Town council sets aside £35,000 to fight mega incinerator
- Credit: Wisbech Town Council
A £5,000 fighting fund and up to £30,000 in ‘reserves’ will be set aside by Wisbech Town Council to fight a proposed energy from waste incinerator.
The council accepted recommendations from its policy and resources to up the game in their opposition.
The £5,000 will be used for publicity, campaigning materials and public meetings.
And the “ear-marked reserve” of £30,000 will be available to pay for specialist advice if needed to challenge a planning application.
The town council remains separate from the campaign group Wisbech Without Incineration - WisWIN – that has been at the forefront of visible opposition.
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It has over 2,300 members on its Facebook page and says it was formed as a non-political group.
Before Christmas it held socially distanced protests across the town – what organisers termed ‘bubble rallies’.
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In another move, Wisbech March and District Trades Union Council passed a resolution strongly opposing MVV Environment's plan to build a 50-megawatt incinerator in Wisbech.
“We believe that any potential benefit from the creation of new jobs is strongly outweighed by the threat to the town’s environment and economy from the negative impacts,” said a spokesperson.
“If it goes ahead, more than 300 lorry movements a day would bring up to half a million tons annually of household and commercial waste to be stored then burned in the town.
“It would come from cities within a 100-mile radius.
The trades union council says that “this incinerator would be too big, too threatening to health, too much a visual eyesore, too punishing on the road system and traffic-flow and too close to our town.
“It’s a flawed scheme in completely the wrong place and we join Wisbech Town, Fenland District and Cambridgeshire County councils in opposing it.
“We must not be bullied into being a rubbish dump for the nation.”
A town council spokesperson said its anti-incinerator working party had met on a number of occasions, the latest being October and November. It will meet again next month.
Working party chair, Cllr Peter Human, said: “It is positive to see councillors, along with members of the public working together to look at schemes to recommend to the working party on ways forward.”
He said that banners are currently being displayed on Weasenham Lane, Norwich Road, Cromwell Road (at the traffic lights) Churchill Road, A47 near Cromwell Road junction and Lynn Road.
Cllr Human said: “With Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and Wisbech Town Council all adopting motions of opposition to the incinerator proposal, it is clear that all levels of local government are against the plans to build this monolith in our town.”
Cllr Human, said: “It is clear from meetings of the working party that the town council is likely to need a ‘fighting fund’ to continue its campaign to stop the proposal.”
A statement from the town council added that it has become evident that Fenland District Council owns some land in the area of the planned incinerator location.
“In theory, MVV Environment could try to purchase the land (directly or through a third party) to strengthen their case when it comes to their planning application to the Secretary of State,” said the statement. Fenland District Council has since suspended sales of land within 500m of the incinerator’s proposed site.
“Whilst the decision on the incinerator will be made by the Government, every council is doing all it can to fight this proposal on behalf of residents,” said the statement.