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Council costs ‘a fallacy’ says anti-incinerator group

Council alternative costs ‘a fallacy’ says anti-incinerator group

Freedom of Information requests reveal huge discrepancy between claimed and actual costs

Following Freedom of Information requests StackAttack, the anti-incinerator group, is claiming that the Council’s estimate for an alternative option to the incinerator is ‘wildly misleading’.

‘It’s hard to conceive how they have got this so wrong,’ says Oliver Baines, Stack Attack’s spokesperson. ‘The Council claimed, in public, that not going ahead with the incinerator would cost Cornwall £322m. Information provided by the Council under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed a catalogue of errors in their calculations. Our realistic assessment is that their figure should be not £322m, but £132m.’

‘That’s a staggering discrepancy, of £190m. The difference is so huge that we wonder how the Council managed to achieve it or whether it actively sought to mislead the public, or whether Councillors themselves have been misled. It obviously had in mind the cost of building the incinerator - £165m – as a target figure to exceed, to prove that not having the incinerator is more expensive than having it. What we didn’t expect was such a wild over-estimate. I wonder what Councillors will think about haviing the wool pulled over their eyes.’

The information reveals that the reality is the opposite of what the Council claims and that the cost of the incinerator, at £165m, will be £33m more than the alternative. ‘It is scarcely credible that Cornwall Council can claim the alternative would be so massively more expensive when in fact it will be £33m cheaper’ stated Diana Padwick, one of Stack Attack’s founders.

‘The only explanation we can see for this incinerator still being pursued is that Cornwall Council, having made a decision somewhere between 6 and 12 years ago to do so, entered a contract with SITA and has failed to see that the world has changed in the meantime. If it is to keep up with rapidly changing technologies, year on year reductions in waste and dramatic increases in recycling, it needs to look again at its calculations, urgently.’