‘No incinerator will cost public £450m’
Councillor hits out at criticisms of ‘unnecessary’ plan
A SENIOR county politician has hit back at criticism over plans for a multimillion pound incinerator by saying it will cost taxpayers an extra £450m NOT to build it.
Buckinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for planning and environment Lesley Clarke adamantly refuted Liberal Democrat claims that borrowing money for an incinerator north of the county was ‘unnecessary’.
Lib Dem councillor Avril Davies said it would be better to borrow money against the county’s roads rather than borrow for the incinerator.
The debate stemmed from cabinet member of finance and resources Peter Hardy’s suggestion that the county borrow £260m to
WAR OF WORDS: Councillors Avril Davies (left) and Lesley Clarke ensure all roads could be fixed.
He made the comments when grilled by a scrutiny committee raking over the latest budget proposals for 2015.
His idea was shot down by leader Martin Tett, prompting Mrs Davies to say the county was already borrowing for the incinerator, which would cost £275m over 30 years to build and operate.
She said the money would have more impact and less environmental damage if spent on improving the roads in Bucks.
However, Mrs Clarke disagreed, saying: “If we didn’t go ahead with the Energy from Waste project, we would be spending around £450m or more over the next 30 years, mostly in landfill costs, as well as continuing to damage our environment by disposing of waste by basically burying it in the ground.
“Therefore, there is a minimum saving here of around £150m over that period which, at a rough estimate, equates to £24 for each household in Buckinghamshire every year. I would call that a sound case for borrowing this amount of money.
“In addition, the county stands to gain income from electricity generated at the Greatmoor plant, as well as potential income from third party waste that may be disposed of at the site.”
What do you think? Is it better to borrow money for the roads? Or is the incinerator a worthy project? Email bucksnews @trinitysouth.co.uk.