Barclay “appalled” by Environment Agency go-ahead for EfW plant

Steve Barclay

The Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has said he is “appalled” by the Environment Agency’s decision to grant a permit for a waste incinerator in his constituency.

Last week, the Environment Agency granted MVV Environment with a permit to build the Energy-from-Waste (EfW) plant in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

Writing on his Facebook page, Steve Barclay said: “I am appalled by the decision to grant a permit to a mega incinerator at Wisbech in the face of widespread local opposition.

“I have campaigned against this deeply flawed scheme right from the start and did everything within my power as an MP to try to halt this from going ahead.

“Labour has responded by trying to score political points at Westminster, demanding an investigation into my efforts to stand up for local people.

“This fight is far from over and I remain committed to campaigning to block this threatened blight on our community with every fibre of my being.”

I have campaigned against this deeply flawed scheme right from the start and did everything within my power as an MP to try to halt this from going ahead.

The MP for North East Cambridgeshire has faced questions about whether he breached the Ministerial Code by trying to intervene and stop the facility being built.

According to a BBC report, Barclay personally intervened to ask if a minister could stop waste incinerators being licensed in England.

Barclay made an urgent request to government lawyers the day after planning permission was granted to build the EfW plant, the BBC reported.

The Ministerial Code requires ministers to ensure there is no conflict of interest with their role as a constituency MP.

Civil service officials previously raised concerns about a possible, or perceived, conflict between Barclay’s constituency and ministerial roles in approving the Wisbech EfW facility.

Barclay confirmed he formally recused himself from the decision-making process on permits on 27 February, the same day the Planning Inspectorate publicly confirmed that the Wisbech plant in Barclay’s constituency had permission to be built.

The planned waste incinerator has been met with widespread opposition since it was announced.

Wisbech Town Council, Fenland District Council, King’s Lynn Borough Council, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire county councils oppose the EfW facility. The former Prime Minister Liz Truss has also come out against the scheme.

The Environment Secretary greeted the campaign group WinWIN (Wisbech Without Incineration) when they protested against the planned incinerator outside the House of Commons.

Commenting on the permit being granted, MVV Environment’s managing director Paul Carey said: “We’re clearly pleased that the permit has now been awarded according to the due process.

“We want to assure the local community that we will be a good neighbour as we build and operate the new facility, as we have already demonstrated at our facilities in Plymouth and Dundee.”

The post Barclay “appalled” by Environment Agency go-ahead for EfW plant appeared first on Circular Online.

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