A senior Liberal Democrat MP has called for a public inquiry into the awarding of a Private Finance Initiative waste contract by Cornwall county council.
“I am simply convinced that the case for a Public Inquiry is clear, before we lock Cornwall into incinerating waste for the next 30 years.”
– Matthew Taylor MP
The contract, which was given the green light by a meeting of the county council today, will see SITA UK seeking to build an incinerator to take care of the county’s non-recyclable household waste.
But Matthew Taylor, MP for Truro and St Austell and the LibDems’ shadow minister for social exclusion, is demanding a rethink.
Mr Taylor claimed that the government was effectively forcing Cornwall to build an incinerator and was threatening to withdraw Private Finance Initiative support if such an avenue was not pursued.
He said: “The government-imposed Landfill Tax is making present waste disposal hugely costly, forcing up Council Tax bills. The government is pressing for more incineration as their preferred solution. Government ministers have threatened to remove county funding for tackling the waste problem unless plans for an incinerator are pursued.”
The LibDem shadow minister said the proposed 240,000 tonne annual capacity of the incinerator being proposed by SITA was “far bigger than required over its 30-year life, as recycling and waste reduction increases”.
Mr Taylor also argued that new technologies available for treating waste meant incineration was “no longer the best solution”, and that transporting all of the county’s waste to one site for treatment was “not the most sustainable solution”. More …