Committee gives burner go-ahead

Christopher Prideaux
Christopher Prideaux
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An opponent of the Calvert energy-from-waste incinerator has spoken of his ‘extreme disappointment’ after plans to invest in the facility were given the green light by Bucks County Council’s overview and scrutiny committee.

BCC awarded the contract worth £275 million to the Spanish-owned company FCC Environment in July, saying the scheme would save Bucks taxpayers more than £150 million over 30 years.

The decision to award the contract was called in for scrutiny and considered at a six-hour session on Tuesday, during which the committee heard evidence from 11 witnesses.

The committee decided by a majority vote that there were insufficient grounds to refer the decision back to either council or cabinet.

Christopher Prideaux, from Doddershall, who speaks for concerned council tax payers, told the Advertiser of his “extreme disappointment that they failed to properly engage with the questions raised”.

He said: “They either disagreed with various things we said, in our opinion incorrectly, or they failed to understand.

“Our experts were very senior people and some of what we said was just over their heads.

“The two sides stated their views but there was no debate.”

But committee chairman Lesley Clarke said the proceedings had been “as detailed and comprehensive as any I have seen since taking up this role”.

She said: “It is clear to this committee that the programme is robust and represents value for money.”

Mr Prideaux said: “We need to pause for a rethink but this is not necessarily the end.”