Incinerator: Ballot upsets both sides
18th February 2011 - the following article is reproduced by kind permission of Lynn News
THE borough wide ballot on the controversial waste incinerator proposed for the outskirts of Lynn has upset both those promoting and those campaigning against the plan.
As explained in a leaflet accompanying the ballot papers, Norfolk County Council decided not to provide information supporting its proposal because of legal advice that to do so would conflict with legal requirements about its role as the planning authority on the matter.
Its preferred partner, Anglo-US consortium Cory Wheelabrator, said that it did not submit information supporting the proposal because of what it claimed was “misleading” wording on the ballot paper referring to a “mass burn” incinerator.
And Mike Knights, from the anti-incinerator lobby, was concerned to see that three pictures had been deleted, without prior consultation, from what he understood to be the version agreed with West Norfolk Council for the case against the proposal.
“We would have preferred to delete some of the text rather than have our pictures removed,” he said.
“Without the pictures some of the text does not make sense and many people will not wish to read such a big block of text without pictures to draw parts of it to their attention.”
Cory Wheelabrator spokesman John Boldon said the reference to mass burn incineration was not an accurate reflection of what the consortium was proposing, “and therefore a misleading premise on which to carry out something as important as a referendum”.
He explained: “The term ‘mass burn incineration’ is generally used to refer to facilities where waste was burnt without the recovery of energy. Such facilities were in existence in the mid-1970s/80s but are no longer operational and they bear no relation to what we are proposing to do.”
Mr Boldon said the Lynn plant would be an energy from waste incinerator, using proven technology to burn waste left after recycling as a fuel to generate electricity and heat.
A borough council spokesman said wording of the question on the ballot paper was agreed at full council and approved by the Association of Electoral Administration carrying out the exercise.
She pointed out the county council and the consortium could have made it clear this was an energy from waste incinerator if they had put their side forward.
And the county council’s website on the future of waste was given on the form.
She said limited space on the leaflet led to the pictures being removed and the tight timescale for printing did not leave enough time to consult the senders again.