MP Shapps slams Hatfield incinerator briefing clash with Prime Minister’s Questions

MP Grant Shapps has lashed plans to hold a special MP’s briefing session on plans for an incinerator in Hatfield “slap bang” in the middle of Prime Minister’s Questions, which took place at midday today (Wednesday).

Mr Shapps railed against the “unpromising start” made to the public consultation period on the gigantic Veolia waste burner planned for the New Barnfield site.

The body in charge of promoting the incinerator, the county council’s environmental services department, wrote to the MP to invite him to attend an advanced briefing of the plans submitted for the proposed New Barnfield waste incinerator. However, the invite listed the briefing session for “12pm to 2pm on Wednesday June 8”.

But when challenged by the WHT, a council spokesman claimed the authority had no responsibility for the public consultation, saying it was all being handled by the successful bidder – Veolia.

Mr Shapps said: “They have been promising to carry out an extensive consultation and making a big play about how inclusive it would be.

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“So I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received the invite”.

Urging waste chiefs to “go back to the drawing board” he added: “The fact they don’t seem to have a clue when MPs are all in Parliament for Prime Minister’s Questions doesn’t exactly bode well for this open consultation. If they can’t even get this right then I’ve got no confidence in them carrying out a proper consultation with Welwyn Hatfield residents either.”

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A Veolia environmental services’ spokesman said: “We are in the process of arranging a meeting with Grant Shapps MP at a time convenient to him when we will be able to bring him fully up to date with our proposals.”

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