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MP: Why the incinerator makes sense
7:40am Wednesday 3rd April 2013 in News
AN MP has come out in support of a £120 million incinerator at Hartlebury for the first time, saying there is “a coherent argument” for it going ahead.
Worcester’s Conservative MP RobinWalkerhasalsorevealedhe is willing to bring up the issue of landfill taxes with the Government, if Worcestershire County Council makes anapproachtohim.
Nearly £10 million was paid out in the tax lastyear, compared with£4.7 millionin 2006, despite rubbish burials falling dramatically.
County Hall said Government moves to increase landfill taxes by £8 a tonne every year since 2008 was starting to seriously damage budgets.
MrWalker said:“I think it’s right we have a tax for landfill and I think we all support the principle of it,which is to encourage more recycling.
“But what we don’t want to do is over burden councils and if there is a case to make to ministers I’m happy to talk to them about it. I am prepared to look at it because it could be a question of proportionality.”
Worcestershire County Council has said the figures are “even more of a reason” to convince people of the need for a new incinerator at Hartlebury.
The incinerator, which is still subject to council chiefs agreeing on the finances, would burn rubbish instead of seeing it go to landfill.
It would have a capacity of 200,000 tonnes and be operated by West Mercia Management in a 25-year private finance initiative (PFI).
Mr Walker added: “I don’t disagree with the view the taxes are an incentive to move away from landfill.
There is a coherent argument for going ahead with the incinerator.”
The incinerator could still be three years away from opening. In the meantime, the council is calling for the landfill tax to be frozen to avoid the bill rising further. The Government is set to increase it to £72 a tonne next month and £80 in April, 2014.
Despite the tax increasing 108 per cent since 2006, the amount of rubbish buried in the ground across Worcestershire and Herefordshire fell 33 per cent to 174,749 tonnes in the sameperiod, a fall of a third.
Mid-Worcestershire Conservative MP Peter Luff, whose constituency includes Hartlebury, said: “I support the principle of having a landfilltax but I’m very happy to look at the council’s concerns carefully.
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