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Hartlebury residents still want answers
HARTLEBURY residents were left with some unanswered questions after they packed a meeting to discuss a controversial planned £120 million incinerator in the village, it has been claimed.
More than 150 people attended the meeting at Hartlebury Parish Hall to discuss the plans with Worcestershire County councillor, Conservative Anthony Blagg.
Ray Kirby, chairman of action group Worcestershire Residents Against Incineration and Landfill (WAIL), said Mr Blagg, the county council’s cabinet member for environment and waste management, failed to reassure residents about the cost of the EnviRecover plant.
Planning permission for the waste-to-energy facility was granted in July, by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Mr Kirby said Mr Blagg was asked about the financial aspects of the waste contract and costs associated with the incinerator but told the meeting the figures were being prepared for discussion and approval at a cabinet meeting in November.
Mr Blagg has explained, however, that detailed information about the financial aspects of the contract were currently being negotiated and could not be discussed in full at this stage, to protect the tax payer.
“These details will be fully available when the item goes before Worcestershire County Council 's cabinet for a decision later this year,” he said.
Mr Kirby added: “Residents were of the opinion that as tax payers, the whole issue should be in the public domain and there was scepticism as to why previous attempts to secure financial information relating to this project was not forthcoming.”
He added residents’ concerns about the project were “not allayed by the meeting”.
“Councillor Blagg was unable to answer all the questions posed but promised to respond in writing within 14 days to the questions unanswered on the night,”
Mr Blagg added: “During the two-and-a-half hour discussion numerous questions were asked on a variety of issues, which I answered. Those that required further clarification will be answered in writing shortly.”
He said he was “confident the £120 million estimate on the cost of the contract – based on research conducted around a year ago – is still accurate”.