"Admit incinerator is a mistake", MPs tell council

Henry Bellingham, Elizabeth Truss and Nick Daubney. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Two Norfolk MPs have told the county council it's time to admit it has made a mistake over the proposed King's Lynn incinerator - or risk wasting more than £100m.

Elizabeth Truss and Henry Bellingham joined West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney in a press conference this afternoon where they set out what they believe the cost of the Saddlebow plant will be to taxpayers.

They claimed the council had locked into a price of around £105 per tonne of waste with contractor Cory Wheelabrator - which is considerably higher than the national average of £80.

The MPs also offered up three alternative ideas - including shipping rubbish to Holland - which they believe would be cheaper.

Ms Truss, South West Norfolk MP, said over the course of the 23-year life of the incinerator contract, it would cost the county at least £100million more than the national average - making a potential penalty of £25m to break the contract look far more appealing.

She said: "They shouldn't be throwing good money after bad. It would be better to accept this has been a mistake and write off the cost now rather than open up Norfolk county taxpayers to potentially hundreds of millions of costs over the next 23 years."

The politicians, who have been vocal in their opposition to the incinerator for a number of years, also urged the county council to "be honest about the contents of the contract and the real costs" for tax payers.

But today Norfolk County Council insisted they were paying a fair price.

Tom McCabe said: "The county council commissioned a report several months ago. That went through the costs. What they concluded was that the cost was what they described as 'on market'.

"In other words, it is costing what they would expect to pay anywhere else in the UK."

Henry Bellingham and Elizabeth Truss in today's press conference. Credit: ITV News Anglia.