‘No in­cin­er­a­tor will cost pub­lic £450m’

Coun­cil­lor hits out at crit­i­cisms of ‘un­nec­es­sary’ plan

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.

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