Incinerator decision was long overdue says leader

Evesham Journal: Incinerator decision was long overdue says leader Incinerator decision was long overdue says leader

THE leader of Worcester-shire County Council said he regrets a decision about the controversial incinerator taking so long – and admits it “should have happened sooner”.

Councillor Adrian Hard-man said the deal signed with West Mercia Waste in 1998 should not have been allowed to drag on.

He said politicians were guilty of “kicking the can down the road” and putting a firm decision off, costing taxpayers money.

As your Worcester News revealed on Friday, the council’s cabinet has now agreed to a £165 million loan with Herefordshire Council to get the Hartlebury burner off the ground.

The decision, which came in the face of bitter opposition from campaigners, means construction work can start next spring subject to a vote at full council in February.

Coun Hardman said: “This whole issue has been on a very long path and it does come down to the question of how long we go on ‘kicking the can down the road’.

“I have been on this council 13 years and I do feel that for the last 12 of those years we have kicked that can down the road, avoided making a decision and it’s had considerable costs to this council.

“Doing nothing is not an option and it’s clearly time we actually made this step.”

The contract with West Mercia Waste was signed by the old Labour-Lib Dem administration, which lost power in 2001. The campaigners, meanwhile, have said they have not given up hope of scuppering the plan despite the cabinet vote.

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Action Group, which is leading the opposition, is against it on cost and environmental grounds, and believes it will discourage people to recycle.

Rob Wilden, from the group, said: “I don’t know how these councillors can look at themselves in the mirror when they have publicly displayed contempt for families and the vulnerable they are allegedly elected to protect.”

But the council says not pressing ahead with the incinerator would have cost another £128 million, and that dealing with all the rubbish from both counties without the facility could cost another half-a-billion by 2042.

Once built in 2017, it will have a capacity of 200,000 tonnes of rubbish and generate power by connecting to the national grid.

“Of the £165 million loan to fund it, £125 million will be paid off by the county council, and the rest by Herefordshire.

West Mercia Waste will hand the burner back to both councils to run from 2023.

Comments (11)

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5:50pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Woodbourne says...

Long overdue my arse! They do not have the balls to put their hands up and admit they are lumbered with this ridiculous contract. Getting out of it would be cheaper than building this monster but they can't ever admit they were wrong and they are not bright enough to think that there is a better and cheaper alternative. I can't believe we voted these fools in.
Long overdue my arse! They do not have the balls to put their hands up and admit they are lumbered with this ridiculous contract. Getting out of it would be cheaper than building this monster but they can't ever admit they were wrong and they are not bright enough to think that there is a better and cheaper alternative. I can't believe we voted these fools in. Woodbourne

5:50pm Mon 16 Dec 13

brooksider says...

I just love the figures our Councillor's Hardman and Geraghty seem to pull out of thin air.
Using the Councils own figures and projections, the incinerator will only be operating at an inefficient 50% capacity by the year 2020.
To make this scheme any where near viable, they will have to burn all the County's compostable waste or import it from other authorities.
I think a judicial review is required.
I just love the figures our Councillor's Hardman and Geraghty seem to pull out of thin air. Using the Councils own figures and projections, the incinerator will only be operating at an inefficient 50% capacity by the year 2020. To make this scheme any where near viable, they will have to burn all the County's compostable waste or import it from other authorities. I think a judicial review is required. brooksider

6:40pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Stephen Brown says...

Shure, doing nothing isn't an option but then as they have only given 1 option which is to burn waste I am sure in their tiny incapable minds it is a valid decision.

Had they actually done a robust options appraisal rather than a loaded gun version seeking the result they wanted in order to satisfy the contractor and private business interests they would have arrived at an entirely different outcome.

As for kicking a can down the road, most councils would recycle that can but not this council, they will need to burn it. And will they stop peddling the myth that this burner will creat energy from waste! It won't, there is not and never will be the infrastructure.

At a time they are slashing £100 million in jobs and services only idiots would think spending £1.65 BILLION is a good idea. I accuse the Tories, Labour and their LibDem chums of incompetence and negligence on a grand scale. Something we will all end up paying for, for generations to come. I hope they are proud of themselves.
Shure, doing nothing isn't an option but then as they have only given 1 option which is to burn waste I am sure in their tiny incapable minds it is a valid decision. Had they actually done a robust options appraisal rather than a loaded gun version seeking the result they wanted in order to satisfy the contractor and private business interests they would have arrived at an entirely different outcome. As for kicking a can down the road, most councils would recycle that can but not this council, they will need to burn it. And will they stop peddling the myth that this burner will creat energy from waste! It won't, there is not and never will be the infrastructure. At a time they are slashing £100 million in jobs and services only idiots would think spending £1.65 BILLION is a good idea. I accuse the Tories, Labour and their LibDem chums of incompetence and negligence on a grand scale. Something we will all end up paying for, for generations to come. I hope they are proud of themselves. Stephen Brown

7:06pm Mon 16 Dec 13

old misery says...

How much have the figures increased over this period which means we are now going to pay a lot more instead of getting it done earlier. As for the "anti,s have they actually seen one in operation?
How much have the figures increased over this period which means we are now going to pay a lot more instead of getting it done earlier. As for the "anti,s have they actually seen one in operation? old misery

12:17pm Tue 17 Dec 13

RayKirby says...

Typical W.C.C. they spend 10 years kicking a can down the road, more positive minded councils would have re-cycled it
Typical W.C.C. they spend 10 years kicking a can down the road, more positive minded councils would have re-cycled it RayKirby

2:30pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Woodbourne says...

Old misery, yes us antis have been to see one and it is horrendous but the point is the cost, the lies (it can produce electricity but there is no infrastructure to harness it so therefore irrelevant) and the council not even bothering to look at alternatives. Old misery, have you seen one?
Old misery, yes us antis have been to see one and it is horrendous but the point is the cost, the lies (it can produce electricity but there is no infrastructure to harness it so therefore irrelevant) and the council not even bothering to look at alternatives. Old misery, have you seen one? Woodbourne

2:51pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Mrfade says...

WCC did take the decision 10 years ago and it was to kick it out!! We have no more waste now than we did then, and one of the key reasons the inspector turned it down even though recycling was at 6% was that he felt there were better options coming on line, and the facility wasn't needed. This is still the case and even more prevalent than then. According to the Glos Vain website ( they are also fighting half the same company) There are 24 MBT plants build or coming on line so clearly many councils think they are a safe bet. We are being told there is no other technology and this simply isn't true.it simply isn't true.
The new Avon mouth plant New Earth Solutions combines an MBT with a pyrolysis plant and also generates the same amount of electricity as the proposed burner, but it is more efficient and is actually being used!
The difference , it cost £100 million less to build. So why would councillors not be interested in that or say that this technology doesn't work? There is none so blind as they who will not see. Question is why won't they see?

They seem to have concentrated their energies on having one over on residents re planning , instead of looking at better cheaper alternatives. Private companies only build incinerators if guaranteed by public money. They don't build them if they take the risk themselves. That should speak volumes.
WCC did take the decision 10 years ago and it was to kick it out!! We have no more waste now than we did then, and one of the key reasons the inspector turned it down even though recycling was at 6% was that he felt there were better options coming on line, and the facility wasn't needed. This is still the case and even more prevalent than then. According to the Glos Vain website ( they are also fighting half the same company) There are 24 MBT plants build or coming on line so clearly many councils think they are a safe bet. We are being told there is no other technology and this simply isn't true.it simply isn't true. The new Avon mouth plant New Earth Solutions combines an MBT with a pyrolysis plant and also generates the same amount of electricity as the proposed burner, but it is more efficient and is actually being used! The difference , it cost £100 million less to build. So why would councillors not be interested in that or say that this technology doesn't work? There is none so blind as they who will not see. Question is why won't they see? They seem to have concentrated their energies on having one over on residents re planning , instead of looking at better cheaper alternatives. Private companies only build incinerators if guaranteed by public money. They don't build them if they take the risk themselves. That should speak volumes. Mrfade

3:18pm Tue 17 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

Between 10 & 20 years overdue... We should have THOUSANDS of Clean Burn Waste Incinerators, recycling chemicals and powering the country... 4000 Landfills leaching poisons - AND COUNTING... Britain should be leading the way in chemical filtration and waste recycling...

The simple fact is The Greenies were completely taken over by the Wind, Solar, Gas & Nuclear Lobbies.... They turned their back on what was the most sensible idea - WASTE INCINERATION - (yes, after recycling as much as possible)... Scaremongering and rival lobbying has lead us up the garden path, away from the obvious solution - WASTE INCINERATION - now do it well, do it lots and KEEP IT CLEAN (AS POSSIBLE, with research into improvements)...
Between 10 & 20 years overdue... We should have THOUSANDS of Clean Burn Waste Incinerators, recycling chemicals and powering the country... 4000 Landfills leaching poisons - AND COUNTING... Britain should be leading the way in chemical filtration and waste recycling... The simple fact is The Greenies were completely taken over by the Wind, Solar, Gas & Nuclear Lobbies.... They turned their back on what was the most sensible idea - WASTE INCINERATION - (yes, after recycling as much as possible)... Scaremongering and rival lobbying has lead us up the garden path, away from the obvious solution - WASTE INCINERATION - now do it well, do it lots and KEEP IT CLEAN (AS POSSIBLE, with research into improvements)... PrivateSi

3:56pm Tue 17 Dec 13

skychip says...

Hope we can afford to pay the loan back and it will be worth it in the end.
Hope we can afford to pay the loan back and it will be worth it in the end. skychip

1:31pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Brian Jones1 says...

For the individuals whom have backed this idea: If as our MP's you have said yes to this idea you should be held accountable financially if it turns into one massive white elephant. If this was the case would you have said yes???

I smell backhanders going on
For the individuals whom have backed this idea: If as our MP's you have said yes to this idea you should be held accountable financially if it turns into one massive white elephant. If this was the case would you have said yes??? I smell backhanders going on Brian Jones1

5:23pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Stephen Brown says...

privatesi - It would actually be an odd 'greenie' who supports gas and nuclear so your assumptions and assertions contained in the whole of your missive have no basis in fact. If you bothered to research incineration you would find it is neither safe, clean or in any way going to support recycling. This particular burner will indeed kill recycling efforts off as it needs all that wonderfully calorific material to help it work. The use of the words incineration and recycling as if they work together for mutual benefit is an oxymoron. And in this case we won't even have the promised energy. It's all a farce at taxpayers expense
privatesi - It would actually be an odd 'greenie' who supports gas and nuclear so your assumptions and assertions contained in the whole of your missive have no basis in fact. If you bothered to research incineration you would find it is neither safe, clean or in any way going to support recycling. This particular burner will indeed kill recycling efforts off as it needs all that wonderfully calorific material to help it work. The use of the words incineration and recycling as if they work together for mutual benefit is an oxymoron. And in this case we won't even have the promised energy. It's all a farce at taxpayers expense Stephen Brown

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