor advice spring to mind.

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    Del Boy

    Friday, May 16, 2014

  • D, you may have crossed a legal line with your last post. I sincerely hope so.

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    democrat

    Friday, May 16, 2014

  • The plan by CW to go ahead was known to a certain councillor in advance more than 6 months ago. He did not pass it on to campaigners though. Two faces, fish & chips and the initials BL spring to mind.

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    Percy Cuted

    Friday, May 16, 2014

  • Talk is that the consortium still want to continue with the incinerator at Saddlebow, but I am surprised Cory Environmental want to have their name dragged any further down than it already is. Wheelabrator on the other hand don’t have a salvageable repu.tation in the UK for incinerators, so they have nothing to lose. WT had been after building an incinerator for 10 years in the UK without success, they tendered for Blakenham with Shanks and did not make the final two, the question Stephen Revell should be asking is why were they selected by NCC?

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    Honest John

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • A few have been saying things such as 'bye bye CW' for many years now and other assorted catch phrases. None of it appears to have worked though. Do keep up indeed.

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    Jim Hacker

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • As I said - bye bye CW. Do keep up.

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    Shirley Stalker

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • Lynn News; 15.5.2014; The consortium behind the Lynn incinerator has told the government it still wants to go ahead with the scheme, despite councillors’ decision to walk away from the project. And Cory Wheelabrator has claimed Norfolk County Council could still use the Saddlebow site as part of its waste management programme if planning permission is granted. However, almost a year to the day since the public inquiry into the proposal ended, officials say ministers still cannot make a decision because they need to take the latest material submitted by supporters and objectors into account. A Cory Wheelabrator spokesman said yesterday: “The consortium is focusing on meeting its obligations under the contract termination process.”

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    Jim Hacker

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • Contrary to what D.ickens says, the consortium are all out of options now and this is just their PR people trying to put a spin on a hopeless situation. No contract, no buyers, no funding, no PFI grant and no waste. Bye bye CW.

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    Shirley Stalker

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • None of these companies will attempt to spend countless millions of their own money on projects that have no guarantee of success. The PFIs being taken away was the end of CW. It got its blood money from the Council and that's that. Norfolk has had a narrow escape and thank goodness for the campaigners. And now that Norfolk has seen what campaigners can do let's have a lot more of it! Relying on your councillors is useless except for a lucky few and you can be far more effective when you are not in a party where you cant visit the WC without permission let alone support the people of your area.

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    alecto

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • Indeed the consortium have said they are still going ahead with the incinerator as explained well in advance some time ago. The over concentration by campaigners on the Council contract was a political triple bluff which they sleep walked into. There will be a re negotiation. Dirty business politics. Hate to say I told you so.

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    Dickens

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • The Incinerator going ahead then ? Still being built. Campaign was waste of time and tax payers money.

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    Diss 'N' Dat

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • My oh my. Just read all the experts opinions here. One wonders why none of them are Councillors. As they say those that can do and those that cannot preach.

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    Arthur Pewty

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • I am sorry to say that the privatisation of Norse is not an option which can be taken forwards. The way in which Norse gains most of its work relies on the fact that Norse is owned by the County Council and that a Joint Venture company is formed with the Council for whom Norse are providing services helping to bypass some procurement rules in the supply of goods and services to the public sector. If Norse were sold off these would have to end and most of the income they generate would end with the JV's. Only where contracts were won in full public procurement based on EU law would the contract not end. The type of arrangement such as that for the Household Waste Recycling Centres, as covered in this papers business section, could not be awarded to Norse in the same way with a change of ownership.

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    Econic

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • good idea from John Martin to use NCC airport portfolio to plug this gap. Privatising NORSE, running well on council contracts, so it can stand on its own two feet, is another option. Off course they will have to properly compete and be prepared to cut their unprofitable operations.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • This is an example of ' GNobbs fiddling while Norfolk burns.' Only a couple of weeks to go now, and don't forget he said he would only serve for a year. Please next time round can we have a leader with qualities such as a brain.

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    maryjane

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • This just proves how out of touch this council really is. K.nobbs why don't you just get on with it, we all know you are out of your depth. You could borrow the money for next to nothing or better still get you house in order

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    Sweet cheeks

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • With the popularity of air transport and the need to make a profit on investments e.g current requirement to make a profit on the RAF Coltishall site acquisition, I am mystified that double standards are made re. Norwich International and no profit having been made for 3 years. County must be scared that a current market valuation would reveal it to be below cost price and show them up even more.Who can embarrass them into telling the truth? Can we get Margaret Hodge to investigate?

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    bedoomed

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Bedoomed, when I asked NCC for the current value of its stake in Norwich Airport, I was told that its accounting policy is only tor record value as acquisition cost. Would any private sector body adopt that accounting approach? This is what we are saddled with.

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    John Martin

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • We can now see why NCC are going to hold onto the land at Saddlebow for the time being, because CW still want to go ahead and build the incinerator. If Norfolk County Council sell out to CW on the pretence of reclaiming the maximum amount of the public's cash, it will be the worst case of tre.achery ever. We need guarantees Norfolk will be incinerator free and we need them now!

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    Honest John

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Ha ha. Too funny for words. They waste years trying to stop something without success and then moan when the bill for it all comes in. Someone has to pay for the nimby anti campaigners innit ?

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    Rastus Obinga-Odinga

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • On 17th May County Council will have another piece of the funding shortfall clarified and then councils can see if the second homes money has to be offered up to it. The current market value of the County Council's interest in Norwich International would be interesting to know instead of the historical cost valuation . We won't be told probably due to commercial confidentiality. That excuse is wearing thin.

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    bedoomed

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Don't forget everyone - GNobbs said he would only lead the Council for a year - please make sure for once he sticks to his word.

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    maryjane

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • NCC can also sell the Sadlebow site, BCKLWN are willing to purchase. Seems like GNobbs is just trying to put the boot into WN.

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    Bikerboy

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Well said John Martin and take back some of the £3.5m just loaned to NCC's wholly owned Norfolk Energy Futures who have been focusing on wind turbines and also yet to make a profit. No wonder we’re in a financial mess with GNobbs being unable to count past two. He says this has been hijacked by one or two district councils, when four are listed as protesting and that's over 50% of the county. As for Daisy's comment, I deplore my council tax wasted by officers on ill-conceived projects like the incinerator, Coltishall, the NDR and disposing of unnecessary waste from Gt Yarmouth because they can be bothered to recycle.

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    Honest John

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Dont worry about taking away Yarmouths £110,500 for 'vital community projects'. It will just be wasted on projects for the minorities and not the majority. They can always get it back by using some of the £500 million they say they get every year from the tourist industry. Why didnt my previous blog get put up EDP ?. Did the words NCC Lawyers give you the jitters ?

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    "V"

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Sell Coltishall. That would give the council at least £3m, which would cover the shortfall and give some money towards fixing the potholes. Oh? Was that a voice at the back shouting about hard.core and the N25? Surely not!

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Abandon the ridiculous NDR and all funding problems are solved.

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    Vic Sponge

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • There is another option in terms of finding this money. NCC owns a 9% stake in Norwich International Airport. The historic accounting value of that stake is £1.236m. But over the past three financial years, that stake has produced a nil return for the council taxpayers of Norfolk. Why, therefore, does NCC not sell that stake, and apply the proceeds of sale towards meeting the compensation due to Cory Wheelabrator?

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    John Martin

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Hot off the press Lynn News today, Jeffrey Read is still throwing insults miss information at the public and calling them NIMBYs for rejecting an incinerator. He said he has spent years investigating this technology but he does not explain the reason why. Does he or any ex councillor buddy members of his family have links with land, finance and the waste industry? In his letter he quoted various incinerators in the UK built close to residential properties. He failed to mention most people living in west Norfolk had an open mind to the proposed incinerator. Cory Wheelabrator posted nice glossy leaflets through every letter box in west Norfolk and we had one side of the story. Unlike Jeffrey Reeds love and obsession of Incinerator Company’s the public realised Kings Lynn could not take any more air pollution especially with the power station and Palm Paper on their doorstep and the extra 1000 lorry movements per week. The downfall of the incinerator was Palm paper was not consulted on purchasing energy, Wheelabrator under suspicion of fraud and pollution did not inspire confidence. The ex leader said Saddlebow was the wrong location and a vote loser. Defra had removed PFI credits and acknowledged many incinerators will have to close due to shortage of feedstock. The list is endless!

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    LynBin

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • The anti campaigners have ruined Norfolk services. We all have to pay for their stupid nimby campaign now.

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    Jack Bantoft

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • I deplore the use of my council tax for community projects which are not part of the democratic process. Handing money over to random lobby groups and vested interests is not my idea of proper spending at all So if that money has to be drawn back because of West Norfolk's dummy spit well that's tough And maybe we should look at how we dole this money out in the future-skate parks and trivialities when the roads are cracking up and sixth formers have to pay to get to school and college seems an *&$e backwards way of spending my hard earned money.

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • I am sure that the incompetents who signed the contract and the incompetent NCC lawyers who agreed the contract holding the compensation clause, wouldnt mind selling their personal assets to raise £1 million ?.

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    "V"

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Typical NCC Screw everyone else to save thenselves. Road tax has gone up but there are no urgent repairs being done to fill the pot holes. Like the cycle pathways in Hellesdon rip the parish council money so these are left with holes also and unsafe.

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    edifir

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • We are witnessing an internal Tory takeover by North Norfolk and it's South Norfolk's roads that take the thunder of lorries as a result.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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