LibDem’s visit to Sutton is a case of Lamb to the incinerator

Norman Lamb, the full-time Paul O’Grady impersonator and some time MP for North Norfolk, is visiting Wallington today to recruit Tom Brake’s support and so ensure that he will have the backing of at least one-quarter of the Liberal Democrat’s Parliamentary group in his party’s forthcoming leadership contest.

Norman Lamb: visiting Wallington today. Will he swap notes with Tom Brake about incinerators?

Right turn? LibDem MP Norman Lamb is visiting Wallington today. Will he swap notes with Tom Brake about incinerators?

While sniffing the soon-to-be-more-polluted south London air, Lamb might want to ask Brake about the very generous £275,000 donation that a local church – which coincidentally also happens to be a regular LibDem campaign base – has received from Viridor, who just happen to be the contractors preferred by Sutton LibDems to operate an industrial scale waste incinerator at nearby Beddington.

And Lamb might want to remind Brake, and all the local councils, including Croydon, who are involved with the South London Waste Partnership which has a £1 billion contract with Viridor, about what happened with a similar incinerator scheme in Norfolk.

As recently as October 2013, Lamb was among a number of Norfolk MPs who supported the local authority when it opted to scrap plans to build a waste incinerator.

“I strongly support today’s decision,” Lamb told his local paper at the time. “Liberal Democrats in Norfolk have consistently opposed the Conservative plan to build a waste incinerator near King’s Lynn. The decision to build a waste incinerator was taken without securing community support, and without exploring other better technologies.

“The Conservatives left Norfolk taxpayers tied into a poor-value contract for the incinerator, with the risk of significant costs to the council if that contract is cancelled. I am glad that the council is urgently reviewing the contract that was signed to understand properly its financial implications. LibDem councillors pressed for this to happen.”

Lamb’s next comments on Norfolk are particularly interesting:

“I have previously asked officials in DEFRA to help the Council explore ways of funding alternative technologies if plans to build the incinerator are scrapped, and I will continue to support Norfolk County Council in any way I can in developing sustainable waste solutions for the future.”

Lamb’s summary of the King’s Lynn incinerator situation resembles the position in Sutton remarkably well.

In Sutton, a then councillor and chair of the local LibDems, John Drage, sat on the committee of the South London Waste Partnership for years without ever once mentioning that he was also lifelong mates with the CEO of Viridor.

Do you think Norman Lamb will ask Tom Brake about that, too, when they meet today?

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This entry was posted in Business, Croydon Council, Environment, Health, Refuse collection, Shasha Khan, Stuart Collins, Sutton Council, Tom Brake MP, Waste incinerator and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to LibDem’s visit to Sutton is a case of Lamb to the incinerator

  1. bsteel2014 says:

    LibDems don’t need lessons in blatent hypocrisy from anyone!

  2. Pingback: LibDem’s visit to Sutton is a case of Lamb to the incinerator | Sutton Greens

  3. Simon Foster says:

    I’ve read elsewhere that this incinerator is actually a project by 4 London boroughs. Merton, Kingston, Croydon and Sutton. Is It is being built on a current landfill site? If so, would it not be the case it may well produce less airborne pollution than the landfill, and have lower HGV movements than the landfill? If so, the incinerator is a better option that the landfill, regardless of political viewpoints.

    I cam across the following information. Perhaps somebody in the know could confirm if the following is accurate?

    1. The construction of the new Energy Facility at Beddington has passed all the requirements to ensure it is clean in order to receive an Environment Agency license. It will produce far less emissions than the landfill site. Figures of course would be handy here.
    2. Pollution levels from lorries will reduce as the new facility will handle 270,000 tonnes of waste a year compared to the current 400,000 tonnes that goes into the current Beddington landfill site. That looks like a reduction of 130,000 tonnes of waste to me going into the site a year in the long run.
    3. The landfill will close 6 years earlier than planned because of the ERF.
    4. £49 million of Sutton Council Taxpayers money will be saved over the duration of the contract. This one is of course worth watching an environmental scrutiny.
    5. The ERF will supply heat and power. Enough electricity will be generated to power 30,000 homes.
    6. If the site was elsewhere there would still be lorry movements, but over longer distances, so more pollution.
    7. Air quality will be strictly monitored. Again, worth watching on environmental scrutiny.
    8. The site will be landscaped.
    9. A country park will be established between Mitcham common and Beddington Park and Viridor will pay for the park wardens for 25 years.
    10. A community fund for local community projects will be established with an initial payment of £250,000 followed by annual payments of £25,000 (index linked) during the operational period of the ERF and an additional lump sum of £100,000 (also index-linked) to be made in 2024.

    If I were a local resident, I’d look into all sides of the argument, before making a decision on pragmatic grounds. I imagine, for example, that’s what Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich did when they got an incinerator.

    Best wishes,


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