Crunch talks being held over Allerton Park incinerator funding withdrawal

Protesters opposed to the incinerator make their voice heard in a protest last October at County Hall in Northallerton

Protesters opposed to the incinerator make their voice heard in a protest last October at County Hall in Northallerton

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Political Reporter

YORK’S council leader says crunch talks are being held with other Yorkshire authorities to try to force a Government rethink over its withdrawal of £65 million of waste funding.

City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council say they have been left stunned and angry at the decision of the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to remove its funding for the proposed £1.4 billion incinerator at Allerton Park, between York and Knaresborough.

Defra said the site was no longer needed to meet European Union waste targets, and removed its alloted private finance initiative cash. The York authority has said it will consider legal action and the county council says it is “examining the financial and legal consequences” of the U-turn.

Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh and Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, have also criticised the move to withdraw Government support for the Allerton scheme and another incinerator project in Bradford.

City of York Council leader James Alexander said he was now in discussions with counterparts in Bradford and Calderdale about lobbying for a Government change of heart, after the authority and the county council spent millions of pounds on the scheme.

The scheme was granted planning approval last year and the Government recently confirmed it would not be called in for a public inquiry.

Ms Creagh said: “Just weeks ago, one Government department gave the North Yorkshire project the go-ahead, only for another to now pull the plug.

“Its left hand doesn’t know what its right hand is doing, and the result is chaos.

“These councils are now in limbo, and if these projects don’t go ahead, they will have to completely rethink how they deal with thousands of tonnes of waste.”

The Defra announcement has been welcomed by campaigners who opposed the incinerator plan, including Green councillors, lobby groups and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones.

More than 10,000 people had signed a petition against the proposals.

Comments (11)

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12:19pm Sat 23 Feb 13

York Shire says...

I am absolutely sure that this has nothing to do with the fact that there are local elections in Harrogate and Knaresborough coming up in May and that It is a marginal Tory constituency. Perhaps James can persuade Mr Sturdy to back the scheme?
I am absolutely sure that this has nothing to do with the fact that there are local elections in Harrogate and Knaresborough coming up in May and that It is a marginal Tory constituency. Perhaps James can persuade Mr Sturdy to back the scheme? York Shire
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Paul Meoff says...

Lot of incineration news today.
Lot of incineration news today. Paul Meoff
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Sat 23 Feb 13

bob the builder says...

There should be resignations and dismissals over this fiasco. The funding was never guaranteed under PFI, or any other initiative, with no written undertaking or contract in place, yet those concerned ploughed on regardless spending taxpayer money knowing this.
There should be resignations and dismissals over this fiasco. The funding was never guaranteed under PFI, or any other initiative, with no written undertaking or contract in place, yet those concerned ploughed on regardless spending taxpayer money knowing this. bob the builder
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Sat 23 Feb 13

R'Marcus says...

The incinerator must be stopped-NOW!
The incinerator must be stopped-NOW! R'Marcus
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Pastiche530/4 says...

DEFRA will be using the money to sort out the Horsemeat scandal
DEFRA will be using the money to sort out the Horsemeat scandal Pastiche530/4
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Sat 23 Feb 13

FieryJack says...

Agree Bob, answers needed over just how two councils ended up spending millions of our money, against many voters wishes, on a project that was never guaranteed to go ahead by a long chalk, and especially how on earth they agreed to compensate the private company should it not happen.
Agree Bob, answers needed over just how two councils ended up spending millions of our money, against many voters wishes, on a project that was never guaranteed to go ahead by a long chalk, and especially how on earth they agreed to compensate the private company should it not happen. FieryJack
  • Score: 0

9:23pm Sat 23 Feb 13

gjh says...

bob the builder wrote:
There should be resignations and dismissals over this fiasco. The funding was never guaranteed under PFI, or any other initiative, with no written undertaking or contract in place, yet those concerned ploughed on regardless spending taxpayer money knowing this.
This is not the fault of anyone at CoYC or NYCC. The blame lies wholly with central government and its appalling treatment of local councils. If it treats them in this manner, just imagine what low regard it has for us mere mortals.
[quote][p][bold]bob the builder[/bold] wrote: There should be resignations and dismissals over this fiasco. The funding was never guaranteed under PFI, or any other initiative, with no written undertaking or contract in place, yet those concerned ploughed on regardless spending taxpayer money knowing this.[/p][/quote]This is not the fault of anyone at CoYC or NYCC. The blame lies wholly with central government and its appalling treatment of local councils. If it treats them in this manner, just imagine what low regard it has for us mere mortals. gjh
  • Score: 0

9:31am Sun 24 Feb 13

AnneCop says...

If they spent £1.4 billion on recycling and green waste composting would it pay back in the long term?
If they spent £1.4 billion on recycling and green waste composting would it pay back in the long term? AnneCop
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Sun 24 Feb 13

York Shire says...

It is never CoYC's fault.
It is never CoYC's fault. York Shire
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Sun 24 Feb 13

Geoffers says...

gjh wrote:
bob the builder wrote:
There should be resignations and dismissals over this fiasco. The funding was never guaranteed under PFI, or any other initiative, with no written undertaking or contract in place, yet those concerned ploughed on regardless spending taxpayer money knowing this.
This is not the fault of anyone at CoYC or NYCC. The blame lies wholly with central government and its appalling treatment of local councils. If it treats them in this manner, just imagine what low regard it has for us mere mortals.
Do you really believe that stopping £65 million could cause the downfall of a £1.4 billion project?
The Contingency Allowance would be c. 10% and that adds up to £140 million which is more than twice the DEFRA contribution.

The whole thing was only going to save £350 million over it's life.

If the councils had agreed to compensate the builders (a Spanish Government Company BTW) then that shows just how little expertise they have in negotiating contracts!

Wake up and smell the coffee!

Some people need to wake up and smell the coffee.
[quote][p][bold]gjh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bob the builder[/bold] wrote: There should be resignations and dismissals over this fiasco. The funding was never guaranteed under PFI, or any other initiative, with no written undertaking or contract in place, yet those concerned ploughed on regardless spending taxpayer money knowing this.[/p][/quote]This is not the fault of anyone at CoYC or NYCC. The blame lies wholly with central government and its appalling treatment of local councils. If it treats them in this manner, just imagine what low regard it has for us mere mortals.[/p][/quote]Do you really believe that stopping £65 million could cause the downfall of a £1.4 billion project? The Contingency Allowance would be c. 10% and that adds up to £140 million which is more than twice the DEFRA contribution. The whole thing was only going to save £350 million over it's life. If the councils had agreed to compensate the builders (a Spanish Government Company BTW) then that shows just how little expertise they have in negotiating contracts! Wake up and smell the coffee! Some people need to wake up and smell the coffee. Geoffers
  • Score: 0

6:12pm Sun 24 Feb 13

the butler says...

How has it come about that this system balooned to such a cost?
Also why has there not been a pilot plant built to proove the value of this enterprize?
It is said 'where there's muck, there's money'
How has it come about that this system balooned to such a cost? Also why has there not been a pilot plant built to proove the value of this enterprize? It is said 'where there's muck, there's money' the butler
  • Score: 0

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